Calories Aren’t All That Matter…Ask Anyone Taking Insulin


 

“Insulin has profound metabolic effects in the determination of body weight…” – B. Dokken, University of Arizona

The critical effect hormones have on body fat has been well known in scientific circles for a long time. Especially the hormone insulin. Three quick examples:

  • A study in the journal Diabetic Medicine found that giving patients the hormone insulin “is associated with weight gain,” specifically, “an increase in trunk [belly] fat mass.
  • The journal Diabetes and Metabolism reports: “Most studies report an average 13.2 lb. weight gain during the first year following the initiation of insulin therapy.” The journal went on to conclude that when it comes to taking shots of the hormone insulin “weight gain seems mandatory.”
  • In the journal Diabetes an aptly title study “Intensive Insulin Therapy and Weight Gain in IDDM (type 1 diabetes)” revealed that after only two months, “Body weight increased ~6 lbs. with intensive insulin therapy as a result of an increase in fat mass.”

Note that there’s no mention of “eating too much” or “exercising too little.” That’s because calories aren’t all that matter. Hormones matter a lot. Hundreds of millions of diabetics have proven this for years. And that’s why long-term fat loss and robust health isn’t about eating less of a hormonally-poor traditional diet and doing more hormonally-irrelevant traditional exercise. These techniques may mask our hormonal breakdown, but they do not fix it.

Long-term fat loss and robust health isn’t about eating less of a hormonally-poor traditional diet and doing more hormonally-irrelevant traditional exercise.

Forget counting calories. Focus on eating more hormonally-helpful SANE foods, and doing less, but hormonally-helpful eccentric exercise. Eat more and exercising less–smarter. Sure that seems like the opposite of what we’ve been told to do, but isn’t it about time to get the opposite of what we’ve gotten?


  1. Carlson MG & Campbell PJ. Intensive insulin therapy and weight gain in IDDM. Diabetes 1993 42 1700–1707.
  2. Laville M, Andreelli F. [Mechanisms for weight gain during blood glucose normalization]. Diabetes Metab. 2000 Jun;26 Suppl 3:42-5. Review. French. PubMed PMID: 10945152.
  3. From Research to Practice/The Art and Science of Obesity Management: Betsy B. Dokken and Tsu-Shuen Tsao the Physiology of Body Weight Regulation: Are We Too Efficient for Our Own Good? Diabetes Spectrum July 2007 20:166-170; doi:10.2337/diaspect.20.3.166
  4. Sinha A, Formica C, Tsalamandris C, Panagiotopoulos S, Hendrich E, DeLuise M, Seeman E, Jerums G. Effects of insulin on body composition in patients with insulin-dependent and non-insulin-dependent diabetes. Diabet Med. 1996 Jan;13(1):40-6. PubMed PMID: 8741811.