Is insulin resistance the reason your patients aren’t losing weight?

3 Reasons you NEED to be treating insulin resistance as part of your weight loss program:

1. Your patients are insulin resistant.

Nearly everybody that is overweight is insulin resistant.

Obesity causes insulin resistance which manifests as increased cravings, excess blood sugar, and hyperinsulinemia. Studies have demonstrated that an increase in body weight is accompanied with an increase in insulin resistance, and the severity of insulin resistance is related to the increase in BMI. Insulin resistance has also been reported in association with the normal aging process. This means older adults who struggle with obesity are at an even greater risk.

Obesity is associated with a state of chronic low-level inflammation which contributes to the development of insulin resistance. A variety of hormones and cytokines expressed during obesity can inhibit insulin signaling.

Inflammation is a common link between obesity and insulin resistance

Obese subjects can have a 35-50% decrease in whole body insulin-mediated glucose disposal, similar to that of an individual with type 2 diabetes:

graph comparing rates of glucose uptake

2. Insulin resistance makes it harder to lose weight

Insulin resistance causes a reduction in insulin-stimulated glucose transport which results in impaired glucose uptake in skeletal muscle cells and impaired lipid handling in adipose tissue.

In healthy adults, insulin in the brain triggers a reduction in appetite. In obese people, this activity is impaired because of brain insulin resistance.

One study which followed individuals following a 24-month lifestyle intervention found that participants with the highest insulin sensitivity achieved greater weight loss and were able to keep the weight off. By contrast, the group with the lowest insulin sensitivity showed a slight weight loss in the first 9 months, but regained the weight during subsequent months.

Graph showing weight regain in insulin resistant patients

3. Untreated, insulin resistance will develop into T2DM

Insulin resistance is sometimes called prediabetes. Left untreated, prediabetes/insulin resistance can develop into type 2 diabetes. Most physicians will not prescribe prescription drugs until diabetes has fully developed. To prevent the development of full-blown diabetes, it is important for patients with prediabetes or ‘impaired glucose tolerance’ to implement lifestyle changes.

Read more in our insulin resistance white paper:

1. Wellen, K. E., & Hotamisligil, G. S. (2005). Inflammation, stress, and diabetes. The Journal of clinical investigation, 115(5), 1111–1119. Retrieved from:

2. Abdul-Ghani, M. A., & DeFronzo, R. A. (2010). Pathogenesis of insulin resistance in skeletal muscle. Journal of biomedicine & biotechnology, 2010, 476279. Retrieved from:

3. Kullmann, S., Valenta, V., Wagner, R., Tschritter, O., Machann, J., Häring, H. U., Preissl, H., Fritsche, A., & Heni, M. (2020). Brain insulin sensitivity is linked to adiposity and body fat distribution. Nature communications, 11(1), 1841. Retrieved from: