Does Insulin make you fat?

Updated: Jun 15, 2020

The real question isn’t whether insulin stops you from burning fat. It’s whether insulin stops you from losing fat.

Here’s what I can say with confidence: There’s zero scientific evidence to suggest you’ll gain weight if your energy intake is less than your energy expenditure. (Not counting short-term changes in body water, of course.)

Or put another way: Insulin itself doesn’t cause weight gain. You also need to eat more calories than you expend.

Remember, in healthy people, the increase in insulin after a meal only lasts a few hours. Then it returns to baseline, allowing fat burning to throttle up again.

If energy intake is lower than energy expenditure, insulin will stay low for long periods throughout the day and night. This permits fat burning to occur at full effect despite short periods of fat-burning inhibition.

So, if you initiate a diet to lose fat, you can accomplish that with or without carbs. Of course that depends on several factors such as, your metabolism, hormones profile, digestion, gut health, stress level, sleep and physical activities.


Bradley U, Spence M, Courtney CH, McKinley MC, Ennis CN, McCance DR, et al.Low-fat versus low-carbohydrate weight reduction diets: effects on weight loss, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular risk: a randomized control trial.Diabetes [Internet]. 2009 Dec;58(12):2741–8. Available from:

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