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103 responses

  1. Kyung
    October 23, 2011

    Re: Sara;

    Peas and green beans are great veggies, but in moderation. You should probably opt for broccoli, and leafy veggies instead. I’m not sure if it would make a huge difference, but it’s a suggestion.

  2. Karen
    October 26, 2011

    I was recently tested and my insulin level is 48, which is really high. I am scheduled to do more test this coming week. However, I started a no carb diet since I found out about my insulin level and I feel better. I think this article is the best I have read so far. It is very clear and I so can relate.
    Thank you for putting this out.

    November 15, 2011

    once again. the insulin level most important in our life.. :)

  4. crossfitgirl
    December 4, 2011

    This is a great article! I eat paleo but I still was not losing weight because I was eating dried and fresh fruit. I had my blood glucose levels tested and it was 41 after two hours! That is almost coma! My body was so stinker sensitive to carbs that it spiked my insulin so high. No wonder I couldn’t lose weight! Its definitely not calories in calories out. I’m an athlete and train harder and more frequently than a lot of people but it just shows how nutrition is 98% of the equation. I try to get this through my client’s heads but they still struggle with the concept. For sarah I’ve learned that I cannot compare the “healthy diets” of others with my body. For me I literally have to eat plain chicken and lettuce. Most people would lose weight if they ate half as well as me but for my body i have to be extra strict! Its hard but it can be done. What’s healthy for one person may not be for another. Try sticking to only leafy greens and lean protein. Try limited amounts of good fat like olive oil and coconut oil. Paleo is a good way to start!

  5. Ios On Android Phone
    January 18, 2012

    I’ve noticed that italian diet is all carbs and high glycemic index foods: pasta,pizza & gelato.. and yet most italians are not fat! and most don’t even workout!

  6. Bob
    February 9, 2012

    Wow!!!!!! What an eye opener. I appreciated your content on insulin and the glycemic index. I have hypoglycemia and have learned how to balance proteins, carbs and fats to a certain extent. Your content has confirmed what I always suspected but could never really verify. I didn’t start loosing weight until I cut out white flower, rice, and white potatoes. Now I understand why.
    Thanks, Bob Williams

  7. Lee
    April 24, 2012

    Hi..I’m new to this site..I have been a type 2 since 1998, thats not to say maybe before..I had dropped down from 205 to 156..About 3 years ago I dropped down to under 115..I went from exercise to glyberide to metformin..When I dropped down to under 115 my Doctor at the time listened to what I had to say told me to go to the hospital and talk to some lady who told me I was too skinny and got me on insulin..I have blossomed out and cannot stand to look at myself in the mirror..I have no desire to go out or travel with my husband..I could go on but cannot see for tears..I need to know what I should bve eating as I have tried every diet out there..

  8. Brianna
    May 2, 2012

    You all should watch the Documentary Fat Head… It was very good and give very good information.

  9. David
    May 5, 2012

    Hi, Very interesting article, in fact I would say this provides a perfect reason to understand my problem. You see I have an Insulin problem in that I am pre Diabetic or Syndrome X. This means my body produces too much insulin and I have become insulin resistant. I eat well but my blood sugar spikes at every opportunity and I have become bloated and mildly obese without any means of controlling this. I have gone from a lean muscular frame to an obese flabby frame in 5 years weighing in at around 2225 lbs. I think this article will help me now try and understand how to turn the fat burning back on. so thank you very much.

  10. sahil
    June 10, 2012

    i have a insulin level of 52.96
    can you tell me what to do?
    i’m tired searching the doctors medications?

  11. Brenda
    June 19, 2012

    Hi there, I found your site very educational and interesting. As I read through your info and answers to some of the questions I started to understand more about how my body works. Thanks for that, it does make sense now that I see it the right way. I am wondering though, is there a natural “pill form” that I can take to reduce my insolin level?

    Hope to hear from you soon!

