I'm convinced that hyperinsulinemia makes you fat

This will not be a newsflash to anyone who reads the articles in Pubmed, since there were several studies in the early 2000s on this question, but I didn’t know about them until today. It turns out that, in a subset of the population, even before you start gaining weight, you have excessive postprandial insulin secretion. The extra insulin floating around causes fat storage, which in turn causes insulin resistance, which in turn causes increased secretion of insulin. Other side effects of too much insulin in your body are carb cravings and increased hunger. The studies further showed that even without dietary changes or exercise, giving larger people medicine to restrict their insulin secretion caused weight loss.

I started thinking about this because back when I was eating the sort of diet that the ADA would recommend–plenty of whole grains, lots of fruit and vegetables, low fat, 3-4 oz. portions of protein at lunch and dinner, about 1600 calories a day–I found weight loss to be IMPOSSIBLE. I was exercising daily for almost an hour, restricting my intake, but never losing an ounce.

When I switched my diet to a diet with 30 percent or fewer calories from carbohydrate, no grains, slightly more protein and a lot more fat, the weight started just kind of falling off. I was still eating 1600 calories a day and exercising a lot, so that’s what a person on a weight loss diet would expect.

Here’s where it gets weird. When I got down to just outside my healthy BMI range, I pumped up my calories to 2000 a day with the same exercise and the same distribution of calories from carbs, protein, and fat. Oddly, I have continued to lose weight. I saw a number on the scale this morning that I NEVER thought I would see again. I’m not trying to lose weight, but I think that now my fasting numbers are in the 70s and 80s instead of the 110s it is just easier to do that. I’m not complaining at all. I’m much happier about exercising and I have more energy now that there’s less of me to cart around. I just think it’s odd that when doctors say, “Just eat less and exercise and you will lose weight” that the impact of hyperinsulinemia doesn’t figure into their calculations.

I found Gary Taubes book “Good Calories, Bad Calories” to have some interesting perspective on this subject. Following a very low carb diet, I consumed 5,000 calories a day for quite a while without a change in weight.

Surprisingly, it is not all about calories in vs calories out.

And yes, I think that hyperinsulimia drives weight gain, thereby explaining why many newly diagnosed T2s are overweight. Unfortunately, the ADA has declared war on obesity, which as you just noted is a symptom, not a cause of diabetes.

I need to read that book! Thanks.

Yes I quite agree. I suffered from weight gain due to my hyperinsulimia.
When I stabilised it all I started loosing weight again doing fairly the same amount of exercise and sports I did in the previous phase.
Pity doctors do not recognize this problem. When I was hyperinsulimia doctors said I was fine. And God knows how I didn’t feel fine.
As you quite correctly stated obesity or increase in weight is a symptom of something going wrong especially in people who have already a healthy lifestyle and diet.

Frances when my numbers are good that is exactly what is happening to me. I am loosing weight and burning Ketones all the time without even trying. This topic is way to under discussed in the T-2 community. Thanks for the post.

That’s why many women with PCOS are overweight… because of the hyperinsulinemia. A handful of ignorant people would love to still say it was because of overeating – but it’s the hyperinsulinemia. I hardly ate in high school, exercised all the time, and I was still very much overweight. I ate a lot of carbs though, and when you have an insulin faucet always going on, and never turning off… that’s what happens…