Why am I gaining weight? Why am I not able to lose this weight? Those are 2 questions a lot of people ask themselves on a regular basis. The easy and obvious answer is to advise people to reduce their calorie consumption, but if you read my last blog you will know and understand that’s only a short-term solution.
In order to answer those questions truthfully we’ll have to dive into what seems to be the main cause of most weight gain.
Insulin, the main problem?
Some people may know that insulin is the key component in the process of regulating blood sugar levels and transforming carbohydrates/sugars into energy. Not a lot of people realize the crucial part insulin plays in gaining weight.
There have been many experiments that show a direct correlation between insulin and weight gain. Out of all the studies that have been done, a 2007 study shows us the direct consequences of insulin. During this experiment the researchers divided their subjects up into 3 different groups: the basal insulin group (they received the least amount of insulin), the intermediate group (the group in the middle) and the prandial insulin group (they received the most amount of insulin). All of the groups gained a significant amount of weight, the first group gained 1,9 kilograms (4.2 lbs) on average, the second group gained 4,7 (10.3 lbs) kilograms on average and the last group gained 5,7 kilograms (12.5 lbs) on average. This experiment clearly shows that more insulin equals more weight gain. This experiment was done by injecting insulin into the body, unless you have diabetes the chances are that you will never have to inject insulin to your body because your body is capable of producing it.
This makes you understand why a lot people with diabetes type 1 have a problem with being overweight/obese. The next part of this blog will show you how diabetes type 2 is developed and why it’s so important to stay clear from it.
So then what is the cause of insulin spikes? Like many of you will know, sugar has a huge impact on the blood sugar levels. Those blood sugar level spikes mean the body has to produce more insulin in order to bring our sugar levels back down. As those experiments have proved to you, more insulin equals more weight gain. This is the reason why more and more people tell you to stay away from processed foods full of added and unnatural sugars that raise our blood sugar levels tremendously. Processed foods equal – sugar equals – raised blood sugar levels equals – more insulin equals – weight gain/obesity. It’s a vicious cycle. Continuously raised insulin levels are dangerous because it will lead to insulin resistance and that will eventually turn into diabetes type 2.
What is Insulin resistance and why is it important?
Think about it in terms of muscle soreness. When you workout for the first time in a while you will be sore for days, but once you get back into the swing of things the muscle soreness starts to become less prominent each time you get done working out. It’s because of our body’ ability to adjust. As another example, when we are cold our body works harder and harder to keep us warm, if we get warm our body does its best to sweat more so we can cool down. Insulin resistance is created the same way. Very simply put, the more our body gets accustomed to insulin production the more it needs to get the same amount of work done.
Imagine a long corridor with a certain number of doors on each side, each door leads to a room (the room represents the cells in our body). Each door can be opened by the use of a key (the key represents insulin) and every time a door opens up 2 glucose molecules can go through. Because we use these doors so much a resistance starts to form, that resistance doesn’t allow us to open the door with just one key, we need two. Because our body is able to adapt to the situation it produces another set of keys (insulin) to let the other insulin molecules through. So now all doors have all of the molecules go through but only because there were more keys (more insulin). Why is this important? Because as we have seen before, more insulin means more weight gain.
Diabetes type 2 isn’t formed in a single day, it takes time to develop insulin resistance and even more so for diabetes type 2. As you can see Insulin resistance/diabetes is a terribly dangerous situation to be in because it’s a downwards spiral that keeps on going unless you change your behaviours. Insulin resistance requires the body to produce more insulin, more insulin is a direct cause of weight gain, insulin resistance causes diabetes type 2, type 2 diabetics need to inject more insulin because the body isn’t able to produce enough and that added insulin causes even more weight gain (you see and understand where that leads to).
In next weeks blog I will explain and show you how to turn that downwards facing spiral around. It’s not going to be easy, things need to be changed.
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