  12. Nick
    June 21, 2012


    I just found out that i have high insulin level…41% to be exact. Now I’m taking a medicine called the Glucopage. I have been reading a lot of articles and research saying that there are a lot of side effect of Glucopage. It is safe to take Glucopage at the age of 28yrs old?

    Further, I been reading this one articles by some Doctors in US…they say that the danger of having a high level of insulin could have a high risk of breast cancer. Is this true?

    Please help, I am scared! ;(

  13. alli
    June 22, 2012

    Hi, Rusty!
    Thank you so much for this information–carbohydrates and insulin levels get so confusing for me.

    i really like your tip about consuming the majority of carbs after the afternoon workout, because i always feel that need for carbs then, and I worried about that affecting my weight goals. I’ve been trying for a more lean body, focusing on muscle gain and healthy fat loss, but it’s been a real pain–I gained a sudden about of weight after being put on the birth control pill, and now I’ll lose a little bit of that weight, then lose sight of my goals (usually in a sugar craving of some sort) and gain most of it back. i’m really hoping that your tips will help–

    After ready this article, I had a breakfast consisting of two small to medium sized eggs with a little bit of skim milk in them, lettuce and blueberries. Am I on the right track? Also, what are your takes on the green tea and coffee fads to lose weight, as long as they don’t have added sugar? How about splenda?

  14. Joe Koppel
    June 22, 2012

    Like your article about high insulin. Blood sugar and diabetes is out of controls from all this junk we eat made from white flour.
    Nice article!

  15. Naomi
    June 27, 2012

    Good evening! The messages that I have read are old, I am not even sure if you still read this section, however I sure hope so! My son was told today from his doctor that a 600 calorie diet would basically cure or do away with diabetes…..so if that is true, how could I not at least investigate that opinion. So my question is: I take insulin every day… I would like to know how would my body would react if I reduce high GI carbs thus reducing my overall calorie intake. (Reducing the amount of insulin as needed) The truth of the matter is, I have lost muscle tone and I do deal with being tired, however I am not a young chic either. So what should I try- to get a better lifestyle, it seems the usual medical or social opinion is just go ahead and eat and off set it by taking insulin. Which, by the way is not much fun! Thank You for your insight!

  16. paddy
    June 29, 2012

    Let see if I understand all this right – Try to have Low GI food at all the time except after training where all glucose will go into the blood/muscle etc… as you have depleted it by working out – So I have ate all day low GI , my blood / muscle are full and because of low insulin nothing goes into my fat cells , then I work out , during the work out my muscle are feed by what is in my blood / muscle because it is ready for them , then as long as I work hard or long enough I deplete those and my body due to the low insulin level start to get the extra energy from my fat cells , happy days ! then I go home and I have some protein +my delicious warm French baguette with nutella and it doesn’t matter, it is a little on a high GI side so insulin will go crazy but it will still pass it down to my muscle /blood and not my fat cells because my muscle/blood have nothing left ( as long as I find the right quantity to not go over board ) then come the eve and again I am back on my low GI stuff .
    Also am I right into thinking that quantity and GI goes hand to hand , IE I could have a small tea spoon of sugar and although it is high GI because of the quantity I am consuming It will not create enough glucose to get the insulin going and the opposite is true too if I eat 6 apples at a low 35 gi in one go it would may be create enough glucose to trigger an insulin spike ? right ? sorry for the long post and the crap English ( I am French )

  17. Brian
    July 9, 2012

    Hi Rusty, does red wine effect insulin levels, thanks.

