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fat people and insulin resistance?

by (287)
Updated October 23, 2014 at 4:04 AM
Created March 30, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Do all people who are or were once fat have insulin resistance? I think my struggle is in my head.. I'm 18 and about 30lbs overweight, and I don't know if I'm insulin resistant....I overeat, but its mainly a response to emotions/thoughts...my body seems to be working A-okay in terms of recognising satiety and hunger for now...although I do worry that I'll fuck myself p...and the worry makes me wanna eat! aaagggh! Helpmehh :s

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10994 · April 23, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Interesting .

Medium avatar
10176 · April 01, 2013 at 4:49 PM

People here talk about insulin resistance a lot here, but it's not something you can measure by how you feel. I felt great while I was tearing up my CV system. With the test data my Dr. Knew immediately that I had screwed up my diet. Excessive eating of dry breakfast cereals was what did it.

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690 · March 31, 2013 at 8:30 PM

@thhq- Too bad there's not a way to "publish" your N=1 test results on PH. And too bad I didn't take better notes on my N=1 "experiments"....my bad. :(

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690 · March 31, 2013 at 8:22 PM

@Sarah- The fact that your brother uses insulin is another important piece of data. The results of this study are why I think that diet can imfluence insulin resistance. http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/3/1/39

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690 · March 31, 2013 at 8:18 PM

@Sarah- Diabetes, eating & exercise make for some complicated interactions. Sounds like you've got the calc thing dialed in. I KNOW that exercise reduces insulin resistance but I'm not convinced that eating low carb has NO effect on insulin resistance. Perhaps not directly but low carb / slow carb usually leads to lower body fat % which leads to reduced insulin resistance. So I what I'm saying is exercise reduces insulin resistance for sure, low car / slow carb may reduce insulin resistance. But slow carb / low carb is good for most people anyway.

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690 · March 31, 2013 at 7:53 PM

Good point about the A1C....

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37187 · March 31, 2013 at 6:29 PM

part 2 .. I'm not insulin resistant, as far as I can tell and I'm not worried about it at this point. Sugar is one area that I find very manageable as my favorite fruit is grapefruit. I use less than 2 tsp per day of honey in my coffee and that's it.

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37187 · March 31, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Hi, raydawg! Yeah, no debate about whether or not wheat is paleo. And it's certainly toxic to me. But ... I have friends on their 4th or 5th try to give up cigarettes and I have other friends going to AA meetings. Others can't give up slot machines, so it's not exactly a shock that I've struggled with my addiction to wheat. I've now gone over a month with no cravings or urges to binge. The lack of cravings is the longest period I've had in 50-some years, so I'm encouraged but we'll have to see if it's truly the victory.

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17103 · March 31, 2013 at 6:11 PM

You can be fat and not be insulin resistant - at some point, when your body can't put away any more calories in either muscle tissue, fat stores, or the liver glycogen store, you do become insulin resistant. It all depends on how far along you went.

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17103 · March 31, 2013 at 6:09 PM

To be as obvious as possible, wheat and all grains, are NOT paleo - the only exception being white rice. If you want to continue causing yourself problems, keep eating wheat. If you're worried about insulin resistance you should avoid even white rice for the most part.

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638 · March 31, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Another example is my brother, who eats a 'standard american diet'. He is not overweight and was never a regular exerciser and was injecting 80+ units a day of insulin to control his diabetes. This is until he started working at a saw mill, doing heavy manual labor for 10 hours a day. His diet stayed the same (well except that he ate a huge amount more than before) but his insulin needs dropped from 80 units a day to 20 units a day.

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638 · March 31, 2013 at 8:40 AM

I eat low carb to control the amount of insulin I inject. The more carbs I eat, the more insulin I need. But I am much more sensitive to the insulin if I exercise. (eg. with exercise I give 1 unit of insulin to 17 grams of carbohydrate, within 3-4 days after I have last done some intense exercise I will need to give 1 unit to 10 grams of carbs and my background insulin also needs to be increased). So yes eating low carb will mean less insulin is required as opposed to eating a high carb diet, but it does not effect how sensitive you are to the insulin.

