Insulin and Fat Loss. A Simple Explanation.

August 5, 2008

If you are like me, you sometimes “zone out” a bit when articles talk about things like insulin. It reminds me of reading a textbook in college or high school, where your mind wanders while reading a page. You have to go back and re-read that page to understand the concepts. It doesn’t help to read the words if you don’t pay attention to what is being talked about. I’m going to attempt to write a very simple, straightforward article on insulin and how it effects fat loss.
sexy teacher
[Students Pay Attention! The teacher has arrived.]

A Simple Explanation of Insulin

Insulin is an important hormone in your body. It is at a higher level after you eat and a lower level when you are fasting. The simplest explanation…insulin helps store the nutrients from the foods you eat.

A High Level of Insulin = A High Level of Storage

Want to gain a lot of body fat? Then you will want to keep your insulin levels high all day long! Eat lots of food all day long and you will insure high insulin levels. Another way to insure high insulin levels is to eat foods like candy and simple carbs. This increases your blood sugar level quickly and as a response, you body releases a large volume of insulin. Then it is time to store that food as body fat.

A Lower Insulin Level = The Ability to Lose Body Fat

Your body cannot burn body fat if your insulin levels are too high. You can exercise and do everything else right, but if your insulin levels are high…you will not burn body fat. The best way to insure low insulin levels is either by eating foods with a low Glycemic Index or fasting…not eating food at all for a period of time.

Note: I just wanted to make this post short and simple. I have a more detailed post on insulin and low GI foods here —-> High Insulin Levels Stop Fat Loss and Cause Weight Gain

Just a Bit More Info About Fasting

I’ve been communicating with Brad Pilon a bit about his brilliant book, Eat Stop Eat. He has done an excellent job laying out a really simple plan on fasting just twice per week to lose body fat consistently. It uses a strategy to keep insulin levels low for 24 hours at a time. This diet is a lot more realistic and doable than the Warrior Diet. Go over to his site and opt-in to his free newsletter. If you like that, you will really enjoy his book.

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Thanks for reading all these years!


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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

no July 21, 2011 at 2:52 am

“Mikha said:
Here’s this for whoever is interested:
The 11 Critical Conclusions of Good Calories, Bad Calories: by Gary Taubes
1. Dietary fat, whether saturated or not, does not cause heart disease.
2. Carbohydrates do, because of their effect on the hormone insulin. The more easily-digestible and refined the carbohydrates and the more fructose they contain, the greater the effect on our health, weight, and well-being.
3. Sugars—sucrose (table sugar) and high fructose corn syrup specifically—are particularly harmful. The glucose in these sugars raises insulin levels; the fructose they contain overloads the liver.
4. Refined carbohydrates, starches, and sugars are also the most likely dietary causes of cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, and the other common chronic diseases of modern times.
5. Obesity is a disorder of excess fat accumulation, not overeating and not sedentary behavior.
6. Consuming excess calories does not cause us to grow fatter any more than it causes a child to grow taller.
7. Exercise does not make us lose excess fat; it makes us hungry.
8. We get fat because of an imbalance—a disequilibrium—in the hormonal regulation of fat tissue and fat metabolism. More fat is stored in the fat tissue than is mobilized and used for fuel. We become leaner when the hormonal regulation of the fat tissue reverses this imbalance.
9. Insulin is the primary regulator of fat storage. When insulin levels are elevated, we stockpile calories as fat. When insulin levels fall, we release fat from our fat tissue and burn it for fuel.
10. By stimulating insulin secretion, carbohydrates make us fat and ultimately cause obesity. By driving fat accumulation, carbohydrates also increase hunger and decrease the amount of energy we expend in metabolism and physical activity.
11. The fewer carbohydrates we eat, the leaner we will be.”

LOL Biggest crock I have ever read….

TRIGYY November 15, 2011 at 7:43 am

i have tried in diet with low insulin level. now, i lost my weight.. hehe.. thanks for this tips

Jeanine July 10, 2012 at 1:03 am

I would like to share some experience I learned from my husband. Before, in his running workouts, he always do it very fast and eat lots of carbo before and after the workout (he looks sugar-starved after the workout). He lose a little on overall weight but is not happy with the %BF result.

He then changed his strategy to running aerobically for six months and always doing the workout 7 to 8 hours after the big meal. He seems inspired from Mark Allen heart rate training technique for triathletes.

The running/bike workout is rather long at least 40 to 60 minutes. Some could last up to 4 hours during the time he trains for the marathon.

The strategy works as he drops his %body fat to around 6-8% while maintaining overall desired weight. The muscle mass looks preserved because of his very high protein intake (instead of always eating heavy carbs) after the workout and during the meal. He starting to dislike carb and sweet foods like ice cream, etc before any workout.

He only eats one very heavy meal per day and he is been doing that for years since before we married. He is also asthmatic and looks very unfit 5 years before (couch type individual), he decided to train in running and cycling to stay fit and seems very happy doing it now.

So this means to say, Rusty is very correct in saying running on low insulin levels allows him to burn more fat during the workout. I stumble on this page to confirm that this is correct and there are lot of misconceptions out there. May 5, 2013 at 5:34 pm

a week and also transform your physique very quickly. There’s a clever little line in the Jimmy Buffet lyrics “Fruitcakes” when his ‘lady’ is lamenting: “I treat my body like a temple, You treat yours like a tent”. Figuring out how much protein you should be eating can be tricky.

Keeon Taylor December 14, 2013 at 8:27 am

Short and to the point. People need to make better choices when it comes to choosing the foods that they eat. This short article will inform why they should. Good stuff!

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