2023 is here, and like thousands of other Americans, you may have weight loss on your list of resolutions for the new year. You may have tried for months -- or even years -- to make a lifestyle change, adjust your diet, and exercise more to hit your goal weight, but maybe you’re not seeing the results you want, and may even feel like something is standing in your way of achieving your goals.
Insulin resistance, or metabolic syndrome, is one factor that could be holding you back from losing weight. If your cells are insulin resistant, it can lead to high levels of glucose and fat circulating in your bloodstream, causing inflammation throughout your body and often leading to weight gain.
is here to help. Our customized, evidence-based can help you take control of your health. Our team of medical professionals specializes in identifying and diagnosing underlying conditions such as insulin resistance that may be preventing you from achieving your weight loss goals. We will work with you to create an individualized nutrition plan and lifestyle modifications to help you reduce insulin resistance and achieve long-term success.
Here's what you need to know about how you develop insulin resistance, how it hinders your health, and how HealthspanMD™ can help you improve.
Understanding Insulin Resistance
The hormone insulin is responsible for regulating your blood glucose levels, or blood sugar levels. When you eat, insulin helps to move glucose from the food you’ve eaten into your cells for energy through the bloodstream. If your body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin, it can no longer transfer glucose effectively and so your blood sugar level and blood insulin level becomes too high.
When there are high levels of insulin in the blood, it acts as a fat-storage hormone. When your cells don’t use insulin to remove the glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream, they can’t use it for energy. And so, to remove the glucose from the bloodstream, insulin ends up storing it as fat instead. This can lead to an increase in visceral fat and inflammation throughout your body, and can ultimately cause you to gain weight -- and have difficulty losing it.
Simply put, if there’s too much insulin in the bloodstream, it's nearly impossible to lose fat. I help my patients understand this principle by saying: We can make the healthiest, most fit person gain body fat if we inject them with insulin regularly.
Developing Insulin Resistance
So, how does one end up developing insulin resistance in the first place? Insulin resistance develops over time and is caused by a variety of lifestyle factors. Eating a diet that’s high in processed foods, not getting enough physical activity, smoking, or having excess body fat all contribute to impaired insulin sensitivity.
Insulin resistance is also seen more often in those with certain medical conditions that affect blood sugar levels, like diabetes, hypertension, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and fatty liver disease.
What Are the Symptoms of Insulin Resistance?
While insulin resistance leads to weight gain, there are a number of other signs that you may be insulin resistant. Other symptoms of insulin resistance include:
- Hunger even after eating full meals
- High blood pressure
- Dark patches on the neck or armpits
- Unusual cravings for sweets and high-carbohydrate foods
At HealthspanMD™, we can help you determine if insulin resistance is preventing you from reaching your weight loss goals. Our team of medical professionals specializes in diagnosing and treating a variety of underlying conditions that could be standing in the way of your health goals. We’ll work with you to create a customized plan designed to reduce insulin resistance, improve overall health, and help you reach your goals.
Risk Factors for Insulin Resistance
Although anyone can develop insulin resistance, there are factors that can put you at an increased risk for developing the condition, including:
- Excess Weight: Those whose body weight is higher than what’s considered healthy are at an increased risk of developing insulin resistance.
- Family History: If you have a family history of diabetes, hypertension or other metabolic conditions that can lead to insulin resistance, your risk is increased.
- Unhealthy Eating Habits: Eating a diet high in processed foods and/or refined carbohydrates can contribute to insulin resistance.
- Age: As you age, your risk of developing insulin resistance increases.
- Lifestyle Risk Factors: Those who live a sedentary lifestyle are at a higher risk for developing insulin resistance than those who prioritize physical activity.
Insulin Resistance and Diabetes
For those with diabetes or who are at risk for developing diabetes, insulin resistance can be particularly problematic. Because it affects blood glucose, insulin resistance increases one's risk of type 2 diabetes and can make it difficult for those who are already living with the condition to regulate their blood sugar levels.
How is Insulin Resistance Diagnosed?
If you’re concerned that insulin resistance or another medical condition is preventing you from reaching your health and fitness goals, the first step should be to visit an experienced healthcare provider. The team at HealthspanMD™ uses advanced metabolic testing to diagnose insulin resistance and other conditions that could be contributing to weight gain.
How We Treat Insulin Resistance
The goal of HealthspanMD™'s treatment plans is, ultimately, to reverse insulin resistance and restore your body's sensitivity to the hormone, in other words: help you become “insulin sensitive.” Our approach hinges on seven primary tools:
- Healthy nutrition: Eating a diet that's rich in whole foods, low in processed ingredients and free from added sugars can have a positive effect on insulin levels.
- Regular physical activity: Regular exercise has been shown to help reduce insulin resistance and improve overall health.
- Avoid toxins such as tobacco and excess alcohol: These substances are known to have a negative effect on insulin sensitivity
- Restorative sleep: Research has shown that getting enough sleep can help reduce insulin resistance.
- Manage stress: Stress can lead to many different health issues, including hormonal imbalances that can affect your body's ability to process glucose.
- Stay connected: Connecting socially and to your purpose can help reduce stress and improve your overall wellbeing.
- Medications when needed: Your healthcare provider may recommend certain medications to reduce insulin resistance when necessary.
Instead of relying on fad diets and unnecessary medications, HealthspanMD™ uses an evidence-based, integrative approach to address the underlying cause of insulin resistance and help you reach your health goals.
Get Started With Our Weight Loss Clinic | Phoenix
Insulin resistance can be a major obstacle to weight loss, but with the right treatment plan, you can reverse insulin resistance and begin to see results.
At HealthspanMD™, our team of medical professionals is committed to helping you determine the underlying cause of your health issues and develop an individualized plan designed to get you back on track toward a healthier, happier life.