The Role Of Insulin In Weight Gain
The hormone called insulin plays a more important role in one’s health than may be realized. This is because the hormone is responsible for regulating the levels of glucose in the blood. It also helps the cells of the body absorb glucose. In layman’s terms, this hormone controls blood sugar levels.
But the hormone also causes a problem. Once you eat too many carbohydrates to use for energy, the body stores the excess blood sugar as fat. Over the years, this excess fat builds up, leading to obesity and all the diseases that accompany obesity.
How Does Insulin Affect Weight?
Insulin does its job in helping regulate the level of sugar in the blood and convert excess food energy into triglycerides that are stored in fat cells..
During the process of digestion, the muscle, fat, and liver cells are stimulated by the hormone in order to absorb glucose. The glucose is then used for energy. The unnecessary glucose, however, is absorbed by the cells into fat and stored for when it would be needed again.
This is why it is very important to only consume the required calories needed by the body. Otherwise, there will be an excessive level of glucose in the body. Any glucose that does not get removed from the blood by the cells is stored in the tissues as fat.
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The Link Between Insulin And Diabetes
People who have been diagnosed with diabetes are insulin-resistant. This is why they must take insulin as therapy for treating their condition. When this takes place, their body tends to absorb a lot of glucose from the food they consume. And again, this leads to weight gain.
But what happens to diabetes that is left untreated? In some cases, weight loss can be expected, mainly because the food that is consumed is not converted properly into energy by their body.
Weight Gain Among Diabetic Patients
It is normal for people with diabetes, or any other insulin-related conditions, to have problems with how their body converts food into energy. In some cases, untreated diabetes may even lead to weight loss.
In order to solve the problem, doctors recommend taking insulin. This is why many patients notice weight gain upon starting the hormone treatment. Even though insulin helps regulate the levels of glucose in their body, it also encourages the storage of fat.
How To Avoid Gaining Weight While Taking Insulin
While insulin is needed by diabetic patients, many struggle with the side effect that it produces. However, it is never recommended to skip doses or stop taking insulin. The long-term complications of doing so can be detrimental to one’s health. Instead, there are some ways you can prevent gaining weight from insulin therapy. Here are a few tips:
Exercising is always the best way to keep your weight within a normal range. Not only that, when you exercise regularly, you can have a healthy and strong body. It may sound cliche, but exercising really helps burn calories, promotes fat loss, and regulates the level of your blood sugar.
As recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), the minimum number of moderate-intensity exercise per week for adults between 18 and 64 years old is at least 150 minutes. This roughly translates to 2.5 hours of exercise per week. You can even do a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise per day so you can get the best results.
Track Your Calories
A common misconception of diabetics is that they should manage their intake of carbohydrates. But this is not the only thing that needs to be monitored. The overall consumption of calories should also be tracked. This is because when you consume too many calories, the level of glucose in your blood could increase and prompts to fat storage, especially when you’re taking insulin.
The best way to monitor your weight by tracking your calories is to pre-measure food portions and keep a diary. This will help give you a guide on how much food to consume to meet your daily dietary requirements.
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Get Adequate Sleep
Nowadays, many people tend to think that sleep is overrated. With so many things to do and TV series to see, who has the time for some shut eye? Unfortunately, this is not the best way to stay healthy. Studies have even shown that insufficient sleep contributes to type 2 diabetes and obesity.
In order to make sure that your body continues to function smoothly, you need to have adequate sleep. Not to mention, when you are well-rested, your body is able to produce the hormone productively. So how much sleep do you need per day? The answer is between seven and nine hours.
Eat The Right Food
Before anything, you need to seek the assistance of a nutritionist to help make sure you are eating the right food. Your nutritionist will make sure that you are getting the right nutrients that your body needs. This also means that you need to choose food that digests slowly. The reason behind this is so that the sugars will take a longer time to hit your bloodstream. When this happens, insulin gets released more gradually.
Some of the food that is best to consume include fats, fiber, and protein. These are recommended to take up a significant portion of your diet. You also need to substitute dietary saturated fat for monounsaturated fat, since this impairs your body’s sensitivity to insulin.
Some more examples of foods to include in your diet include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, yogurt, and healthy fats (like avocados, nuts, or plant-based oils). You should also avoid or limit your intake of packaged/processed foods, trans fat, refined carbohydrates, and added sugars. By making the right choices, you can control your weight and not have to worry about your glucose spiking.
Insulin plays a vital role in the body, even if it can cause weight gain. To fight this, you can follow the above tips so you can keep your weight in check and stay healthy. If you are struggling with your weight after going through lifestyle and dietary changes, you may want to consult with your doctor for further advice.
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