The most important fact to know is Insulin resistance is the major driver of obesity, diabetes and high blood sugars.
The longer you have been overweight, the harder it will be to overcome. This is why diets fail in the long term for people who have been overweight since birth. Let me share why this is the case and how to solve it according to Dr Fung.
There are people who have been overweight or obese for their entire lives. For them, it is extremely difficult to lose weight on a permanent basis regardless of low-carb diets and exercising. It is nearly always a short-term loss if any loss at all. I know, I am one of them.
Why is that?
Consider the calorie reduction diet theory, also known as calories in, calories, out. This is a flawed theory according to Dr Fung, there should be no difference between those who have had obesity for 6 months versus those who have had it for 10 years or longer. Having obesity for a long time should make no difference if this diet theory were true. If you reduce carbohydrates, you should lose weight. But everybody, like myself, who have struggled with their weight knows that it matters a lot whether you have been obese for months or for decades.
If we can accept that insulin causes weight gain, then why do high insulin levels over long periods of time tend to make it difficult to lower the insulin levels, so that we can lose weight. Something is clearly missing here. That missing something is insulin resistance.
What is insulin resistance? Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the body. For it to have its desired effect, it must bind to receptors in the body and then signal what the next step is which is usually to offload glucose into the cells which in turn will produce energy. Let’s use an example to explain “resistance”. There is a major problem in many parts of the world with antibiotic resistance. As you use more and more antibiotics, there tends to be a natural selection for antibiotic resistance organisms to survive and reproduce.
With the continued use of antibiotics, there tends to develop antibiotic resistance. By understanding this concept, we can see that the key weapon to prevent the development of antibiotic resistance is to reduce the use of antibiotics. That is, antibiotics cause antibiotic resistance.
This is the same problem we call insulin resistance. Insulin resistance leads to more insulin hormones being created which leads to very high insulin levels. We care about the high insulin levels because insulin is a major driver of weight gain. As we become obese, we are driven by hormonal factors to eat more, like drug addicts who are driven to take more drugs as the effect lessens with each “high” binge. In other words, drugs cause drug resistance.
Not only do high carbohydrate intake lead to high insulin levels, but high insulin resistance also leads to high insulin levels. It is this insulin resistance that leads to the time-dependent effects of obesity.
However, there is one important question unanswered. What causes insulin resistance in the first place? The problem lies in the lock, the receptors in the cells. When the insulin receptor does not respond quite the same way that it used to, this is insulin resistance.
What causes insulin resistance?
Insulin resistance is a natural response. The automatic response to antibiotic resistance is to use more antibiotics. The automatic response to drug resistance is for the abuser to use more drugs. The automatic natural response of insulin resistance is increased insulin levels. As with antibiotics and drugs, this does not overcome the resistance, it makes it worse.
However, it becomes clear that this is a self-defeating proposition. If you use higher and higher levels of cocaine, then the body develops more and more resistance. This continues until you can’t go any higher. If you use higher and higher levels of antibiotics, then more and more resistance develops, until you can’t go any higher. This becomes a self-reinforcing cycle, a vicious cycle. Exposure leads to resistance. Resistance leads to higher exposure. And the cycle keeps going around.
In the end, using higher doses has a paradoxical effect. That is, the effect of using more antibiotics is to make antibiotics less effective. The effect of using more cocaine is to make cocaine less effective.
Insulin resistance works the same way. As we develop resistance, our bodies increase the insulin levels to get the same result, glucose into the cell. However, the price we pay to get the glucose into the cells is increased insulin levels.
As high insulin resistance is a silent killer, I use a Quality Health Analyser kit at home to scan my body once or twice a month to check my insulin and nutrient levels. I also keep a record of my daily weight. I used to be scared of weighing myself and seeing I am not losing weight despite doing a low carb diet. In hindsight, I have not a clue what was going through my thoughts, perhaps the ridiculous notion of out of sight out of mind, pretending I did not have a weight problem.
