Colette's Blog

The Role of Insulin in Difficulty Losing Weight

November 20, 2014

The usual ways of eating that should lead to weight loss simply do not work for certain people who have extreme difficulty losing weight.

Are you one of those tortured souls who has been told that the only reason you are overweight is because you eat too much? It is a well-documented fact that people who are significantly overweight may also have metabolic disorders. Such conditions not only cause weight gain, they also make it difficult to lose the accumulated weight.

Part of the obesity epidemic we face in the United States may be due to the misconception that people who are overweight are simply gluttons or lazy couch potatoes. For most of the last century, the majority of doctors involved in treating obesity did not accept extreme metabolic resistance as a possible explanation for their patients’ plight, but rather chose to believe that patients were being untruthful about what they ate.

The inability to burn fat or lose weight—the phenomenon called metabolic resistance to weight loss—is not uncommon. In addition to the use of prescription drugs or hormones that inhibit weight loss, an underactive hormone and overgrowth of yeast, excessive insulin and insulin resistance—usually accompanied by high triglycerides is one of the four major categories of problems that contribute to metabolic resistance.

Without question, overweight individuals with excessive insulin output (known as hyperinsulinism) and the inefficiency of insulin usage (or insulin resistance) respond best to the Atkins Nutritional Approach™ controlled carbohydrate philosophy. Even the majority of people who do not lose weight on a 1,000-calorie-a-day low-fat diet will lose weight on an 1,800- to 2,000-calorie meal plan—if carbohydrates are limited to 20 grams per day.

The vast majority will lose weight, but not absolutely everyone. For those individuals who have not lost weight during the Induction phase of Atkins, nutritionally oriented medicine offers ways to break through this last barrier. In conjunction with Induction, certain nutrients can assist in breaking up weight-loss logjams.

In his practice, Dr. Atkins and the other practitioners found the leading nutrient to accomplish this fat-busting feat is L-carnitine. When carnitine is deficient, the conversion of burned fat to ketones is impaired. The mechanism for carnitine’s effectiveness is that it has the ability to ensure that fat converts to fuel. But high doses such as 1500 mgs daily of carnitine are often necessary. Often, more effective responses occur with the use of acetyl carnitine, a compound that helps focus the carnitine action.

Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10), another vital nutrient necessary for fat to serve as fuel may also require large doses such as 90 mgs daily. Both CoQ10 and carnitine are extremely valuable for other reasons, such as preserving heart health. To get the optimum benefits of these nutrients, you should work with doctors experienced in their use to combine them with the Induction phase of Atkins.

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