Why Fat Loss is Difficult for Women with Insulin Resistance

Why Fat Loss is Difficult for Women with Insulin Resistance

If you’ve been diagnosed with insulin resistance (IR) and are struggling to shift fat mass or achieve a healthy weight, it’s important to understand what’s happening with your body. Insulin-resistant individuals will benefit from learning how to improve the way the body utilizes glucose.

What is insulin resistance (IR)?

Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body's cells become resistant to the effects of insulin. As a result, the pancreas expels more and more insulin in order to get a response (hyperinsulinemia). This may work for the short term, but over time the pancreas can no longer keep up or produce sufficient amounts of insulin. This is when our blood sugars rise and we develop type 2 diabetes.

Normally when a person’s insulin level is high, insulin turns off the ability to metabolise fat (lipolysis). This actually makes sense - we have energy coming in, so we don’t need to tap into fat stores. However, in women with insulin resistance, lipolysis is not turned off as should be the case.

What causes our cells to become resistant to insulin?

Obesity. More specifically, excess fat mass around the midline (visceral fat) is the main cause of insulin resistance. When a person is overweight, cells become less sensitive to the insulin released from the pancreas.

Interestingly, researchers have studied the impact of different types of body fat on insulin resistance. They found that abdominal adiposity causes an 80 % increase in the risk, compared to adipose tissue in other parts of the body (50-60 %).

Why is abdominal fat a trigger for insulin resistance?

It’s a complex topic but to put it plainly, a  protein hormone known as adiponectin decreases as visceral fat increases. This chemical messenger increases the oxidation of fatty acids, promotes the clearance of excess fat in tissues, and improves insulin sensitivity. Low levels of adiponectin ultimately counter the effect of insulin and lead to both IR and weight gain.

Insulin Resistance

What makes fat loss so difficult for individuals with insulin resistance?

We know that insulin dysfunction starves our cells of much-needed glucose. When glucose is unable to enter our cells, this can lead to fatigue, intense cravings for processed, sugary foods and overindulgence.

We also know that insulin functions are somewhat like leptin (our satiety hormone) which inhibits hunger and helps reduce appetite. This explains why individuals suffering from IR experience legitimate cravings in addition to dysfunctional satiety (a lack of fullness).                                                          

When we have IR and/or type 2 diabetes, our blood sugar levels can be very high. Because our cells are unable to absorb the extra glucose, the liver must convert it into fat. Visceral fat then becomes a constant source of excess free fatty acids because lipolysis is not working properly. In women, these extra fat cells also produce oestrogen which is part of the pathology of oestrogen dominance. Oestrogen dominance is a condition which causes so many hormonal symptoms, particularly those suffered by women in perimenopause.

How can you manage insulin resistance naturally?

If you’d like to know more about how to manage insulin resistance naturally, check out this article. For more information on how to achieve a Happy Weight and improve your health, join our private Happy Weight FB page and sign up for our FREE 28-day Happy Weight Challenge.



Take the 28 Day
Happy Weight Challenge
Find out more
Join the Conversation

Join our private community group to chat with other women and get support and feedback about the Happy Hormones program.

Join Group
★ Reviews

Our Customer Reviews

2690 reviews
Best natural product

I feel I have tried every natural product available but none have come close to HH for helping me through the delightful menopause journey . I would highly recommend this product .

Inner Peace

I had been on Happy Hormones for a while and because i felt great i stopped taking it.
Now some months down the track and have had my marina removed and have started menopause i need it.
I need it to help with my stress levels for work and to increase my energy.

Happy with HH

I started taking HH 18 months ago. I noticed a reduction in my symptoms with 2 weeks and felt a lot better. After a few months I became a bit haphazard with taking it and found the symptoms starting to return. When I took HH regularly I felt fine. Recently I had a few stress and health issues and my symptoms started to come back even though I was taking my HH most of the time. I messaged re my issues onto the fb page and got help back straight away from the HHY staff. I adjusted my dose and now feel great again. Thank you, thank you, thank you. :)


This is a great product and has helped me so much and will recommend it to anyone .

Happy Weight

Just reordered some more happy weight. Have only tried the vanilla and berry and love both these flavours. I've been using this as a protein boost to my morning smoothies or as a light meal at night if home late. Going to try it as meal replacement this time to try and shift some excess weight. If you are looking for a good protein powder I highly recommend this one.