Why does insulin resistance cause weight gain?
People with insulin resistance often make too much insulin in response to eating. They may also produce too much insulin in order to maintain normal blood sugar (blood glucose) levels.
The body cannot excrete excess insulin made by the pancreas; excess insulin is stored as fat in the body. This is just one of the reasons why people with insulin resistance gain weight more easily than those who are not insulin resistant.
A simpler explanation is this:
- Insulin is a fat storing hormone – it triggers the body to store more fat;
- Insulin itself can be stored as body fat; and
- People with insulin resistance often make too much insulin.
Many People With Insulin Resistance Can Eat Normal Amounts of Food and Still Gain Weight
Insulin is a Fat Storing Hormone – It Signals the Body to Store Energy as Fat
The body requires more insulin to metabolize (use as energy) carbohydrates than it does fat and protein. A low-calorie diet that is high in carbohydrates and unhealthy fats can trigger the pancreas to make too much insulin.
People with insulin resistance can consume a normal amount of calories, but if calories are from foods that trigger too much insulin production, they can still gain weight from the excess insulin which is stored as fat. Excess insulin can also make you feel hungrier and signal the body to store more calories as fat.
One way to lose weight is to reduce the number of carbohydrates you eat and to only eat low-glycemic carbohydrates. Avoiding “fast acting” carbohydrate foods (foods that are high in refined flour and sugar) also can reduce the amount of insulin your body needs to manufacture. Fast acting foods include candy, juice, soda, and foods that contain sugar, corn syrup, and highly-processed starches usually found in pasta and many cereals, bread, and bakery products.
Insulin Resistance Increases Hunger
Too much circulating insulin in the body can cause swings in blood sugar levels and moods. This can lead to an increase in hunger and cravings for carbohydrates and fatty foods. This creates a vicious cycle – a craving for the wrong types of food that when eaten, make you feel even hungrier, and gain more weight.
Fight Weight Gain by Eating Smarter
Making positive changes in your lifestyle now and following any medical treatment your doctor prescribes can often reverse pre-diabetes!
To lose weight faster, eliminate all sugar and processed foods from your diet. Eating carbohydrates triggers the body to produce insulin.
People who have metabolic disorders like PCOS, insulin resistance, and pre-diabetes may produce too much or too little insulin to metabolize carbohydrates properly.