Is insulin resistance stopping you from losing weight?

Insulin Resistance

Common signs you’ve sent your metabolism into reverse. How to correct this – Dr Richard Mackenzie

Insulin is a truly fascinating hormone. It has far reaching roles within the human body, in particular with how we store energy – think body mass / body fat / body weight. Insulin has been an important research topic for well over a 100 years. It helps save many human lives due to its action on blood sugar, preventing some of the major issues linked with diabetes.

Metabolic action on fat storage

More recently, insulin has been the topic of intense scrutiny given its metabolic action on fat storage. Insulin, amongst its other actions, slows down lipolysis (which is the breakdown of fat) in fat cells. This might sound like a good thing, to have less fat released into the body, however if your fat cells stop responding to insulin, then that stubborn fat will remain in the places you find it most difficult to remove. The result being, weight loss will be near-on impossible when the body is in a state of insulin resistance (i.e. insulin is not working effectively). During insulin resistance, the body releases more insulin (i.e. high blood insulin concentrations) in response to a meal to help shift the sugar and fat into energy storage sites (i.e. fat cells). If eating is combined with a greater insulin response (due to insulin resistance), then the body believes we need to storage more energy (fat) and prevent energy (or fat, in this example) release. The result is fat cells keep hold of the energy and the body struggles to lose weight. Simple enough? Not really but these are well-defined metabolic processes.

How can we resolve this? The first course of action is to work out if you are insulin resistant (more here) before you can seek to reverse this issue to help achieve long-lasting weight loss and health.

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