Won't becoming insulin sensitive ruin our ability to lose weight?

(Katie) #1

Okay, so hear me out. In my mind I believe I have a good idea of the science behind keto, and honestly even without any weightloss, I know that based on my genetic predisposition to type 2 and alzheimers/dementia, that this is ultimately the best diet for my own personal longevity.
So this is the concept I’m trying to wrap my head around tho, and correct me if im looking at this all wrong…
So one of the goals of keto is to increase your insulin sensitivity, correct? With metabolic syndrome your hormones have become numb to the insulin, so your body continually needs to produce more and more insulin to do the same amount of work. Eventually your pancreas craps out and you become type 2.
Now, eating a super low carb diet, not as much insulin needs to be produced, and your hormones begin to regulate themselves and you return your body back to how it’s supposed to be. However your weightloss starts to slow, even to a halt. Why is this? Insulin sensitivity.
I picture the alcoholic who can drink a 12 pack and not catch a buzz whatsoever. Now the same person goes a month without drinking, and has a beer and is drunk before he finishes the first can. Why is this? The same once dulled receptors are now highly sensitive and are working in overdrive to offset the lack. I picture this as the body trying to maintain homeostasis?
Is this possibly why a lot of keto people claim to have to transition to practically zero carb or carnivore to lose any weight? Or why the day you go off plan even for a day or so and gain back all the weight you’ve lost. I understand water weight plays a factor in that as well, but I know first hand that the 15 to 20 pounds you lost over a couple months time can easily be put back on in a matter of weeks eating off plan.
Can it be that the more insulin sensitive we become we are hurting our chances of losing weight? The concept of fasting is to lower our already low insulin, but if we are eating strict keto, should this even be necessary? In theory it shouldn’t, yet time and again we read posts of people not losing weight and having to resort to restricting their eating even more
Any thoughts?

(Michael - Don't expect miracles and you won't be disappointed.) #2

I think you’re not taking into account this. If you are not eating carbs, what is your body going to use for fuel. It’s must use fat. If you’re not eating carbs, then insulin is low which allows fat to come out of adipose cells for use. If you reduce the amount of fat you eat (slightly), then your metabolism will make up the difference from stored fat. In addition, eating saturated fats ramps up your metabolism so you require more fat to maintain your energy balance. The critical factor is to maintain low carb/glucose so that insulin remains low. This allows fat to exit adipose cells for burn.

(Katie) #3

So what determines the insulin threshold in which fat cells will release their fat? And as our bodies become more and more sensitive to insulin wont this threshold inevitably change? As your body heals, wont the same number of carbs then become the new homeostasis point and to have the same weighloss effect, youd have to figure out how to manipulate your insulin even lower and lower, thus the introduction of fasting techniques? I just see a lot of people talk about stalls even on zero carb, and the last thing there you can eliminate is dairy, which does have scant amount of carbs. People claim this works, and assume it’s due to inflammation issues due to allergies, but inflammation can really only result in so much water retention, right?. Could it actually be that in order to continue losing weight we have to work closer and closer to an absolute zero carb, or the smaller and smaller eating window? I know everyone’s body is different and there are plenty who lose weight on keto and everything is just fine. But for many, myself included, it seems like I have to keep doing more and more to get to where i want to be.
I guess it just seems to me that if we need to keep insulin as low as possible to release the fat then how can increasing our sensitivity to insulin benefit weightloss? I agree that it can help us in so many other ways, but the more easily our body responds to insulin, wouldn’t that in turn make even the lowest levels of insulin negatively affect our efforts to drop weight?

(Katie) #4

Like that can of beer to the alcoholic whose abstained from drinking for a month… itll completely knock him on his ass. Could the same low levels of insulin now respond higher to the overly sensitive receptors and stall weightloss?

(Michael - Don't expect miracles and you won't be disappointed.) #5

(Robert C) #6

The way I think of being “insulin sensitive” is simply the absence of being insensitive to insulin (or insulin resistant).
In other words - normal function - not somehow extra sensitive to insulin but instead, just regularly sensitive - the same as a person that does not have any metabolic syndrome.

So, no, becoming “insulin sensitive” does not stop you from losing weight.

Dr. Jason Fung has a good analogy for this - essentially it is about turning up stereo speakers (to listen to loud music - similar to adding insulin over and over in a T2D case). As you lose sensitivity, you keep turning it up to hear the music, lose some more sensitivity, crank the volume some more. But, when you get smart and reduce the volume (i.e. reduce insulin) - all you can finally do is get back to “normal” - you can’t become overly sensitive and suddenly hear birds chirping 10 miles away.

Plateaus happen when your body decides that the environment you are supplying is about equal to what it wants to store for survival:

  • Insulin levels through the day (low means weight can reduce, moderate or high makes body fat access difficult)
  • Amount of sleep (7-8 hours means weight can reduce, less tells the body to store fat)
  • Amount of exercise (too much is a stress, too little hinders good hormone regulation, moderate tells the body it can reduce fat)
  • Amount of stress (hormones to the rescue - fat storage is increased for a “rainy day” if you are under constant stress - fat storage can go down if you can reduce stress)
  • Nutrition - eating foods that cause inflammation, processed foods etc. - this is a big area where people react differently to different foods but, if you are not just eating whole foods, you might get a reaction that is seen as a problem by the body

(FRANK) #7

I too am struggling with high fasting blood glucose and severe insulin resistance and what to do about it. Looking for answers and found this which was a good start:

(Katie) #8

Thank you! This makes sense. Appreciate it!

(Katie) #9

Wow! That second video has so much information. I think I need to broaden my horizon when it comes to these videos and learn a bit more. Thanks for the information!

(Bunny) #10

I have run into this strange anomaly where no matter what I eat (cookies, cake, candy, donuts etc.), I continue to burn body fat and losing more weight from being on a ketogenic so long. My metabolism seems to be really fast almost as if I can’t feed it fast enough or enough?

So that leaves a daunting question for me, am I becoming physiologically or pathologically like a type 1 diabetic?

Strangely enough that is the same thing Dr. Peter Attia ran into and why he stopped the severe carb restriction; he made a small mention of it in a recent podcast with Dr. Paul Grewal, M.D. #88 Treating Metabolic Disease and Strategies for Long-Term Health. And does not really like talking about it.

Is this a good thing or bad thing?

That also makes me wonder if my resistant starch supplementation has any thing to do with it like having the liver in ketosis as well as my gut (buytrate)?

Makes me wonder even more; have I reached the Moore’s law of the ketogenic diet?

(Katie) #11

Haha! Wish I had the same problem :wink:
How long have you been keto?

(Bunny) #12

Around 6 years or more, I use to keep multiple binders of stats, to record everything and it was taking up half my house. I threw them away.


Oh my goodness!

That’s where I might surely go if I did stats. There is something really freeing about throwing away, once one knows one knows certain things on the inside of the lived experience.

Because like Ms. Lincoln used to sing in her inimitable jazz voice: “You can never lose a thing if it belongs to you” -