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What’s the Link Between Obesity and Insulin Resistance

There’s a character named Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter books who says, “A circle has no beginning.” That means it’s hard to say where things start.

Similarly, in the cycle between obesity and insulin resistance, there’s confusion – what happens first? Obesity or insulin resistance.

Let’s talk about insulin resistance. 

An impaired body response to insulin causes an increased blood glucose level. Unfortunately, this definition of insulin resistance is insufficient to know the root cause behind the issue and how to reverse it.

Let’s investigate obesity and insulin resistance and find ways to manage them.

What is Insulin Resistance?

When you have a meal, insulin acts like a key to unlock the cells in your body. This allows glucose or sugar to enter the cells and be utilized as energy.

Obese people, on the other hand, could develop cell resistance to insulin and have a harder time allowing glucose into their bodies. This is comparable to how a rusty lock won’t turn as smoothly when a key is inserted. Insulin resistance is referred to as this.

Consequently, the body must produce more insulin in an effort to cause the cells to unlock. Increased blood glucose levels and other health problems are caused by the cells’ increasing reluctance to respond to insulin’s actions over time.

Does Insulin Resistance Lead to Obesity or Vice Versa?

Here’s the connection between the two:

  • Insulin resistance can contribute to weight gain
  • Obesity can lead to insulin resistance.
  • When our cell resists insulin, glucose doesn’t enter them efficiently. Hence, our body thinks it needs more energy and signals for more food intake.
  • Excess weight, especially around the abdomen, can increase the risk of developing insulin resistance.
  • This can increase hunger and cravings, causing us to eat more and potentially gain weight.
  • Fat cells, particularly visceral fat, release substances that can interfere with insulin’s actions, making our cells less responsive.

 

Thus, weight gain and insulin resistance are tightly related. You may find it simpler to acquire weight if you have insulin resistance. Conversely, gaining weight or being fat can raise your risk of developing insulin resistance. Utilizing a well-structured, science-based Weight Loss Program can be immensely beneficial at this stage. 

It becomes more difficult to escape the symptoms of both conditions as a result, creating a vicious cycle where one disease might exacerbate the other.

Breaking this cycle involves:

  • Making positive changes to our diet.
  • Engaging in regular physical activity.
  • Keeping your weight controlled.

This is where a scientifically proven Diabetes Management Program can be immensely beneficial at this stage. 

Let’s dig deeper into how obesity leads to insulin resistance.

Did you ever think about why people with diabetes are likely to be obese or overweight?

If you have extra pounds around your tummy, you are susceptible to insulin resistance, the precursor for diabetes.

Now, do all people with obesity have insulin resistance? 

The answer is no. However, being obese or overweight increases the chances of developing insulin resistance compared to others because of the following:

1) Inflammatory Response – 

Insulin resistance happens because of genetics and lifestyle factors, resulting in an inflammatory response in your body. The pancreas will secure more insulin when the body struggles to maintain the ideal blood sugar level. Attempting to remove or store sugar will make it less sensitive to insulin.

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2) Disruption in Fat Metabolism – 

Obesity can also trigger specific metabolic changes in our bodies. It will push the fat tissue to release the fat molecules in the bloodstream, affecting the ability of cells to respond to insulin. This is how insulin resistance possibly results in prediabetes or type-2 diabetes.

3) Insulin Resistance, Obesity and its link to PCOS – 

Possibly, obesity and insulin resistance can cause several other chronic diseases; it can also increase the chances of the onset of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).

Insulin resistance plays a role in both obese and lean females with PCOS. High amounts of insulin secretion impact ovulation and make the ovaries produce excess testosterone male hormone.

Symptoms of PCOS can vary. PCOS can increase weight and cause other issues due to hormonal imbalances. This is why paying attention to your diet is essential. 

What symptoms indicate insulin resistance? 

People with diabetes can have insulin resistance as both a cause and a symptom, which can cause other metabolic disorders, including high blood pressure. Fortunately, your body offers you certain warning signs to look out for. Let’s look at them now:

  1. Weight Gain: It can be worthwhile to evaluate your insulin levels if you observe an increase in belly fat. Insulin resistance may manifest as abdominal weight gain.
  2. Dark Skin Patches: Insulin resistance can cause the pancreas to secrete more insulin, leaving the skin with dark patches. Frequently, these patches develop on the neck, underarms, and groin.
  3. PCOS: Women with PCOS are more likely to develop the condition. They also may experience a few other specific symptoms, such as hairs on the belly and face, irregular menstrual cycles, heart diseases, and the development of cysts.

How to Manage Insulin Resistance in Obese People?

Making healthy lifestyle changes can assist your body in responding better to insulin and aid in better insulin resistance management. Here are some practical changes that would improve the condition.

1) Dietary ChangesThe macronutrients you eat, like carbs, fats, and proteins, directly correlate with insulin resistance. Moreover, following a healthy diet (after consulting a qualified nutritionist) helps you lose weight. 

Therefore, it’s better to ensure to

  • Consume plenty of fiber-rich foods like lentils, whole grains, and beans
  • Relish high-protein foods like seeds, nuts, fish, and legumes
  • Avoid specific food sources like processed foods or refined grains
  • Include low-glycemic foods (Note – glycemic index refers to the value of the capacity of a particular food to raise your blood sugar level).

2) Indulge in an Active Exercise RegimeLack of physical activity is the primary cause of insulin resistance. Therefore, regular exercise will lower your blood sugar level and aid in insulin resistance management by indicating the cells to take the sugar from the bloodstream.

For instance, you can follow aerobic exercises like brisk walking, climbing stairs, or strength training by lifting weights or doing push-ups at your convenience. 

3) Get Adequate Sleep – The average sleep duration for a healthy adult is 7 – 8 hours. When you sleep for only five hours or less, it will be challenging to address insulin resistance.

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Experts have found that the amount of time, stages of sleep, and the time when the person sleeps affect the blood sugar level. Therefore, no matter what, ensure to get restorative sleep every night.

4) Get Rid of StressWhen we experience stress, our bodies release stress hormones like cortisol, which can interfere with insulin’s actions and contribute to insulin resistance.

By implementing effective stress management techniques, such as practicing relaxation exercises and adopting stress-reducing activities like meditation or hobbies, we can help lower our stress levels.

This, in turn, can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of elevated blood sugar levels. Stress management techniques can also support overall well-being, promoting healthier lifestyle choices and better management of insulin resistance.

Taking care of your mental and emotional health through stress management is essential to managing insulin resistance and enhancing your overall health.

Conclusion

Insulin resistance and obesity have a close relationship and may have a role in developing chronic diseases. The wonderful thing about insulin resistance and obesity is that they are preventable and, in some situations, even reversible with the right lifestyle choices. Sustainability and consistency in adhering to a strategy are crucial for weight loss. 

Thus, weight gain and insulin resistance are tightly related. You may start gaining weight if you have insulin resistance. Conversely, gaining weight or being fat can raise your risk of developing insulin resistance. Utilizing a well-structured, science-based Weight Loss Program can be immensely beneficial at this stage. 

It becomes more difficult to escape the symptoms of both conditions as a result, creating a vicious cycle where one disease might exacerbate the other.

Breaking this cycle involves:

  • Making positive changes to our diet.
  • Engaging in regular physical activity.
  • Keeping your weight controlled.

This is where a scientifically proven Diabetes Management Program can be immensely beneficial at this stage. 

Let’s dig deeper into how obesity leads to insulin resistance.

Ever wondered why most people with diabetes tend to be obese or overweight?

If you have extra pounds around your tummy, you are susceptible to insulin resistance, the precursor for diabetes.

Now, do all people with obesity have insulin resistance? 

The answer is no. However, being obese or overweight increases the chances of developing insulin resistance compared to others because of the following:

1) Inflammatory Response – 

Insulin resistance happens because of genetics and lifestyle factors, resulting in an inflammatory response in your body. The pancreas will secure more insulin when the body struggles to maintain the ideal blood sugar level. Attempting to remove or store sugar will make it less sensitive to insulin.

2) Disruption in Fat Metabolism – 

Obesity can also trigger specific metabolic changes in our bodies. It will push the fat tissue to release the fat molecules in the bloodstream, affecting the ability of cells to respond to insulin. This is how insulin resistance possibly results in prediabetes or type-2 diabetes.

3) Insulin Resistance, Obesity and its link to PCOS – 

Possibly, obesity and insulin resistance can cause several other chronic diseases; it can also increase the chances of the onset of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).

Insulin resistance plays a role in both obese and lean females with PCOS. High amounts of insulin secretion impact ovulation and make the ovaries produce excess testosterone male hormone.

Symptoms of PCOS can vary. PCOS can increase weight and cause other issues due to hormonal imbalances. This is why paying attention to your diet is essential. 

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What symptoms indicate insulin resistance? 

Diabetes can lead to insulin resistance – this can potentially be both a cause and symptom. This can result in other metabolic issues, like high blood pressure. And our body is so magical that it gives us some signs of it too. Let’s look at them now:

  • Weight Gain: It can be worthwhile to evaluate your insulin levels if you observe an increase in belly fat. Insulin resistance may manifest as abdominal weight gain.
  • Dark Skin Patches: Insulin resistance can cause the pancreas to secrete more insulin, leaving the skin with dark patches. Frequently, these patches develop on the neck, underarms, and groin.
  • PCOS: Women with PCOS are more likely to develop the condition. They also may experience a few other specific symptoms, such as hairs on the belly and face, irregular menstrual cycles, heart diseases, and the development of cysts.

How to Manage Insulin Resistance in Obese People?

Making healthy lifestyle changes can assist your body in responding better to insulin and aid in better insulin resistance management. Here are some practical changes that would improve the condition.

1) Dietary Changes – The macronutrients you eat, like carbs, fats, and proteins, directly correlate with insulin resistance. Moreover, following a healthy diet (after consulting a qualified nutritionist) helps you lose weight. 

Therefore, it’s better to ensure to

  • Consume plenty of fiber-rich foods like lentils, whole grains, and beans
  • Relish high-protein foods like seeds, nuts, fish, and legumes
  • Avoid specific food sources like processed foods or refined grains
  • Include low-glycemic foods (Note – glycemic index refers to the value of the capacity of a particular food to raise your blood sugar level).

2) Indulge in an Active Exercise Regime – Lack of physical activity is the primary cause of insulin resistance. Therefore, regular exercise will lower your blood sugar level and aid in insulin resistance management by indicating the cells to take the sugar from the bloodstream.

For instance, you can follow aerobic exercises like brisk walking, climbing stairs, or strength training by lifting weights or doing push-ups at your convenience. 

3) Get Adequate Sleep – The average sleep duration for a healthy adult is 7 – 8 hours. When you sleep for only five hours or less, it will be challenging to address insulin resistance.

Experts have found that the amount of time, stages of sleep, and the time when the person sleeps affect the blood sugar level. Therefore, no matter what, ensure to get restorative sleep every night.

4) Get Rid of Stress – When we experience stress, our bodies release stress hormones like cortisol, which can interfere with insulin’s actions and contribute to insulin resistance.

By implementing effective stress management techniques, such as practicing relaxation exercises and adopting stress-reducing activities like meditation or hobbies, we can help lower our stress levels.

This, in turn, can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of elevated blood sugar levels. Stress management techniques can also support overall well-being, promoting healthier lifestyle choices and better management of insulin resistance.

Taking care of your mental and emotional health through stress management is essential to managing insulin resistance and enhancing your overall health.

Conclusion:

Insulin resistance and obesity have a close relationship and may have a role in developing chronic diseases. The wonderful thing about insulin resistance and obesity is that they are preventable and, in some situations, even reversible with the right lifestyle choices. Sustainability and consistency in adhering to a strategy are crucial for weight loss. 

 

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