Medium avatar
10176 · March 31, 2013 at 12:11 AM

Obesity is often implicated in T2, which is what I was and had. I know a lot of older guys at work who are fat T2's, and their diet is kind of like a forced form of paleo. They have to avoid starches and sugars or they lose control of their blood glucose.

Medium avatar
10176 · March 31, 2013 at 12:04 AM

Those glucose test strips were expensive. Docs hand them out like candy, and every time I get a new one I do some more N=1 experiments until the free strips are gone. I haven't had to use one for diabetes control for 5 years now.

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287 · March 30, 2013 at 7:00 PM

erm, well, I could eat a wheat bread sandwich with say some chicken in it and be satisfied for about 3 hours...if I eat cereal or white bread (makes me bloat) I end up hungrier than if I hadn't eaten...same as if I eat crisps, or other processed foods....wheat bread seems ok though....mainly because I nearly always have meat or protein with it...I dunno what all that necessarily means, mind :P I am the same with not needing to eat lots also haha If I'm eating reasonably well, (no OBVIOUS junk) then i can often go with two meals a day..

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37187 · March 30, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Hi, Travis! Hope things are going well for you.

Medium avatar
39841 · March 30, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Hi, Nance. Good to see you posting.

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37187 · March 30, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Do you know if you're okay with wheat, or is it possible wheat is part of your problem?

I have a long yo-yo history so I've been overweight/obese more than I've been lean. Needless to say, even on easygoing paleo I feel the best ever.

I don't seem to be very, if at all, insulin resistant. For me, if I am eating wheat I fall into binge eating and I gain weight. If I don't eat any wheat at all, I can eat until satisfied and lose weight. I include butter, cream and lots of fruit in my diet, along with as much meat and vegetables as desired yet the weight gradually slides off.

I also fast very comfortably. Some days I eat my (usually) one meal at mid-day and other days I have fruit in the morning and my main meal in the afternoon. I don't experience any energy fade even if I don't eat at all for a day and I'm not excessively hungry the next morning either.

To me, the above indicates I'm not insulin resistant. The other thing I've noticed is that when I'm eating wheat and therefore gaining, my body shape morphs from pear toward apple; when I'm off wheat, the middle of my body actually loses the most fat and I head back toward pear shape.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247
37187 · March 31, 2013 at 6:29 PM

part 2 .. I'm not insulin resistant, as far as I can tell and I'm not worried about it at this point. Sugar is one area that I find very manageable as my favorite fruit is grapefruit. I use less than 2 tsp per day of honey in my coffee and that's it.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247
37187 · March 31, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Hi, raydawg! Yeah, no debate about whether or not wheat is paleo. And it's certainly toxic to me. But ... I have friends on their 4th or 5th try to give up cigarettes and I have other friends going to AA meetings. Others can't give up slot machines, so it's not exactly a shock that I've struggled with my addiction to wheat. I've now gone over a month with no cravings or urges to binge. The lack of cravings is the longest period I've had in 50-some years, so I'm encouraged but we'll have to see if it's truly the victory.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84
17103 · March 31, 2013 at 6:09 PM

To be as obvious as possible, wheat and all grains, are NOT paleo - the only exception being white rice. If you want to continue causing yourself problems, keep eating wheat. If you're worried about insulin resistance you should avoid even white rice for the most part.

C2fefd191418f9a7bd691077ab9b527a
287 · March 30, 2013 at 7:00 PM

erm, well, I could eat a wheat bread sandwich with say some chicken in it and be satisfied for about 3 hours...if I eat cereal or white bread (makes me bloat) I end up hungrier than if I hadn't eaten...same as if I eat crisps, or other processed foods....wheat bread seems ok though....mainly because I nearly always have meat or protein with it...I dunno what all that necessarily means, mind :P I am the same with not needing to eat lots also haha If I'm eating reasonably well, (no OBVIOUS junk) then i can often go with two meals a day..

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247
37187 · March 30, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Hi, Travis! Hope things are going well for you.

Medium avatar
39841 · March 30, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Hi, Nance. Good to see you posting.

Medium avatar
3
39841 · March 30, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Probably the best way to prevent it is by preventing mitochondrial atrophy in skeletal muscle.

https://www.thieme-connect.com/ejournals/abstract/10.1055/s-2007-978828
http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/28/3/662.short
http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/21/8/1353.short
http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/85/7/2463.short
http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/26/11/2977.short
http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/9309627

There are piles of studies on the subject. I suspect that the vast majority of the benefit can be achieved by performing one set to concentric failure (in the 10 or so rep range) for each muscle group once a week. It would take about 30 minutes.

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10994 · April 23, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Interesting .

Medium avatar
1
10176 · March 30, 2013 at 11:59 PM

The way to find out is to get tested. The main indicators of insulin resistance that I had when I was diagnosed were high A1C (mine was 8 - normal is below 6) and high fasting blood glucose (mine was 200 on repeated tests - normal is about 100). I worked on the problem - restricting high glycemic carbs, exercising and losing weight - and both numbers came down to normal levels over several months.

Then I moved and went to a new doctor. He used a number derived from an NMR LipoProfile, which uses a combination of LDL particle number and size to come up with an Insulin Resistance Score, or LP-IR. This test shows more directly that my insulin resistance is extremely low (5, on a scale where below 45 is considered healthy).

The dangerous part of this is that I had no idea I was diabetic, and could have been T2 for over a year without knowing it. That's the value of getting a screening test.

Medium avatar
10176 · April 01, 2013 at 4:49 PM

People here talk about insulin resistance a lot here, but it's not something you can measure by how you feel. I felt great while I was tearing up my CV system. With the test data my Dr. Knew immediately that I had screwed up my diet. Excessive eating of dry breakfast cereals was what did it.

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc
690 · March 31, 2013 at 8:30 PM

@thhq- Too bad there's not a way to "publish" your N=1 test results on PH. And too bad I didn't take better notes on my N=1 "experiments"....my bad. :(

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc
690 · March 31, 2013 at 7:53 PM

Good point about the A1C....

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690 · March 30, 2013 at 6:02 PM

Erin-

Do all people who are or were once fat have insulin resistance? <<<

All is pretty strict compliance level....

There is a very strong correlation between fatness & insulin resistance.

I'm not an diabetes expert but vicariously I've gone thru the Type 1/2 journey & learned a fair amount. I have a friend who's kinda Type 1 kinda Type 2

I also got "the fear" placed in my by a pre-diabetes diagnosis so I shifted to diabetes prevention about 8 months ago. I was quite motivated to "self-experiment" & got myself a blood sugar meter. Being an engineer I did a LOT of food / meal blood sugar response "tests". I didn't just do a poke test at 1-1/2 to 2 hours... I did one every 15 minutes to capture the entire blood sugar response. I bought a LOT of test strips. :)

You write "I don't know if I'm insulin resistant"... the fact that you need very little insulin points towards "not insulin resistant".

I assume you calc you doses based on carb intake & projected exercise? Or is your use so little that you don't need to?

In any case since your "overweightness" indicates too many calories / too many carbs or at least a timing imbalance between carb intake, exercise & insulin dosing. I am reluctant to make suggestions since you have the added complication of being Type 1.

Unfortunately, I found diabetes maint MD's to be less than helpful or concerned about optimal outcomes of diabetes suffers. :( They typically adhere to the ADA diet suggestions.... whole grains,etc. I can see their dilemma, go with the accepted practice (safe) or go cutting edge (risky for them).

I wold suggest taking a look at Dr Mark Hyman's The Blood Sugar Solution, I read with Type 2 in mind & its been ~7+ months so I do not recall if it had Type 1 suggestions. He was a huge proponent of slow carbs.

