There can be more to weight gain than the cheat days!
Rule out ‘Insulin Resistance’ from your weight gain factors.
Weight gain can occur for many reasons. Sometimes, natural factors, unhealthy eating habits, or lifestyle factors are the cause. But other times, weight gain may signal the existence of a deeper health condition which must be ruled out before you choose to start a weight loss plan.
Insulin resistance is a common cause of weight gain that most of us are unaware of. And it can lead to diabetes and other health and metabolism problems.
Different signs will indicate the presence of insulin resistance in our body. One of the most noticeable factors is additional fat around the waist. An obesity medicine physician that specializes in the medical management of obesity and insulin resistance and other specialists might help determine and support the cause.
Understanding Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance is “a condition wherein cellular receptors become less sensitive to insulin, causing an inability for glucose to enter the cell and glucose buildup in the bloodstream.” 
How Does Insulin Cause Trouble?
Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas. Its primary function is to control blood sugars and fat cell metabolism.
It can lead to a pre-diabetic elevation of glucose in the blood and can cause type 2 diabetes. In the US alone, it is the 7th leading cause of death. The excess glucose is stored as fat. Fat tissue, as an endocrine organ, promotes insulin resistance through releasing hormones and cytokines. This can also lead to different heart and intestinal problems.
What Aggravates the Problem?
The myths and beliefs of weight gain generally assume that dietary fat promotes weight gain and cardiovascular risk. Thus, many people choose to use a “low-fat” diet with a higher carbohydrate level, leading to blood sugar dysregulation and insulin resistance.
Lifestyle modifications primarily focus on weight loss and reduction in serum lipids. This is not entirely right.
Recent studies prove that reducing sugar consumption leads to insulin sensitivity, weight loss, and reduced cardiovascular risk. As the medical information still tends to be contradictory, some might even get confused about changing their lifelong habits, natural and biochemical cravings, nutritional, and other guidelines.
How is Weight Gained?
‘Fat causes weight gain’ is a common perception. But it isn’t true. Insulin controls the glucose amount in cells. The presence of insulin indicates “a fed state, which facilitates the production of glycogen (stored glucose) in the liver and muscle as well as triglycerides in adipose cells.
The storage of glycogen is limited. It is around 500 g (depending on the muscle mass). Excess glucose is later stored as triglycerides.
Insulin also prevents the breakdown of fat, and it starts to build up in the body. To lose weight, it is crucial to control insulin and its production. The glucose level in the blood stimulates insulin production.
How to Help Prevent Insulin-Resistance-Triggered Weight Gain
There are numerous ways to lower glucose and insulin levels. It is not easy, but it’s worth trying in order to help prevent insulin resistance and diabetes.
· Reduce added sugar
One of the initial changes could be to reduce carbohydrates by avoiding added sugar. Added sugar is any sugar that doesn’t occur in food naturally. Nowadays, a lot of things include added sweeteners that increase the level of sugar in the body. It can also be found in fructose corn syrup. This product is proved to be a contributor to insulin resistance, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
Imagine taking a spoon of only sugar. It isn’t that tasty. If you eat 1 kg of it, you die. No wonder some people call it the “white death.”
· Consuming low glycemic index foods
One way to deal with the insulin resistance issue is by consuming low glycemic index foods and a low glycemic load diet. The glycemic index is “a ranking of carbohydrate-containing foods, based on the food’s effect on blood sugar compared with a standard reference food.” 
Glucose value 100 is used for standardization. It is proven helpful in finding foods high in hidden sugars, like baked goods, potatoes, fruit juices, etc.
An intense use of glycemic index foods is connected to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. A low glycemic index is not more than 70.
The glycemic index and glycemic load diets cannot determine how big the food consumption is, but it can measure the average serving size. These diets can change how ingested carbohydrates affect levels of sugar in the blood.
What Needs to be Done?
Insulin resistance is a serious issue that needs attention. It is scientifically proven to contribute to weight gain and other health problems like obesity and diabetes.
Remember, that some types of fat are essential for the human body for producing energy. And this is why diet and other special nutritional plans need monitoring by professionals.
 Insulin Resistance: The Unintended Consequence of Fat Phobia and the Case for Ketosis. Accessed from: http://www.townsendletter.com/June2015/insulin0615.html
 ONE IN THREE AMERICANS ARE PRE-DIABETIC OR INSULIN RESISTANT! Accessed from: http://www.slideshare.net/philadelphiamedicalweightloss/insulin-resistancec
 National diabetes statistics report, 2020 [online document]. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/data/statistics-report/coexisting-conditions-complications.html Accessed January 25, 2021.
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