The golden question – ‘Why haven’t I lost weight? I am barely eating and exercising lots!’ The answer is more complex than just diet and exercise, as there are SO MANY factors that influence weight loss. Let’s dive into some of the factors that play a role in our metabolism!
Insulin is a hormone released in response to your blood sugar levels.
This hormone signals the cells to take in the sugars for energy. However,
when the cell resists the signal coming from insulin, the cells remain energy deprived and the insulin will keep circulating. Insulin will then take part of transforming the excess sugars into fat. But, how about we go back for a second, because the cells still didn’t receive the adequate amount of energy due to insulin resistance… So the hunger and fatigue is there!
On the other side, as the cells aren’t getting enough glucose, it signals the body to produce more insulin. Over the years, if this isn’t controlled, your pancreas may get tired and eventually will lead to diabetes and needing more insulin. This further increases the risk of a cardiovascular disease, liver disease and many other complications.
Now you may be wondering: what actually causes insulin resistance? its a complex answer! It is usually accompanied by excess weight, sleep deprivation, stress, adrenal fatigue, ‘bad’ diet, hormonal misbalance etc.
Lets take for example Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, known as PCOS – Ladies, this is for you!
High insulin levels affect the ovaries to produce high amounts of androgens (testosterone hormone). This will lead to eventual progesterone decrease / suppression of production. High androgen levels are associated with hair growth on the face and body, mood changes etc. PCOS causes cysts on the ovaries which will lead to painful periods and it is a big factor in infertility! Nowadays, it is no secret that PCOS should be treated by improving insulin sensitivity.
Gentleman, this one if for you! The link between insulin resistance and testosterone:
Boosting testosterone naturally has been found to improve insulin sensitivity in a few studies. “testosterone is involved in promoting glucose utilization by stimulating glucose uptake, glycolysis and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. Testosterone is also involved in lipid homeostasis in major insulin-responsive target tissues, such as liver, adipose tissue and skeletal muscle.” (2)
Stress is a big factor in insulin resistance as multiple trials found positive correlation between high cortisol and high insulin secretion leading to insulin resistance. Stress influences our food quality and choices, lowering our growth hormone, thyroid hormone and sex hormones, increasing inflammation, while reducing immunity. The adrenal glands take a hit after many years of stress, leading to adrenal fatigue.
How’s sleep affecting your weight loss journey?
-More than 35% of US population is seep deprived which is the same statistics for obesity rates. (CDC)
-A study that was published in the Annals of internal medicine investigated the link between sleep and weight loss; When participants received adequate rest, half of the weight loss was from fat. However, participants who cut back on sleep, the amount of fat lost was cut in half than those with a good amount of sleep. Dieters with sleep deprivation experienced a 55% reduction in fat loss compared to those who were well-rested
Now, lets get to the root cause of diminished sleep quality? stress! (remember high cortisol and insulin resistance?) Its important to optimize your quality of sleep. While stress isn’t the only cause of poor sleep quality, it`s the most common one.
This is an example of a hormonal pathway that Dr. Tali Troyansky works with in order to figure out your hormonal levels. This helps with fertility treatments, weight loss, acne, mood swing, PMS, irregular periods, painful periods, etc.
If you have diabetes / weight loss concerns, or would like to book a free consultation to discuss how Naturopathic Medicine can help you improve your metabolism, lose weight, and maintain your weight loss please feel free to contact us.