  18. Carlie
    July 21, 2012


    I’ve been told I have pre-diabetes with naturally high insulin levels. I found this out after going to the doctors with complaints of not being able to lose weight and also having extreme energy loss and black outs.
    I don’t suffer blackouts as much anymore, I’ve got back into gym appx 6 days a week. I go every morning at 8:30 and do an hour class with an hour weights!
    My weight loss has not moved if anything I’ve gained. I feel I get muscle tone so easily but I’ve NEVER budged any fat!! I’m sure people think I eat crap constantly since I’ve had no fat loss and am at gym all the time..
    My diet consist of;
    Morning : Jack3d or Oxyelite (just started these- otherwise it was nothing or maybe a egg)
    During workout; Extend (sugar carb free drink)
    After workout; Protein drink (Proto Whey)
    Lunch about 12-1pm; Sandwich with ham/lettuce or I must say I have had a pasta dish at times
    Afternoon tea 3ish : Apple and tin tuna or and yoghurt
    Tea 6:30 – 8pm; steamed veges broccoli carrot corn, steak or chicken pieces in mustard sauce. Some nights maybe roast dinners with steamed vegs and baked potato sweet potato and pumpkin..
    At times we may have a dessert of some kind too..
    I know it’s not a strict diet or anything but with the amount of energy I put into gym I would think it was ok and I should at least get some type of fat loss by now. It’s been 4 months of fulltime gym..?
    Please Help Me!!!? I finally found someone who can!!
    Is my gym pre and during supps really bad for me?

    Thanks in advance! Hope to hear back


  19. Vidhya Shankar
    August 14, 2012

    Dear Sir,

    My daughter has high level of insulin secretion and is obese. she is around 8 years of age and her weight is 100 pounds. Please guide me what sort of steps should be taken to control the insulin secretion and to bring her weight to proper level.


  20. Wow
    August 24, 2012

    “The problem lies in the fact that if you eat a high G.I. carb, you may shut down the body’s ability to burn fat for several hours. ”

    The problem is that you are unknowing and think that your insulin levels wills stay high for hours on a calorie deficit.
    It will go high and you will start to burn the carbs/sugars, fatty acids and amino acids that are in your bloodstream.. and then? You think your insulin levels will magically stay high and your body get energy from where? Carbs/sugar and amino acids (yes, protein/peptides also increase insuline – shocker, isn’t it?) are gone, gluconeogenesis – which is process that turns muscle into energy so when you say
    “The only source of energy in this circumstance is protein. Your body will break down muscle protein when faced with this dilemma.” you are wrong because insulin inhibits gluconeogenesis and with this it also blocks the breakdown of muscle – is “turned off” because of the insulin, lipolysis is also “turned off” because of the insulin so your body does what? Burn air?

    This is what happens when you pick one single substance (insuline) and try to interpret it’s effects. You get something full of mistakes.

  21. Beth
    August 26, 2012

    I have high insulin leavels and weigh about 180 can’t seem tO loose weight. I walk 3 miles at least 5 times a week. What’s going on?

  22. Zack
    September 27, 2012

    Hi Rusty,
    I was wondering is there anyway I could change my diet at all? I’m 21, Male, 5’5 & weigh 102 lbs… the thing is my diet mostly consist of carbs, I get my protein from tofu (if I eat meat I feel very sick after) & my vegetables will either be a plain salad (believe it or not I just like plain salad lol) some broccoli or some other green vegetable(s.)

    So in the morning 7-8 a.m. I’ll have an apple with silk milk chocolate light.

    Afternoon 12-1 p.m. I’ll eat a salad; then my dinner 2-4 p.m. will be like half a box of white pasta or rice mixed with tofu & with broccoli or something on the side. And this literally fills me up the whole day.

    The only thing I drink is just water. Energy drinks, soda etc make me want to gag same thing with junk food, sweets & fast food I won’t even touch it. I’m somewhat active but like cleaning, giving my dog a walk & mowing the lawn type of active haha.

    I’ve literally been eating this way all my life. Mostly all I can afford, my groceries only come up to about 30-40 bucks.

    So I was just wondering will this impact me sometime in life…? if so how can I start changing my diet? Also what I find weird as well I never get that crash feeling like some do… and if I go to the docs they say I’m perfectly healthy for my age, yet I don’t know doesn’t feel that way…

    Well if you ever get this message I’d appreciate your feedback/opinion.


