The Obesity Made Simple Blog

Insulin resistance and how it affects weight gain and weight loss and strategies to fight it

Nov 04, 2022

When a person develops insulin resistance, their bodies stop responding normally to insulin. At the onset of insulin resistance, neither diabetes nor its symptoms manifest themselves, and blood sugar levels remain within normal ranges. Over time of constant high insulin levels, cells become "resistant" to insulin.


Insulin's role is to transport glucose into the cells, however with insulin resistance, cells don't respond correctly. Think of insulin knocking on a door and cells are not answering to allow glucose in. The liver, muscle, and fat cells seem to shut themselves off from insulin, as if it were a stranger knocking on their door.


Two Issues of Insulin Resistance


One cause of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes is high blood sugar that has nowhere to go.


  1. Your cells can't store energy if they don't have glucose, so you'll be tired and hungry if you don't eat enough of it (i.e. carbohydrates).


  1. Your pancreas tries to fix things by secreting more insulin to prop open the cell doors, but this only makes things worse.


The hormone insulin inhibits the body's fat-burning processes.


Fatty acids in the blood are pushed into fat cells when insulin levels are raised.


  • There will be so much glucose in your blood that it will flood into your fat cells by the time insulin comes crashing through the door.


  • As a result of this chain of events, it's not hard to see why insulin resistance is associated with weight gain.


Is obesity a cause of insulin resistance, or does insulin resistance lead to obesity?

  • Any way you slice it, insulin resistance and weight gain go hand in hand.
  • Insulin resistance, in its simplest form, refers to a condition in which your cells fail to respond normally to insulin.
  • Due to this "resistance," you'll feel tired, hungry, and gain weight quickly.
  • Hyperinsulinemia raises the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease while decreasing health span and life expectancy due to the mostly unconstrained insulin signaling. High-dose insulin therapy has been linked to an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease in epidemiological studies.

How to Reverse Insulin Resistance

  1. Stick to a low-carb diet.
  2. Consider using apple cider vinegar as a supplement.
  3. Keep an eye out for portion sizes.
  4. Reduce your sugar consumption in all forms.
  5. Make physical activity a priority.
  6. Try adding cinnamon to your favorite dishes and beverages.
  7. Choose complex carbs while consuming carbohydrates.
  8. Increase your general level of activity.
  9. Think about intermittent fasting.
  10. Increase your intake of soluble fiber.
  11. If indicated, concentrate on weight loss.
  12. Include green tea in your diet.
  13. Consume more fatty seafood.
  14. Obtain the proper amount and type of protein.


  • Insulin resistance, sometimes referred to as decreased insulin sensitivity, occurs when cells in your muscles, fat, and liver don't react to insulin as they should. Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas that is vital for life and controls blood glucose (sugar) levels. Insulin resistance can either be acute or chronic, and it occasionally can be treated.

The following stages describe how insulin works normally:

  • Your body converts the food you eat into glucose (sugar), which is used as the body's primary energy source.
  • Your blood is exposed to glucose, which instructs your pancreas to release insulin.
  • Your muscle, fat, and liver cells can use the glucose in your blood for energy or store it for later use with the help of insulin.
  • The levels rise as glucose reaches your cells.

In order to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, your body produces more insulin (hyperinsulinemia) as insulin resistance progresses. Increased insulin levels can cause weight gain, which exacerbates insulin resistance.



Obesity, and especially abdominal obesity, is a major contributor to insulin resistance.

Excess fatty acids in the blood, such as those released by abdominal fat, are a primary contributor to insulin resistance.

Not getting enough physical activity

To benefit from exercise, glucose must be delivered to the muscles. Low exercise levels lead to a rise in blood glucose levels.


Insulin resistance is caused by an increase in oxidative stress, which is caused by eating inflammatory foods.

The effects of not getting enough rest.

Lack of sleep reduces the body's ability to respond to insulin.

An unbalanced microbiome in the gut

Although researchers have only recently begun to piece together the role that gut bacteria play in health and disease, mounting evidence suggests that insufficient good bacteria contribute to inflammation, insulin resistance, obesity, and other indicators of ill health.

Substantial amounts of sugar and other easily digested carbohydrates.

Increased work for the pancreas is a direct result of a diet high in simple carbs.

Insulin resistance and fruit sugar

Fructose, a kind of sugar, is found in fruit. Your body treats fructose and glucose quite differently.

Your liver breaks down fructose. It is immediately converted into either glycogen (a form of stored glucose) or fat.

When you consume an excessive amount of fruit, your liver develops a resistance to insulin.

Reduce sugary fruit intake

Instead, reducing insulin resistance, reduce your fruit intake. Fruit is a great way to add taste, fiber, and minerals to your diet.

Many health experts recommend that healthy adults consume no more than 25 grams of fructose per day, while those with insulin resistance should consume no more than 15 grams.

In terms of fructose, a healthy diet would consist of one apple (9.5 grams), one cup of blueberries (7.4 grams), and one banana per day (7.1 grams of fructose).

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