It seems that the common perception is that people overeat, become obese, then get Type II diabetes… That overeating causes obesity which causes diabetes… and that to reverse diabetes you need to lose that weight!
However, I'd like to propose a different version of what happens (as have many others)! What if it were the opposite?! Remembering that Type II diabetes is really the highest level on the insulin resistance spectrum… I propose that it goes more like this:
Insulin resistance (diabetes) leads to obesity which leads to overeating!
It's totally controlled by hormones (mainly insulin)! It begins with eating a typical "Standard American Diet" (SAD!) which is very high in carbohydrates—which leads to our pancreas having to make more and more insulin to keep our blood sugar levels normal since sugar in the blood is toxic at high levels (*normal glucose in the blood is only 5 grams!!) Eventually, this leads to insulin resistance, which means the cells no longer are "listening" to the insulin as well—similar to how if you fuss at your child over and over they will eventually tune you out! So then you have to start yelling louder and louder to get them to hear you and follow instructions! Our bodies get so used to the high levels of insulin that they quit "hearing" it, so the body makes more and more just to get the same job done.
This condition then leads to weight gain since insulin causes weight gain! Insulin also causes HUNGER! Just ask anyone who's taken insulin! Then other hormones like Ghrelin and Leptin which control hunger and satiety get confused and we get hungrier and hungrier. So the larger you get, the more you want to eat—not the other way around! We then end up stuck in a vicious cycle of high insulin, weight gain, and overeating—possibly even becoming diabetic (the highest level of insulin resistance where the pancreas can't quite keep up the insulin production any more so the blood sugars finally rise to high levels).
We're then told we must diet and exercise and lose weight to help control our blood sugar. But here's the problem: We're making (or taking) way too much insulin! Insulin forces all that sugar from the carbs we're eating down into our cells as fat storage (making us fatter). Insulin also locks away that fat so we can't possibly burn it! It's a double whammy! Eating a low-calorie diet (the typical recommended method to lose weight) will help SOME and for a SHORT TIME! But the body quickly responds to lower caloric intake by reducing the metabolic rate to conserve that energy. Eventually, every single diet of this type leads to regaining the weight plus some for good measure. The body is trying to preserve itself! You can literally DIET your way right UP the scale! I'm living proof of this! No one dieted harder than I did starting at age 7! I dieted my way right up to 350 lbs. eventually…
So in order to reverse this situation, we must do something totally different—we must REDUCE our insulin levels to begin reversing the insulin resistance! We do this by reducing our carb intake to very low levels. This will mean we need to make (or take) way less insulin to keep our blood sugar normal, which will then unlock the cells to allow fat to be burned for fuel instead of glucose, which is totally what we want! And since the insulin levels are lower, we can then more easily lose weight and will not be as hungry! Perfect! The lowered insulin levels also will begin reversing whatever level of insulin resistance we have, making us more sensitive to insulin. Think of this as if you'd been to the point of SCREAMING at your child but they still wouldn't listen, so you try something different… You begin to WHISPER to them! The child might still ignore you at first, but eventually they would get curious as to what you were saying and they would lean closer and LISTEN!
High Carb Diet > High Insulin > Insulin Resistance > Weight Gain > Hunger
Low Carb Diet > Low Insulin > Insulin Sensitivity > Weight Loss > Not Hungry
(*Quick note about that 5 grams of glucose in the blood being normal. Think of the typical foods people eat—1 bagel has 41 grams of carbs which turn into glucose in the blood! 1 piece of bread has anywhere from 20–40 grams! This is stressing our pancreas so much to have to keep bringing our sugar down after eating these high carb foods!)