Insulin Leads to Weight Gain. Is It True?
November 30, 2021
Insulin therapy, a commonly used diabetes treatment approach, might result in weight gain in most people. People on insulin can manage their weight using a healthy diet and lifestyle changes. Insulin is a hormone responsible for controlling the sugar levels in the blood. This hormone acts by assisting sugar absorption by the body’s cells. Insulin leads to weight gain when the cells absorb an excess of sugar and the body converts this into fat.
The Association Between Weight and Insulin
Insulin plays a key role in controlling the levels of blood glucose and converting food energy into fat. Also, it aids in breaking down fats and proteins. During digestion, muscle, fat, and liver cells get stimulated to absorb glucose. The cells either make use of this glucose for energy or convert it into fat for getting stored for a longer time. Eating a higher number of calories than the body requires would result in too much sugar levels. If the cells fail to remove sugar from the blood, it gets stored in the body (in the tissues) as fat.
When an individual uses insulin as a therapy to treat diabetes, their body might absorb excess sugar from food, leading to weight gain. Unmanaged diabetes may lead to weight loss as the body fails to convert food into energy in an appropriate manner. Insulin use solves this issue. For this reason, individuals might observe weight gain when they begin taking insulin.
Diabetes and Weight Gain
Weight gain is a common indication of diabetes and other insulin-associated health problems. Compared with non-diabetic patients, young adults having type 1 diabetes are at a greater risk of developing too much body weight or obesity. As per the WHO, it is estimated that 90% of individuals having type 2 diabetes are either overweight or suffer from obesity. Diabetics might experience a gain in weight as a side effect of insulin therapy. Even though, insulin aids in regulating their sugar levels, it also supports fat storage in the body. Lowering down too much body weight can assist individuals in managing diabetes signs and even reversing prediabetes as well as insulin resistance.
Tips to Prevent Weight Gain on Insulin
People who are on insulin to manage their sugar levels may experience too much gain in weight. On the other hand, people must not prevent insulin or miss out on doses, as this may bring about some lasting complications.
Certain effective ways to prevent insulin-associated weight gain can be:
Keeping a Check on Calories
Diabetics should often concentrate on managing their carb number also the overall calorie intake. Eating excessive calories may bring about excess blood sugar levels and enhanced fat storage.
Physical activity keeps the body healthy and strong. Also, it helps in burning calories, controlling sugar levels, and promoting fat loss. The WHO proposes that adults in the age groups of 18 to 64 look for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week. Also, it is seen that structured exercise programs deliver considerable benefits for individuals having insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
Discussion with a Healthcare Team
Healthcare providers help in sharing some valuable resources with individuals dealing with maintaining healthy body weight. The ADA states that there is not a one-size-fits-all consumption plan for diabetics, and meal planning must be customized. Dietitians play a key role in advising people regarding foods to eat and avoid depending upon their health status and goals, and they even develop personalized meal plans. Also, they suggest ways to people how they can improve their health while reducing their risk of developing medical conditions like diabetes, obesity, and heart problems. They can test individuals’ sugar as well as insulin levels, along with their lipid profiles. These tests offer information on their overall health status.
Foods to Eat
Foods that help in avoiding weight gain should be encouraged. Developing a meal plan using a correct balance of nourishing foods is of great help. High-quality, unprocessed foods comprising low sugar and fat should be consumed. These foods enhance the fullness sensation and help in preventing overeating. Foods that can be consumed may include whole grains, fruits, veggies, yogurt, and some healthful fats like nuts, avocados, or plant-based oils. Foods that should be avoided are refined carbs, added sugars, packaged or processed foods, and trans fats.
Thus, insulin plays numerous key roles in the body. It controls sugar levels, promotes fat storage, and even helps in breaking down fats and protein. On the other hand, too much insulin, owing to insulin resistance or consuming anti-diabetes drugs, might give rise to weight gain. Several dietary and lifestyle alterations should be encouraged to prevent insulin-associated weight gain. For any person battling to maintain a healthy body weight after adding in dietary and lifestyle changes, it is a good idea to discuss the same with a healthcare provider.