Are calories really the source of the problem?

As a cyclist, are you struggling to lose those last few pounds/kilograms? Or some of us are “fat cyclists,” and have a more than a few to hit our target. Failed at calorie restriction diets? If I was reading this, personally, I would be skeptical of anything that follows. I would think. “Not more diet advice. I can’t take it.”

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For the last 20-years I have tried just about every diet fad out there. They all work for a while (not long enough). How can we not be skeptical when seeing or experiencing so many “failures” to stay at our target?

One thing that has happened in the last 8–10 years, most of the popular diets seem to have one thing in common. They reduce your insulin levels. Atkins, low carb, keto, Paleo, and the list goes on. Scientists and slowly many doctors are getting more and more behind the idea that excess insulin is the root cause of excess weight and most inflammatory based diseases. Glucose and insulin together drive excess hunger in most people.

Because these popular diets reduce insulin, they work, but sadly, they are not sustainable for most people, for sure not for me.

For as long as I can remember, calories in and calories out, or “CI/CO,” has been the primary theory behind weight loss. While focusing on CI/CO works for a minority (body builders for example), it’s fairly obvious to anyone that has tried it, the suffering and inconvenience that comes with reduced calories is not a sustainable eating plan.

The “too many calories” concept is deeply engrained and drives the wrong thinking. Let’s say we started believing that carbs (carbohydrates) are the problem. Many of us still believe, deep down inside, we should focus on not eating too many calories. This frequently leads people to believe they should also not be eating too much fat because fat has more calories per gram.

What if calories are not the immediate problem? Fat is not the problem, and your problem is insulin. Raised insulin is mostly from processed carbs. Think sugar and bread… They also call this stuff with high glycemic index (or more importantly glycemic load). This shoots your insulin levels through the roof.

Read this a few times: Without insulin, no matter how much type 1 diabetics eat. Let me say that again. No matter how much they eat!!! They continue to lose weight to an unhealthy degree. There goes the CI/CO theory! It’s not a lack of “calories” that are causing them to lose weight; it’s a lack of insulin! TO START WITH MOST OF US NEED TO FORGET ABOUT CALORIES AND FOCUS ON INSULIN!!! This will help us to achieve painless appetite control.


So scientific studies have proven it repeatedly, you can’t burn fat when you have lots of insulin floating around. If you give a diabetic too much supplemental insulin, what happens? They get fat quickly. Actually, most people taking insulin get fatter. To compound that issue, it’s insulin that converts our what we eat too fat. What does that mean? Elevated insulin and we can’t burn fat, and then insulin converts our extra food to fat, hmm… Double whammy. I see where this is going, a fat me.

So the big question is. How do we painlessly reduce our insulin levels? It needs to be painless, or the least pain possible or else it is not sustainable. This must be a long-term life plan, not a short-term diet. You need a plan that allows for “vacations from our food plan,” that allows us more freedom for short periods of times such as during holidays and vacations.

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Welcome to “Your Plan.” What are the rules? For me,

  1. It needs to be dead simple.
  2. I would prefer to eat what I want 🙂
  3. It needs to be flexible and easy to stay on track
  4. For myself, I love immediate feedback. It would be great if it was like a Fitbit, so the target and my progress were immediately visible “Ok I am almost ate my 10,000 bites today,” Ok I am joking… Tell me when I did not hit the target. I don’t want to wait days or weeks for a scale or measuring tape to give me good or bad news. I just at healthy oatmeal, was that ok?

How does it work? It’s pretty simple. Increased glucose levels turn into increased insulin levels. It’s easy to measure glucose levels. Reduce your glucose and it will reduce your insulin. There are a few more details, but that’s the main point. So you can either reduce your glucose levels or you can reduce your duration time that you have raised glucose levels or a combination of both. This gives you lots of flexibility in how you can eat and get and stay skinny. Flexibility is the key. Have a plan that adapts based on how you want to eat is the key.

So I am suggesting in the ultimate plan, you start by totally forgeting about calories, forget about carbs, and importantly, forget about eating fat. Keep it simple and focus on one thing, and only one thing, having longer periods of your day without insulin. Allow your body time to burn fat.

You know what’s incredible? Depending on how you want to structure your plan, you still eat the foods you love. You might need some hacks. Like never eat a sugary snack alone, but always eat sugary items after a meal as a desert. This can significantly reduces your insulin levels.

Each person reacts differently to various foods and other life events regarding insulin and glucose. For example, in many people, sleep can affect insulin. Now it sounds complicated. Guess what? It can be simple!!! I will provide two very simple solutions.

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For example, in one solution, all we need to do is monitor our glucose for a while and learn to understand our unique bodies, make some modifications to our habits that are relatively easy for us and see our daily average glucose levels go down. Depending on your specifics, some simple “hacks” can be enough to tip the insulin scale in your fat burning favor. Bam!!! You are at your target weight and off the path towards diabetes and other inflammation based diseases.

READ PART 2 HERE — How to eat what you want and reduce your insulin levels

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