Two Other Reasons Why You Can’t Lose Weight

By Michael A. Smith, MD

How long have you been trying to lose weight? Have you had some short-term success, only to have the weight come back time and time again? Are you sick and tired of trying so hard? You’re definitely not alone.

If you’re doing everything right and still not moving the needle on the scale, this is for you. In this post, we’re going to reveal two other factors that could explain why your past weight loss attempts have fallen short. If you haven’t addressed these yet, they may just hold the ticket to weight loss success.

Reason #1: Poor Insulin Sensitivity

Insulin is the hormone that facilitates the transport of glucose (blood sugar) into your cells for energy production. Unfortunately, things like age and excessive calorie intake can result in a “desensitization” of your insulin receptors, called insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance is characterized by an elevated blood glucose level. This high level of blood glucose prompts the release of more and more insulin — a condition known as hyperinsulinemia. Here’s the problem: Excess insulin is associated with an increased risk of obesity and heart disease. In fact, a recent study showed that patients with heart disease had a significantly higher blood level of glucose and insulin.1

The best way to restore insulin sensitivity, simply put, is to eat less. Restricting calories to somewhere around 1500–1800 calories a day generally decreases blood insulin levels and enhances insulin’s effects throughout the body.2

If that doesn’t seem like much food, you’re right — it’s not. Not everyone is willing and able to restrict calories to that range in order to improve insulin sensitivity. So what else can you do? Fortunately, there are a few nutrients that can help. Here they are:

  1. Chromium3 — Suggested dose is 250 micrograms/day
  2. Magnesium4 — Suggested dose is 250–500 mg/day
  3. Fish Oil (animal model)5 — Suggested dose is 2,000–4,000 mg/day
  4. Lipoic Acid (animal model)6 — Suggested dose is 200 mg/day
If you restore insulin sensitivity in your body, you’ll be one step closer to finally meeting your weight loss goals.

Reason #2: Dysfunctional Fat Cell Signals

Fat cells are called adipocytes. Their job is to store fat and release it into your bloodstream when your body needs energy. This fat management process requires several hormonal and enzyme signals in order to work properly.

Both the aging process and calorie-heavy diets can disrupt these important fat cell signals. And when they’re not working properly, your fat cells tend to grow in size and number. These are the top three fat cell signals to pay attention to:

  1. Leptin
    Leptin is a hormone that tells your brain that you’re full, signaling adipocytes to burn stored fat for energy.7 Leptin resistance happens when this important fat cell signal can’t reach your brain. This often results in overeating and making your fat cells fatter. Breaking leptin resistance is a critical step in correcting dysfunctional fat cell signals.

  2. Adiponectin
    Adiponectin helps to determine the amount of fat stored in adipocytes and the number of adipocytes that your body needs. Animal models show that higher levels of adiponectin decrease the number and size of fat cells while also enhancing insulin sensitivity.8

  3. Glycerol-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase – G3PD
    G3PD converts blood glucose into fat. The activity of the enzyme reveals why low-fat diets alone fail to help people experience long-term weight loss. The problem with low-fat diets is that the fat calories are usually replaced with carbohydrates. Unfortunately, if you’re trying to lose weight, G3PD will counter your efforts, since it readily converts dietary sugar into stored triglycerides.
So what can you do to help restore these crucial fat cell signals? The answer may lie within the West African mango extract, Irvingia. This amazing plant extract has actually been shown to favorably affect all three fat cell signals.

In one particular study, 150 mg of Irvingia extract twice a day was shown to break leptin resistance, increase adiponectin levels, and inhibit the activity of G3PD. The study participants lost on average 28 pounds in 10 weeks.9 Yes, you read that correctly.

What’s Keeping You from Losing Weight?

While many aging people tend to accumulate body fat, the underlying causes of weight gain can vary from person to person. If you’re trying to lose weight and just can’t seem to get the upper hand, be sure to try what we’ve just discussed: restoring insulin sensitivity and correcting fat cell signals.

Do you think there might be something else you’re missing within your struggle to lose weight? If so, you might be interested in Life Extension®’s comprehensive review of the Nine Pillars of Successful Weight Loss.

Have you considered any of these factors before? What’s your take? Please join the discussion in the comments.

  1. Intern Med. 2007;46(9):543-6.
  2. Diabetes Care. 2006 Jun;29(6):1337-44.
  3. Diabetes. 1997 Nov;46(11):1786-91.
  4. Diabetes Care. 2003 Apr;26(4):1147-52.
  5. Am J Vet Res. 2004 Aug;65(8):1090-9.
  6. J Diabetes Complications. 2011 Jan-Feb;25(1):31-8.
  7. J Neurosci. 2011 Aug 24;31(34):12189-12197.
  8. J Nutr Biochem. 2011 Aug 16.
  9. Lipids Health Dis. 2008 Mar 31;7:12.


Anand Srivastava said...

What about low capacity for fat oxidation, which is invariably associated with obesity? It is related to mitochondrial damage, how to fix this is not known. Low carb diet might force fix it, but doesn't work for all.

Life Extension said...

Hello Anand. The inability to burn (oxidized) fat for energy is not necessarily an intrinsic mitochondrial problem. The burning of sugar vs. fat is more often determined by metabolic need, energy supply, and activity level.

Jay said...

I agree that these may cause weight loss to be slower than normal, but I do not think it will stop weight loss completely.

You just will have to work even harder to get the results you desire.

Life Extension said...

Jay, thanks for your input. Keep in mind, that both impaired leptin function and insulin resistance are linked to excessive body fat.

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