  23. Terry cullen
    September 29, 2012

    Where can I buy a in home tester for insulin



  24. amy
    October 1, 2012

    Hi Rusty Awesome article, I believe this exactly is my problem as well. My diet is extremely good and low fat, however when i make mistakes such as include stuff like dates or too many sweeteners or bananas or too much dairy in my diet or even stuff like cornflakes, i struggle and never loose more than half a kilo even when im fasting. But besides this the most important thing i learned from you is you can actually burn muscle instead of fat during insulin production which i believe is soooooooooooooooo true. I find it very hard to train when my body has experienced a sugar spike or when i ve had processed foods, and feel weaker too…not just from a low blood sugar lever, my muscles just feel they cannot respond. One thing to add that ou might have missed in this page, is one can get carried away with the low carb stuff and forget about cellulite. you might have a perfectly low carb meal that has loads of sodium or processed stuff, and conservatives…and end up a thin lumpy person with bad connective tissue 😉 …id say go the un-processed way whatever you do….just one question …im 1.72 cm and 63 kg and wanna b 59kg, would u say 1300 cals a day plus excercise would do the trick in 2-3 months?

  25. caroline
    October 23, 2012

    Hi Rusty – How can Slim Fast stabilize blood sugar? It’s full of sugar.

  26. Diane Garner
    February 13, 2013

    I am a type 2 diabetic who cannot seem to lose wieght unless I count calories. If I eat only 800 calories a day, I can lose 2 pounds a week. But I can’t work in all the fruits and vegetables I am told I should eat. Dieticians think I should eat at least 2000 calories a day, but I gain instead. I take 80 units of insulin from an insulin pen and several other pills for diabetes each day. Is eating just low glycenic foods the answer?

  27. Eric
    February 25, 2013

    Diane, you are insulin resistant and have a relatively less than normal insulin response (which is why you must take additional insulin). In other words, either your blood sugar remains too high after a meal because the cells of your body are glucose uptake impaired AND/OR you aren’t releasing enough insulin to effectively mediate blood sugar in the first place (typical Type 2). High blood sugar is your ENEMY. The non-drug solution? You must simply lower your carbohydrate intake without lowering your overall calories below what you expend daily (look up ‘TDEE calculator’ on Google to figure out how many total calories you should be eating). So, if someone has proper insulin response and their Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) is, say 2000 calories (and they don’t exercise/are fairly sedentary), they can usually MAINTAIN their weight by eating 125g of carbs (no more than 70-ish at any one meal due to liver capacity which runs from 70 to 100-ish depending on how big you are), 150g of protein (3 meals of 50g each works fine), and 100g of fat. (Notice I am NOT talking percentages — I am talking REQUIREMENTS in grams to maintain an energy balance when 2000 calories expended daily are equal to 2000 calories eaten daily) Now, since YOU are insulin resistant/deficient and knowing that carbohydrates CAUSE high blood sugar, you MUST limit your carbs below 125g daily (preferably 30g minimum-50g daily if you are trying to lose FAT at a faster rate – although at these lower carb rates you are going to lose some muscle weight due to post-absorptive gluconeogenesis). You will need to INCREASE your protein intake by the difference between the 125g of carbs you were eating before and the 30g-50g you decide to eat from now on. This will help offset the loss of muscle mass, which is what you want because the more muscle you hang on to, the more calories you can burn even at rest. The MOST IMPORTANT part of this Diane, is that when you lower your carb intake, your need for exogenous insulin (your insulin pen and other insulin-raising drugs) will GO DOWN (because your blood sugar will be lower) and you must talk with your doctor before you take on a low carb approach so he/she can LOWER your doses of exogenous insulin to the proper amounts needed for you. Over time, a low carbohydrate diet can REVERSE Type 2 diabetes (and there are many personal testimonials on the Internet to back this up — and so should your doctor if he /she is worth their salt and actual UNDERSTANDS the mechanisms here) and will help you burn all of your excess FAT weight. THEN you reach a point where you can slowly add a few more carbohydrates to your diet (while reducing your protein by the same amount) until your weight stabilizes where YOU want it to! I know you are only eating 800 calories a day, but this is called semi-starvation mode which inhibits HEALTHY fat-burning greatly (the 2 pounds a week you are losing is NOT mostly fat — IT’S mostly MUSCLE! Look up ‘gluconeogenesis’ and you’ll see what I mean!) Until you start ramping up your metabolism slowly over time to the point where you have a normal non-impaired metabolism (which is going to be maybe a couple hundred calories +/- 2000 calories daily if you are fairly sedentary), you will never reach your goals of being truly HEALTHY. Your body only NEEDS about 24-30g of carbohydrate daily PERIOD (This is approximately the only amount of glucose in the body that must come from outside the body, mainly for 20% of the glucose used for normal brain function — 80% of it can come from ketones which are products of fat-burning!). So eat more protein, eat more healthy fats, eat waaaaay less carbs, talk to your doctor before doing any of this so he can regulate your drugs — THAT’S IT! Once you have got it all under control, then you can dabble in vegan or vegetarian approaches if that floats your boat, but first things first — get your blood sugar under control through NUTRITION so you can soon reduce (and most possibly eliminate over time) your need for these diabetic drugs which only address the SYMPTOMS not the underlying PROBLEM. Wouldn’t you rather fix the problem? Otherwise, you’ll be taking these drugs for LIFE. Good luck and Good Health!!

