Is Insulin Resistance Stalling Your Weight Loss?
What is Insulin?
Insulin is a very important hormone produced by the pancreas, that is responsible for lowering glucose (sugar) levels in the bloodstream. Insulin is the key that unlocks the cell, allowing sugars to leave the bloodstream and be stored inside our cells. It’s also a fat-storage hormone and contributes BIG TIME to weight gain when chronically elevated. Additionally, high insulin levels are a major driver of inflammation, hormone imbalances, such as PCOS, fatty liver, high cholesterol and the development of chronic disease.
Why Insulin Sensitivity Matters
Insulin resistance occurs when the body’s cells become unresponsive to the signal of insulin. This is an issue because without proper insulin signalling and sensitivity, your cells will not be able to adequately utilize glucose and blood sugar levels can become too high.
It’s important to note that even if you don’t have clinically high blood sugar levels, such as pre-diabetes or diabetes, you can still be insulin resistant – even if you’re lean!
How We Become Insulin Resistant
Insulin resistance develops primarily due to a high carb, high sugar, Standard American Diet. What’s shocking is we’re now seeing a high percentage of children developing insulin resistance due to this way of eating, and tragically being set up for a lifetime of illness and metabolic issues. When we eat a poor, refined carbohydrate-rich diet, this sends our blood sugar levels sky rocketing, resulting in an insulin spike to counteract it. Insulin rises to bring the excess sugars into the cells in order to lower dangerously high glucose levels back down to safety.
Now, if we’re doing this consistently throughout the day – cereal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, pasta for dinner, maybe a muffin or granola bar as a snack – this sends our insulin levels into turmoil, when all our bodies are trying to do is bring us back into homeostasis! That’s right, in all this chaos, your body is really just working to bring you back into balance.
Dr. Fung’s Suitcase Analogy
Picture this: You’re packing for a trip and your friend (insulin) asks you to put 2 shirts (glucose) into your suitcase (cells). Then she asks you to put 2 more shirts into your suitcase, but you don’t this time. Either…
- You stop listening or your suitcase doesn’t open, such as in the case of insulin resistance. Your cells eventually become unresponsive to the climbing levels of glucose and excessive amounts of insulin the pancreas is being forced to produce.
- Or the cell is simply too full. There is too much sugar, in the form of glycogen, already stored in the cells that it can’t hold any more, so excess sugars are stuck circulating in the bloodstream, resulting in Hyperinsulinemia, aka insulin levels that are too high.
So is the answer to invite more friends (insulin) to help you shove more shirts (sugar) into the suitcase (cells)? NO! This is like putting a band-aid on an overflowing bathtub to try to stop water from spilling over the edge. It needs to be stopped at the source! The issue is the intake of excess sugars.
Make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter (you can sign up at the bottom of this page) to be notified when part 2 of this article is released! We’re going to be talking about how you can lower insulin levels naturally! (Read about 1 way here)
Registered Holistic Nutritionist™