Insulin Resistance Weight Loss
Does insulin resistance weight loss happen for everyone on a low carb diet? Whereas it’s hard to say with 100% certainty, the results are more likely with a low carb diet than any other way. By getting rid of the refined starches in our diets, we not only regain control of our appetites, we also start to increase insulin sensitivity, so that our bodies respond more normally to our food intake.
Our diet dilemmas are different from other dieters’ – people with insulin resistance are not just looking for quick weight loss, we need something that will sustain us and which will help to restore us to good health.
But what if I’m not losing?
Insulin resistance weight loss is usually quite fast when you begin your new regime, but for those of you who have hit a plateau or are just not seeing the results you’d like, this post is for you!
There are a number of reasons why you may not lose weight on a low carb diet as quickly as others may seem to. Even if you strictly adhere to the diet as prescribed by your doctor, there are a few insulin resistant people whose weight loss will be slow or sometimes even non-existent. This can be extremely frustrating, especially when you are disciplined and have “done everything right”.
As an answer to this I defer to the medical profession. I recently read an article by Dr Michael Eades, author of Protein Power, and he noted that he had encountered some rare cases where his patients had (to the best of his knowledge) complied with his dietary guidelines but had not lost weight.
Dr Eades published this as an explanation (the bolding is mine):
“A low-carb diet quickly increases insulin sensitivity and decreases circulating insulin levels putting the patient into the proper metabolic hormonal milieu to allow fat to easily leave the fat cells. Problem is that fat doesn’t need to leave the fat cells if enough calories are coming in via the diet to meet all the patient’s energy needs.Usually this isn’t a problem because in most people a low-carbohydrate diet brings about a spontaneous reduction of energy intake as a consequence of its satiating effect. But a handful of patients can eat enough kcal on a low-carb diet to meet their energy needs without their having to resort to stored fat.
In my experience the three foods most commonly overeaten are cheese, nuts and nut butters. Patients can consume huge numbers of kcal from these foods while still remaining within their carb restriction levels.”
The key to insulin resistance weight loss
This was a “light bulb” moment for me: my weight loss stalled after a while and when I consider that I was eating a LOT of cheese, nuts (particularly brazil nuts) and peanut butter, therein lies my answer. In my case, avocado was high on that list too. Whether it’s a “good” type of mono-unsaturated fat or not, an avocado has a lot of calories in it. The key is portion control.
Each of these foods is high in fat and in calories. I was eating them without any regard to this, only concentrating on their very low carbohydrate content. After I cut back on these 4 things, my weight loss resumed. I did not give them up, nor did I replace the cheese with a lower fat variety, I just ate less. It worked! Dr Eades also recommended having more than one protein shake per day as a meal replacement. So sometimes I have one of my protein shakes for dinner as well as breakfast and it really has made a difference.
Why insulin resistance weight loss may be slow
In the case of women, there are a few other reasons why you might not respond to the low carb diet as well or as quickly as others :
- Menopausal women have a harder time getting rid of accumulated abdominal fat and some hormone replacement therapies may hinder your progress.
- Many overweight women are iodine deficient, which impairs their ability to lose weight.
- As mentioned previously, thyroid function is also a factor – you should get it checked out with a simple blood test.
If none of these applies to you, you may consider the following:
- Are you drinking enough water? This is the easiest one to fix and one of the most common reasons why your weight loss may slow down
- Have you been exercising regularly? If you have, have you considered trying burst training? It really revs up your metabolism , as does resistance training. See my post on exercise to get you started.
- Check food labels assiduously – sometimes we think we know what we’re eating but you have to constantly check for those hidden carbs.
- Depending on which low carb diet plan you’re following, keep your snacks in check (some diets advocate eating snacks more frequently).
A final thought to keep you motivated
If you are feeling a little stuck, or if you wish your weight loss to be faster, try not to be disheartened and remember the benefits low-carbing brings.
To quote Dr Eades again:
“The amazing thing about this situation is that these patients consuming pretty enormous amounts of calories don’t gain weight as long as they keep their carbs restricted. Try that with a high-calorie, high-carb diet and you won’t see the same results.”
Insulin resistance weight loss is often just a tweak away… it may be a reminder to drink more water, or it might just be that you need to pay attention to how much cheese you eat. I hope this information has helped you.