Not Losing Weight? Insulin Resistance Could Be to Blame
By JoAnn Ridout, MPH, RD, LD
August 20, 2019
In this upcoming five-part blog series, our 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.
Chances 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.
Here’s to health goals achieved. We hope to see you soon!