  28. Eric
    February 25, 2013

    I will add one thing, because I know someone (or a lot of someones) will bring it up… The 24g-30g of glucose minimum is for mostly to fairly average sedentary individuals. If you exercise, your glucose (carbohydrate) needs WILL increase. However, this is entirely dependent on WHAT KIND of exercise you do as to how much carbohydrate you need to stay in energy balance. For example, exercising at 25% of your VO2MAX (about 96 heartbeats a minute for me), I will burn ~85% peripheral fat, ~7.5% intramuscular triglycerides, and ~7.5% carbohydrate. If I burn ~240 kcalories during one hour of this effort, only 4.5g of carbohydrate will be used (from muscle & liver glycogen stores). Exercising at a heart-pounding 85% of VO2MAX (about 165 heartbeats a minute), I will burn ~ 12.5% peripheral fat, ~12.5% intramuscular triglyceride, and 75% carbohydrate. If I burn ~413 kcalories during one hour of this effort, I will use 77.44g of carbohydrate. So YES you would need to add additional carbohydrate to your diet to fuel low and high intensity workouts respectively. This is why “80%carb/10%protein/10%fat” vegans like DurianRider and Freelea stay so lean on 3000 kcalories a day — they are both EXTREMELY active (DurianRider WAAAY more so obviously) and burn through VAST amounts of carbohydrate daily. They MUST eat this much or they will have a hypoglycemic episode and collapse from low blood sugar! That’s also why they are clearly not maintaining very much muscle (like most long-term low-protein vegans) — lots of endurance activity (like long bouts of slow cardio, bicycle marathons, etc.) increases muscle catabolism and without additional protein in the diet to help somewhat counteract this, they start to become literally emaciated (see DurianRider on YouTube [warning: MILITANT vegans] who is clearly wasting away at a much higher rate than his girlfriend Freelea because he is a constant high endurance athlete with very little protein in his diet and she is just very active and probably lifts weights or does more bodyweight type resistance exercises thereby utilizing the low protein a little better).

  29. Thordur
    May 24, 2013

    I do the similar thing, I eat small breakfast and most of the time I even skip the breakfast and have small launch 1 – 2 hours before I hit the gym, and after gym, protein shake with Isolate then few fruits just to keep my hunger down until my big meal (chicken breast/turkey breast or beef with rice that I usually eat between 17:00 – 21:00 and it has worked great, I have been building muscles and keeping my fat % down.

    I am not into the bulky hulk look. I am more geared to toned James Bond Daniel Craig look as it is much more appealing and easier to maintain then bodybuilder lifestyle in my opinion.

    And since I am closing to the 40 year old mark, your message is what I have been adapting for the past years.


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