I’ve had my own issues with hormones. I was eating right, exercising regularly, but no matter what, I couldn’t lose weight. I was even gaining weight and looking puffier.
I was doing everything right, but something just wasn’t clicking with my body. The weight just stayed put.
So, I started doing research on my own. A lot of it.
I focused on learning more about leptin (the “starvation hormone”) and insulin and what happens when your body becomes resistant to them.
I needed to discover what could cause my body to stop losing weight when I was working my butt off to lose it. What I discovered completely changed my approach to weight loss. And I now realize just how important hormones are in maintaining and healthy body and a healthy weight.
Here’s what I learned about insulin resistance and weight gain, how it can affect your body, and what you can do to reverse it.
WHAT IS INSULIN RESISTANCE, ANYWAY?
Before we dive into what insulin resistance is, you first need to understand what insulin does.
Insulin is a hormone responsible for regulating your body’s blood sugar levels. Insulin moves sugar into your fat cells to protect your body from high blood sugar levels.
Insulin is a hormone that is produced in your pancreas. The pancreas releases insulin every time you eat. But, insulin secretion is the highest when you eat food that is full of sugar.
If you’re constantly eating a high amount of sugar, insulin levels will remain high, and your body will eventually become resistant to insulin.
Your body stops responding to insulin and your body cannot burn fat for fuel. Instead, it causes you to store more and more fat, causing you to gain weight.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF INSULIN RESISTANCE
Everyone’s body is different and the way excess insulin impacts you may be different to how it affects your friends.
However, there are some common signs and symptoms that suggest you might have an insulin resistance problem.
YOU CAN’T LOSE WEIGHT NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU TRY
The most obvious and common sign that you have insulin resistance is the inability to lose weight. No matter what you try, you can’t seem to shake those extra pounds. And the weight will mostly be concentrated around your belly.
If a healthy diet and regular exercise routine is not doing the trick, it’s best to see your doctor or naturopath. They’ll be able to test your insulin levels to see if this is the problem. They’ll also be able to see if you’re leptin resistance – the two often go hand in hand.
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
When you’re healthy and everything is working right, your blood pressure should be around 120/80. This means your heart is delivering the right amount of pressure to your blood vessels.
If your blood pressure is higher than 120, it means those blood vessels are under a lot of pressure. They’re not built for this and high blood pressure can lead to an increased risk of heart attacks and even stroke.
Insulin resistance creates a sodium imbalance in your bloodstream. This leads to an increase in the volume of blood rushing through your veins. The larger the blood volume is, the more pressure gets put on your blood vessels.
Have your blood pressure checked and if it’s higher than normal, ask your doctor to check your insulin levels.
Other symptoms to watch out for include:
- Sugar cravings
- Feeling sluggish
- Dizziness when fasting or when you go too long without food
- Feeling irritable when you are hungry
HIGH TRIGLYCERIDES AND CHOLESTEROL
Triglycerides are the fats that get stored in your body, to use for energy—eventually. When they’re high, it means that your bloodstream is storing too much fat instead of burning it for fuel.
In most people, this results in both weight gain and higher cholesterol. When your insulin levels aren’t breaking down blood sugar and fats in the bloodstream, they start to build up.
This results in high cholesterol levels and needs to be taken care of as soon as possible. Why? Because high cholesterol and high triglycerides increase your risk of heart disease and heart attacks.
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN INSULIN RESISTANCE AND WEIGHT
Which comes first, weight gain or insulin resistance?
If you lead an unhealthy lifestyle (eat too much sugary food, don’t exercise, don’t manage your stress properly), your fat levels will increase. Then the fat that your body stores, especially around your abdomen, can trigger insulin resistance.
How so? Well, abdominal fat releases a considerable amount of chemicals called adipokines. And, apparently, those chemicals counter the effect that insulin is supposed to have on your body.
So, your weight gain can cause insulin resistance which then results in insulin resistance causing more weight gain. One of the best programs I found has been our Ultimate Portion Fix. This program works to regulate portion sizes, keep blood sugar steady throughout the day and boost your metabolism. If you are tired of fighting an uphill battle alone, reach out. I would love to help you!