Some people simply fail to lose weight, no matter how rigorously they work out, or how little they eat. These people often have to cope with obesity and related problems. Although there are a myriad other factors which prevent you from losing weight, insulin resistance is considered as one of the most common causes. However, some people have many misconceptions regarding it. To understand how it affects weight loss, we need a thorough understanding of the function of insulin.
Function of Insulin
Insulin is a hormone which is primarily responsible for maintaining the glucose levels in the body. Every cell in the body needs a continuous supply of glucose to fulfill its energy demands. Cells cannot absorb glucose directly from the food. Whenever you ingest refined carbohydrates, your body breaks them down to glucose. This glucose is carried to the cells through the bloodstream.
However, glucose molecules cannot penetrate the cell wall on their own. This is where insulin comes into picture. It acts as a gatekeeper for the cells by opening and closing the entry to the cells. It helps glucose molecules to gain access to the cells, and then seals the entrance so that glucose is not released back. Inside the cell, glucose gets converted into fats, and is stored in the form of fat cells.
What is Insulin Resistance?
As mentioned above, insulin is directly linked with the absorption of glucose in the cells. Thus, whenever you eat processed food which is rich in carbohydrates, your insulin levels are bound to surge. If this happens too often, these levels may remain chronically elevated. As a result, the responsiveness of the cells to the hormone also begins to diminish.
The body takes this as a signal to produce even more insulin, in order to invoke the cell response. This worsens the situation, as the cells do not get their usual supply of glucose, thereby depriving them of energy. This is the reason why many people with this condition experience fatigue, low energy levels, and muscle weakness.
Insulin Resistance and Weight Loss
High levels of insulin in the body are an indication that glucose is not being utilized by the body properly. As a result, more amount of glucose is converted to fat, and stored in fat cells. Further, it also prevents the release of fat from the fat cells. The blockage of fat release results in weight gain. Since, the fat remains trapped inside the fat cells, people with this condition often have trouble losing their weight.
If left untreated, it may lead to an array of metabolic disorders. The most serious of these, is metabolic syndrome, which is a precursor to type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, you can effectively control this disorder by following a proper diet, and exercising regularly.
How to Control It?
Diet is the first thing you should consider while controlling insulin resistance. Steer clear of high-carb, processed foods. Also avoid sweet, sugary foods which can elevate the insulin levels. A low-carb diet rich in natural foods is best for this condition. Exercising also helps to control this disorder as it increases the insulin response of the cells.
As a result, the body can continue its normal functioning, even with little amount of the hormone. Weight training exercises are especially known to be of great help. Make it a point to exercise for at least 30 minutes everyday, to significantly drop your insulin levels.
Thus, insulin resistance can be controlled with a healthy diet, and a good exercise regime. However, make sure you have consulted your physician before making any changes to your diet, or performing new exercises.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.