Not Losing Weight? Insulin Resistance Could Be to Blame

By JoAnn Ridout, MPH, RD, LD
August 20, 2019

In this upcoming five-part blog seriesour nutritionists are explaining five causes of stalled weight loss and tips on how to combat these issues. For more in-depth information, and even more surprising culprits, join us in our next Nutrition 4 Weight Loss series, starting the week of January 13, 2020.

How-to-Control-Cravings.jpgChances are if weight loss is one of your health goals, you’re thinking food and exercise are your keys to success. And while those are important, actually let me correct that to say food in particular is crucial, there are a lot of other factors that may be stalling your weight loss. One of those culprits is insulin resistance. 

While many of my clients would raise their hand to say they have a slow metabolism, many are unaware that they may also have insulin resistance. Research indicates insulin resistance is a primary cause of a slow metabolism, which happens over time when you consume foods high in sugar and processed carbohydrates. The standard American diet is high in sugar and processed carbs, which causes the pancreas to produce excess insulin in an attempt to reduce blood sugar levels.  

I explain to clients that when you have excess sugar and excess insulin in your bloodstream, it can create a vicious cycle of high blood sugar and low blood sugar, essentially a blood sugar rollercoaster. When blood sugar is low, people usually feel tired, hungry, irritable, and crave sugar, which often leads to grabbing chips, donuts, muffins and mochas. Can you relate to that feeling?

How Insulin Resistance Slows Metabolism

Insulin resistance is the leading cause of a slow metabolism. Excess insulin builds up a coating on every cell in the body and brain so that sugar cannot get into the cell to be used for energy; instead the sugar gets stored as body fat.

Indicators of Insulin Resistance

  • Excess belly fat
  • Sugar cravings that cause you to want more and more
  • Metabolic Syndrome, which includes prediabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and possibly heart disease
  • Aches and pains throughout body, including joint pain
  • Bone thinning
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver
  • Always feeling hungry

If you think you may have insulin resistance, there is much we can do through nutrition to support and help heal your metabolism (along with those indicators above!). Here’s just a sampling of the ideas we share in Nutrition 4 Weight Loss along with other bonuses to expect from the class: 

  • The only solution to insulin resistance is to dramatically reduce or eliminate the amount of sugar and processed carbs you eat. Nutrition 4 Weight Loss helps make this overwhelming goal a doable reality with a delicious, real-food eating plan that keeps you satisfied and energized.
  • Two appointments (by phone or in-person) with a licensed nutritionist to customize an eating plan for your needs.
  • Cooking tips and recipes that boost your metabolism.
  • Creative and passionate teachers who encourage you every step of the way along with the Nutrition 4 Weight Loss Community to support you in person and online.

Join us for the next round of Nutrition 4 Weight Loss starting the week of January 13, 2020 all over the Twin Cities. Our online Nutrition 4 Weight Loss series is always a convenient option, too.

Here’s to health goals achieved. We hope to see you soon!


About the author

JoAnn has always appreciated the value of good nutrition because diabetes and cancer run in her family. Not only does JoAnn understand chronic diseases, but also she has taken on challenging and complex health conditions when she worked as a registered dietitian at Courage Center for 25 years. JoAnn brings extensive experience, along with compassion and understanding to your health concerns. JoAnn graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor of science in nutrition and dietetics and a master of science in public health. As a registered dietitian and nutrition educator, she has experience in therapeutic nutrition counseling, weight management, and nutrition education.

View all posts by JoAnn Ridout, MPH, RD, LD


Agnes Bischofberger
Fruit also has sugar in it too! Is there a difference between fruit sugar and the one in donuts, cakes or ice-cream? how about the sugar you find in some cold cuts?
thank you for your help. I love reading your articles or listening to them too!
greetings from Switzerland
August 22, 2019 at 9:16 am


Yes, there are some naturally-occurring sugars in fruit. However, we also get other healthy nutrients from fruit, like fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and polyphenols. In processed carbohydrates, like donuts and cakes and ice cream, we get a lot of sugar, minimal fiber, and very minimal amounts of other nutrients.  As far as deli meat goes, to minimize the sugar intake from cold cuts, aim for varieties without extra flavorings (ex. honey-roasted or maple glazed). Thanks for listening all the way from Switzerland- we love to hear how far our message extends!

Rayette Peltier
Is this the start of the five-part blog?
August 27, 2019 at 5:31 pm


Yes, this is the first of the series. If you arent already signed up for our newsletter you could do so now to be alerted of each of the rest of the blog posts in this series and always be the first to know about our specials and sales too. 

pat mcgrath
I would like more information on statins
August 29, 2019 at 11:06 am


For the best and most individualized information I would suggest setting up a one-on-one Nutritionist appointment in person if you live in the twin cities, by phone, or skype. 

Great article! Where did you get the statistics that 75% of the population has insulin resistance?
September 19, 2019 at 10:20 am


Good question. We have spent hours researching the source of the 75% number and could not find the scientific citation. What we found, going back to Gerald Reaven’s research, is a high correlation between insulin resistance and multiple health conditions such as cardiovascular health, inflammation, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and weight. Dr. Reaven, who was an endocrinologist and professor emeritus at Stanford School of Medicine, is known for his research on insulin resistance and health problems. Although we know that many adults have insulin resistance, especially those who are overweight or obese, there does not seem to be agreement on how many or research to quantify that. Thank you for calling that to our attention. We will not use that percentage going forward. The takeaway we want to emphasize is the link between insulin resistance and other health conditions.

Judy muellner
Very interested in insulin resistance. I’m sure I have it. Need help.Need to learn how to eat and enjoy veggies.
September 21, 2019 at 8:11 am


If you are interested in learning more about insulin resistance our Nutrition 4 Weight Loss can be taken in-person if you are in the twin-cities or online. If you are looking for more one-on-one guidance you could set up an initial appointment with one of our nutritionists in-person, via skype or phone. 

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