How Insulin Affects Fat Loss

The short and dirty way to understand how insulin relates to fat loss is this: When insulin is active in your body, your body is NOT burning fat (in fact, it’s likely storing excess glucose as fat).

So if you want to burn fat, you want to minimize the amount and duration of insulin activity in your body. How do you do this?

The short answer is:
By eating less frequently (shorter fed windows) and eating low glycemic foods. Each time you eat, if you’re like most Americans, you probably trigger an insulin response and go out of a fat burning state.

The long answer is:
By eating less often and eating less glucose heavy foods, or foods that get converted to glucose. Insulin is basically the mechanism by which the body controls glucose levels in the bloodstream, because high levels of glucose are toxic. How does excess glucose get converted to useable, non-toxic energy? By getting stored in fat cells. So when your body is using insulin to control glucose levels, it is almost certainly busy adding to the amount of fat you have in your body.

Insulin and Weight Loss

For healthy weight loss, you want to maximize the amount of fat that you burn and minimize the amount of muscle that you burn.

Controlling the insulin levels in your body is one of the most overlooked but important parts of weight loss. If you’re constantly snacking, you’re not giving your body the time it needs to start burning the fat you have stored in your body.

One of the reasons that Intermittent Fasting works so well is that helps you maximize the amount of time that your body is pulling energy from fat stores, while minimizing the amount of time you’re storing fat with the insulin mechanism.

The two main things to focus on for getting control of your insulin:

  1. Have shorter fed windows (periods of time during the day when you are in a fed state). Consider only eating between 10am and 6pm. That way you’ll have a 16 hour unfed window where you’ll be burning fat.
  2. Eat low glycemic foods. Meat and vegetables are naturally low glycemic. The foods to avoid are the breads that you eat with your meat. Or the cereal. Or any processed treat with more than 20g of carbs.