Does Insulin Prevent Fat Loss?

Some diet experts suggest it's impossible to burn fat if you increase insulin. But several studies make it clear that carbs are...

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Today’s Health Upgrade

  • Numero uno

  • Say goodnight to sugar cravings

  • Does insulin prevent fat loss?

  • Recipe of the week

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Numero Uno

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Yesterday we got the news that Be Useful was officially a #1 New York Times Bestseller. I know that so many of you contributed to this success, so I want you to know that I am grateful, and I hope the book helps. I love reading the reviews and seeing people say that my book helped more than I’ll ever care about a list. But this shows that we are getting one step closer to my vision of getting Be Useful into everyone’s hands and showing them that they have the power to change their life and then the world. Thank you.

Say Goodnight To Sugar Cravings

Are you someone who constantly finds themselves reaching for sugary treats throughout the day? Well, here's some good news: research suggests that getting a little more sleep could be the key to reducing sugar cravings.

Scientists explored how sleep duration affects dietary choices. They recruited 42 adults who struggled to sleep at least 7 hours per night.

The participants who extended their sleep duration by an hour starting eating an average of 10 grams less sugar per day than those who didn’t improve their sleep. This may not sound like a significant reduction, but the improvements happened without focusing on sugar consumption. The researchers only wanted to help people sleep more, and — when it happened — the participants naturally started eating less sugar.

If you find yourself overeating sugar, try focusing on your sleep habits. Other studies have found that sleep deprivation influences your cravings and makes you more likely to want to eat more treats and sweets. Easy tips to improving sleep quality include cutting off food at least 2 hours before sleep, spending less time on screens an hour before bed, writing down your thoughts, or even 5 minutes of stretching or foam rolling.

From the Village: Does Insulin Prevent Fat Burning?

There’s a video on social media floating around that suggests, “If insulin is high, you cannot burn fat. It is physiologically impossible.”

This would suggest that you must follow a low-carb diet to lose fat because carbohydrates increase insulin.

The truth: Research suggests you can lose fat on a high-carb or low-carb diet.

Here’s where people get confused. When insulin levels rise, fat-burning slows down. But this refers to how your body creates and uses energy. When your insulin levels are high, you’ll burn less fat for energy than when your insulin levels are low. But you won’t stop burning fat; you’ll just burn more carbohydrates for energy.

Calorie balance determines how much body fat you burn. Many factors — activity, your metabolism, your diet, horomones — all influence calorie balance, but how much you store and burn determines weight loss, not whether or not you increase insulin.

Researcher Kevin Hall tested this when he compared low-carb to high-carb diets. This wasn’t observational research; it was a meta-analysis of 32 controlled feeding studies, where everything was measured and managed. In this review, the high-carb group actually burned slightly more calories per day. But the bottom line was both high-carb and low-carb diets can lead to fat loss.

And when researchers compared insulin-resistant and non-insulin-resistant individuals, there was no difference in weight loss when calories were the same.

Ultimately, it’s your choice if you want to follow a low-carb or higher-carb plan. There’s nothing bad about either option. The goal of any nutrition plan is to find what you can sustain for the longest time possible. A low-carb plan might work great if you prefer more fat and protein. If you love carbs, cutting them out is likely a bad fit. But there’s no reason to believe that eating carbs will prevent you from losing body fat because dozens of studies show that’s not the case.

Recipe of the Week

Who says you can’t make healthy food that’s affordable and easy to make? This recipe from You Can’t Screw This Up is loaded with protein and healthy fat; all it takes is a couple of ingredients and about 10 minutes of your time. It’s perfect as a snack, lunch, or even dinner when you only have a few items in your pantry. Enjoy!

Avocado Tuna Salad

  • Makes 1 serving

  • Prep time: 10 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons almond slivers

  • One 5-ounce can of albacore tuna

  • 1/2 ripe avocado, mashed

  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • Dash of Himalayan sea salt

  • Dash of ground black pepper

  • Bed of lettuce or one whole-grain pita or 8 whole-grain crackers


1. Toast the almonds in a dry skillet over low heat for a few minutes, until lightly browned, stirring often so they don’t burn.

2. Rinse the tuna under cold running water for about a minute. Combine tuna, avocado, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Using a large fork, break up the chunks of tuna and mix evenly.

3. Top with the toasted almond slivers for an added texture and nice crunchy bite.

4. Enjoy on a bed of lettuce, stuffed into a pita, or with crackers on the side.

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell