More and more people are gaining weight, and battling to get rid of it. Insulin resistance is (increasingly) the culprit. But how and why does it cause weight gain?
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. It plays a major role in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats so that these can be converted into glucose. Insulin actually helps to deliver the glucose transported in the blood to cells throughout the body.
In normal circumstances, your blood glucose levels will rise after a meal. This prompts your pancreas to release insulin so that food can be broken down and the glucose transported throughout your body can be absorbed by cells.
When you’re insulin resistant, your cells – having been bombarded with excess sugars for so long – stop responding to the normal actions of insulin. In an attempt to try and rectify this, the pancreas produces more and more insulin, until it can no longer produce enough insulin to meet the body’s perceived demands. This is when blood sugar levels rise, and the unused sugar is ultimately converted into fat and is then stored.
This is why weight gain is very common for sufferers of insulin resistance. Over time, this condition can also develop into type-2 diabetes.
The good news is that insulin resistance doesn’t have to be a chronic condition. Quite often, it can be managed or cured through diet and exercise. In fact, you can increase your cells’ sensitivity to insulin with exercise, particularly weight training.