My first aspect to check on my Health Analysis report would be, my levels of insulin resistance. The implications of this report are enormous. If this theory of Dr Fung’s is true, then the hormonal obesity theory looks like this:
- Insulin leads to insulin resistance.
- Insulin resistance leads to higher insulin levels.
- Higher insulin leads to even more resistance which leads to even higher levels.
- Which leads to weight gain and diabetes.
Now, suddenly, instead of the diet being the major driver of insulin levels, it is insulin resistance that is the major driver of insulin. This high insulin level now drives further weight gain. These are issues that will get worse over time because it is a vicious cycle.
But the reason is not that they are eating more or exercising less than skinny people. The point is that their insulin is driven largely by resistance and not their diet. They are not lazy. They are not gluttons. They have a hormonal imbalance that needs to be addressed; even if these people starved themselves, it would not help their weight.
The implication is that people who have been obese for long periods of time will find it harder to lose weight. Those who have recently gained weight will find it much, much easier to lose weight because they have not had a chance to develop significant insulin resistance.
Those, like myself, who had childhood obesity will find it hardest of all to lose weight since they have had it their entire lives. One of the biggest risk factors for obesity in young adults is childhood obesity. Those who have childhood obesity have more than 17 times the risk of obesity going into adulthood.
The conventional and disastrously incorrect thinking is that controlling the blood sugar is the most important part of diabetes – it’s just non-sense according to Dr Fung.
You might think that the better you can control the sugar, the better your diabetes and the healthier you will become. You might also be disastrously wrong and cause yourself irreparable damage with this strategy. You are not to blame yourself, that was the conventional thought. These type 2 diabetics intensified their insulin treatment to tightly control the blood sugars. They started taking insulin every day to control their blood sugar. This made insulin more resistant was pushing them towards the terrible consequences of diabetes. Even though, sugars were very well controlled.
But what happened to their insulin resistance? The more insulin they took, the more insulin resistant they became. Since diabetes is a disease of insulin resistance, that means their diabetes was getting worse, not better. High levels of insulin cause insulin resistance. High levels of insulin cause weight gain. It is not the blood sugar level that causes diabetes or weight gain.
Eating 500 fewer calories than yesterday becomes rather insignificant. The major question in obesity is this: What is driving up my insulin? Since insulin levels are way up, the body gains weight. Reducing daily calorie intake doesn’t matter. The body will only further reduce caloric expenditure to match and make the body gain weight. Insulin drives weight gain.
That brings us back to the question of weight gain. Insulin drives weight gain. But what drives insulin? The carbohydrate-insulin theory assumes that carbohydrate intake drives insulin, but that is incomplete. Insulin itself will also drive insulin resistance which will increase insulin in a self-reinforcing cycle.
However, most current thinking about obesity completely ignores these effects even though they are plainly obvious to anybody and everybody. Since type 2 diabetes is all about insulin resistance, this also leads us to the inescapable conclusion that insulin causes diabetes.
If the body did not develop resistance to insulin, the high levels of insulin would rapidly lead to very, very low blood sugars. This severe hypoglycaemia would quickly lead to seizures and death. Since we don’t want to die, the body protects itself by developing insulin resistance. This is a good thing. But the bottom line is this – high levels of insulin cause insulin resistance which causes problems.
Taking away the high insulin levels reverses insulin resistance, reduces weight, cures diabetes and takes the pain out of the legs and joints, from my personal experience.
Insulin causes both obesity, high blood sugars and diabetes. This is the new science of Diabesity. With this new understanding, we are led to entirely new possibilities for the cure of diabetes.
If high insulin levels are the cause, then the cure is to lower insulin levels. But how?
Two actions to take to start to lower insulin levels according to Dr Fung:
- Eat a healthy high fat, low carb diet of your choice.
- When and how often you eat – 2 to 3 meals per day with NO snacking. most importantly, introduce fasting.
Keep your healthy existing diet, whatever it happens to be; and start with fasting and intermittent fasting. Read my article “Fasting Cure for Diabetes, losing weight and Painful Legs”.
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