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Why Can't I Lose Weight? How Does Insulin Affect My Weight? Podcast Episode 30


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Why Can’t I Lose Weight? How Does Insulin Affects My Weight?

In today’s podcast we’re looking at some common blocks that stop people from loosing weight.

I’ll be explaining how hormones, specifically insulin, affect our bodies. Plus how you can create a healthy way of eating, that supports your weight loss goals.

Why is it so Difficult to Lose Weight?

I recently sent out a survey to people on my email list to find out what problems they faced when trying to lose weight.

Here are some of the responses:

  1. Lack of Exercise. “I’m fat, I’m lazy. I don’t loose sleep over it as I know that lack of physical activity is a contributing factor.”
  2. Nothing Works! I’ve tried so many things. E.g. reducing carbs, calorie counting, the keto diet. They work for a bit and then stop working.

Common Misunderstandings about Weight Loss

Many of the comments highlighted common ways of thinking that aren’t true. Lots of unrealistic expectations that lead to disappointment.

  1. It’s taken me “x” number of years to put on weight, but I can lose it in a few months. There are people who do “crash diets” and loose lots of weight quickly.It’s better to loose weight in a slow and steady way. (Unless you have a medical reason to do so. For example, you’re on the brink of developing diabetes.) Creating habits that you can stick to for life. Yo-yo dieting isn’t good for our bodies.
  2. I can make some changes to how I eat, loose weight and then go back to how I was eating before. That doesn’t make sense! The way you are eating now has resulted in you putting on weight. So if you go back to that way of eating, you’re sure to gain weight again. Research shows that “diets” aren’t sustainable. After an initial period of weight loss, most people put the weight back on.
  3. There’s lots of “work” involved in loosing weight. Not when you have healthy habits! I’ll show you how to make them fun and easy!

Some Good News About Weight Loss

Here are some things that we actually know.

  1. Our bodies (mostly) work in the same way. Physiology is physiology! The “big” ways in which our bodies work are the same. (For example, if you were to stop eating for 3 months, you’d loose weight. I’m not suggesting you do that. But you get my point!) This is great news because it means that if you make the right changes you will loose weight.
  2. Nutrition affects our bodies in different ways. It may seem that I’m contradicting myself but I’m not! We have different preferences. Plus our bodies are all different. We react to different foods in different ways. For example, some people can digest cow’s milk whilst other’s can’t.

Why Do We Put on Weight?

There are many reasons. One big contributing factor is hormonal imbalances.

Both Insulin and Cortisol affect Weight Gain.

There are several hormones that affect weight gain. Cortisol and insulin are big players in the game.

What is cortisol?

Cortisol is our “stress hormone”. When you’re stressed and sleep deprived, you have high cortisol levels.

Have you ever seen anyone on steroids such as hydrocortisone for medical reasons? They put on weight! Cortisol is a steroid hormone that our bodies make. When our levels are always high, it can contribute to weight gain.

What is insulin?

Insulin is a hormone secreted by our pancreas. Insulin helps us metabolise glucose. High levels of glucose in our blood are toxic. (This is why people with diabetes get complications such as eye problems, nerve problems and heart problems.)

Insulin lowers the level of glucose in our blood by helping it get into cells where we can use it as energy. Once our cells have enough glucose, insulin will store glucose in other areas in our body. For example in our liver. And as fat.

Think of insulin as the “storage hormone”. When our insulin levels are high, our bodies are storing energy.

Our bodies can’t “use” and “store” at the same time.

How Insulin Works when we Don’t Eat Too Much

Ideally after eating food, we’d allow time for our body to process that food. Once we’ve processed the energy in food, there’d be a time when our body needs energy. It gets that energy from the deposits around the body. After a bit more time, our body would eat some more food.

This looks like:

Eat, store food, use energy, eat some more.

During the “store food” phase, insulin rises. It then decreases as we access the energy deposits around our body.

How We Eat Now Results in High Insulin Levels

Often we eat more quantity as well as more frequently. This means our insulin levels don’t have time to decrease.

This looks like:

Eat, store food, eat some more, store some more.

When insulin is constantly raised our bodies don’t get a chance to access our energy stores.

To Lose Weight You Need to Allow Your Body to Use Fat as Energy

It may sound obvious but many people don’t think about how our bodies work. If you want to lose weight, you have to give your body the chance to use your fat stores as energy. (Unless you get them surgically removed.)

Don’t worry! This isn’t as difficult as it sounds! You don’t have to starve yourself to do this.

Ketogenesis Isn’t the Only Way to Use Fat as Energy

A common myth is that ketogenesis is the only way to burn fat. Ketogenesis is a pathway that our body uses when it’s used up all its carbohydrate stores. It starts to use fat as a fuel directly.

But you can use fat as an energy source before ketogenesis gets turned on.

The bottom line is that you need to consume less energy than your body uses.

Eating healthy foods is a fabulous way to do that without feeling hungry or deprived.

Fabulous Tips to Help You Lose Weight and Keep Your Insulin Levels Low

  1. Reduce sugar and refined carbohydrates. (Both of these will push up insulin levels.)
  2. Moderate protein intake. (Protein doesn’t affect your glucose level, it directly affects your insulin level.)
  3. Good fats (specifically extra virgin olive oil.)
  4. Eat fibre (lots of vegetables!)
  5. A splash of apple cider vinegar.
  6. Think about when you eat. Don’t snack frequently and allow 12-14 hours of rest over night.

Other Great Ways to Help You Loose Weight

  1. Sleep.
  2. Exercise is a great way to help you feel fit and fabulous. It will help you loose weight but it doesn’t contribute as much as people think.
  3. Mindfulness and Stress levels.

Your actions do have results.

Once you get used to healthy foods, you stop craving sugar.

Other Episodes Mentioned in the Podcast

How to Eat 30g of Fibre a Day

Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease With Diet by Dr Zarrin , Cardiologist.

Everything You Need to Know About Sleep

Meditation for Beginners

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Author Bio

Dr Orlena is a health coach. She helps busy mums go from "I can't lose weight" to feeling fit and fabulous. Find out more about her here.


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