I think you;ve got a very good handle on this..you just need some support. For emotional eating issues & fat loss for women I suggest visiting joining (free) http://blackgirlsguidetoweightloss.com/

This woman has gone from 330 lbs to personal trainer / yoga instructor size. She has 130,000 + subsribers. I felt her info was useful & I made donataion as well

http://blackgirlsguidetoweightloss.com/its-all-mental/what-exactly-is-emotional-eating/

However, if I stop exercising I need to use alot more insulin. So I'd be willing to bet, even over diet exercising regularly is the key to not being insulin resistant. I don't train heaps, just 3 times a week + walking and it helps a-lot. I find my insulin usage doubles when I stop doing this.<<<<<

I think the key is... keep doing what you're doing, it seems to be working. Make small changes & see the effects. See if you can find a diabetes pro who can think.

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17103 · March 31, 2013 at 6:11 PM

You can be fat and not be insulin resistant - at some point, when your body can't put away any more calories in either muscle tissue, fat stores, or the liver glycogen store, you do become insulin resistant. It all depends on how far along you went.

Medium avatar
10176 · March 31, 2013 at 12:04 AM

Those glucose test strips were expensive. Docs hand them out like candy, and every time I get a new one I do some more N=1 experiments until the free strips are gone. I haven't had to use one for diabetes control for 5 years now.

81feb1022a28f534867616b9316c7aa4
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638 · March 30, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Nope, they don't. I am about 30lbs overweight and I have type 1 diabetes and need to inject insulin as my body makes none. I eat healthy and exercise often and I used a very limited amount of insulin to control my blood sugars compared to someone who is insulin resistant. I'm pretty sure this would be the same with any person.

However, if I stop exercising I need to use alot more insulin. So I'd be willing to bet, even over diet exercising regularly is the key to not being insulin resistant. I don't train heaps, just 3 times a week + walking and it helps a-lot. I find my insulin usage doubles when I stop doing this.

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc
690 · March 31, 2013 at 8:22 PM

@Sarah- The fact that your brother uses insulin is another important piece of data. The results of this study are why I think that diet can imfluence insulin resistance. http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/3/1/39

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc
690 · March 31, 2013 at 8:18 PM

@Sarah- Diabetes, eating & exercise make for some complicated interactions. Sounds like you've got the calc thing dialed in. I KNOW that exercise reduces insulin resistance but I'm not convinced that eating low carb has NO effect on insulin resistance. Perhaps not directly but low carb / slow carb usually leads to lower body fat % which leads to reduced insulin resistance. So I what I'm saying is exercise reduces insulin resistance for sure, low car / slow carb may reduce insulin resistance. But slow carb / low carb is good for most people anyway.

81feb1022a28f534867616b9316c7aa4
638 · March 31, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Another example is my brother, who eats a 'standard american diet'. He is not overweight and was never a regular exerciser and was injecting 80+ units a day of insulin to control his diabetes. This is until he started working at a saw mill, doing heavy manual labor for 10 hours a day. His diet stayed the same (well except that he ate a huge amount more than before) but his insulin needs dropped from 80 units a day to 20 units a day.

81feb1022a28f534867616b9316c7aa4
638 · March 31, 2013 at 8:40 AM

I eat low carb to control the amount of insulin I inject. The more carbs I eat, the more insulin I need. But I am much more sensitive to the insulin if I exercise. (eg. with exercise I give 1 unit of insulin to 17 grams of carbohydrate, within 3-4 days after I have last done some intense exercise I will need to give 1 unit to 10 grams of carbs and my background insulin also needs to be increased). So yes eating low carb will mean less insulin is required as opposed to eating a high carb diet, but it does not effect how sensitive you are to the insulin.

Medium avatar
10176 · March 31, 2013 at 12:11 AM

Obesity is often implicated in T2, which is what I was and had. I know a lot of older guys at work who are fat T2's, and their diet is kind of like a forced form of paleo. They have to avoid starches and sugars or they lose control of their blood glucose.

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8065 · March 30, 2013 at 3:48 PM

This podcast addresses your question very well: http://paleomagonline.com/episode-6-dr-david-pendergrass/

Transcript here:http://paleomagonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/PMR_Episode-Six-Transcript.pdf

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