The Truth About Overweight & Obesity
Enough pain, shame, frustration, and judgment. You can lose the weight you hate. Here’s the truth.
Overweight & Stuck, Part 2
Dr. Gary V. Koyen, Ph.D. | March 2021
Why can't I lose weight and keep it off?
The vicious elevated insulin cycle
Once we have elevated insulin, a vicious cycle is set in motion. When insulin remains elevated over time the cycle becomes more and more destructive, causing many bad health effects. Further, insulin tends to become more elevated over time, as the pancreas works harder to produce more insulin. But why is this happening? The answer is the body is flooded with too much sugar, and it’s insulin’s job to manage blood sugar and keep it in a safe zone.
Insulin has four major actions:
When the body is overwhelmed with too much sugar, insulin must cope with the overload. It tries to move more sugar into bodily cells, but since the cells are already full they begin to resist the message from insulin. This causes the pancreas to pump out more insulin in a greater effort to move excess sugar to the cells. The cells become more resistant to insulin’s messages. At this point the cells are highly resistant to insulin and insulin is highly elevated. Insulin “solves” the problem by forcing the conversion of excess sugar into fat which is then stored in the liver and fat cells (especially the fat cells around the organs and belly).
One other hormone, leptin, has the job of keeping the body from storing too much fat. However, leptin is overwhelmed by the elevated insulin, and storage of fat is “forced” by insulin. Leptin becomes elevated in response to the elevated insulin, but to no avail. The body becomes leptin resistant too. The result is constant fat deposition in the liver and other organs, as well as the body’s fat cells.
Unfortunately this cycle affects our hunger hormones and our sense of being full, and not needing more calories. The primary hunger hormone, ghrelin, becomes active, causing the feeling of hunger even though we’re overweight, have excess sugar to burn, and need no more calories.
The whole process begins with excess sugar, and this is why the obesity process can begin in infancy.
A well-intentioned mom or dad may give the baby filtered apple juice or something similar several times a day. In fact, many baby foods have added sugar. The problem is not the number of calories in the apple juice, it’s that the calories are sugar. The sugar overload begins the process of insulin forcing calories to be stored as fat. The infants or children do not become fat because of too many calories. They become fat from sugar driving insulin driving fat deposition. Sugar comes first, insulin comes second, and obesity comes third. Unfortunately, once we become significantly overweight we do begin to eat too many calories. Nevertheless, the solution is not “Eat Less, Move More.” The solution is to restore balance in the hormones. Only then can we effectively deal with the issue of calories consumed.
The charts below tell the story. Once insulin, leptin, ghrelin, and other hormones become out of balance, the only solution is to get them back in balance.
Learn more about the solution: