Why a low carb diet works for weight loss (and the link to insulin your fat storage hormone)

Low carb diet cookbook
“Carbohydrates, and especially refined ones like sugar, make you produce lots of extra insulin. I’ve been keeping my intake really low ever since I discovered this.” – Cynthia Kenyon – Molecular Biologist

The low carb weight loss link

One day I stumbled across the book “The low carb gourmet” by Karen Barnaby, executive chef at “The Fish House” in Stanley Park, Vancouver. Back then I knew very little about the low carb diet weight loss link. I was very intrigued by all the information about living low carb given in the book. Today I do not agree with some ingredients like Splenda that are used in the recipes. But this book was the kick-starter towards losing weight, a balanced blood sugar level and better health for me. And it was the first step towards becoming a nutritionist. It showed me, that my diet was responsible for my urgent need for afternoon naps and brain fog. It made it clear, that there is a life without sugar and the carbohydrates (starches) of pasta, pizza and bread. Did you ever have cauliflower rice or almond puff pancakes or flax waffles? Give it a try. And believe me, you can still run a pretty darn good half-marathon without carb-loading the night before.

Lets’ see how a low-carb diet contributes to weight loss.

Of course the topic “food for energy” is much more complicated then this. But for simplicity imagine this. There is a convention. Visitors are entering from the street into the reception area (your digestive system). At the reception desk visitors get registered and name tagged (carbohydrate, protein and fat). Then the receptionist sends them down a long hallway (your blood vessels) with different doors (your cells). The protein and fat tagged people are very interested in the engineering part of the exhibition. They like to build stuff like hair, hormones, bones and brain cells. The carbohydrate people do not work in construction but they are highly interested in the topic of energy.

The protein and fat visitors go their own way. Let’s see what the carbohydrates do. Their area of expertise “energy” is exhibited in four areas:

  1. Energy transportation system                                  Hallways – blood vessels
  2. Energy production and short term storage           Room #1 – liver cells
                                                                                             Room #2 – muscles cells
  3. Energy long term storage                                          Room #3 (overflow) – fat cells
    (access with permission of insulin only)

A balanced blood sugar level is crucial for health. The body will always work towards a balanced blood sugar level.

The organizer of the exhibition (your brain) hopes for a steady flow of coming and going energy visitors. The perfect scenario is a few visitors enter the reception area, check-in and scan the hallways and room #1 and #2, while other visitors exit the same area (carbs are used up for energy – brainwork, movement, organ function).

But we know there will be times of higher traffic. Especially at lunch time a lot of people will use their lunch breaks to make a quick visit to the convention. So a lot of carb-people want to come in and linger in the hallways. And because the guys from the reception desk (which could be you) don’t know anything about limiting carb-intake, they let anyone in.

For security and health reasons it is crucial that there is a steady amount of carb-people in the hallways. Too many is not good (high blood sugar), too few is not great either (low blood sugar).

Too many carbohydrates result in high blood sugar levels. Insulin brings blood sugar levels down by converting carbohydrates to fat.

If there are too many carb-people in the hallway the organizers start redirecting the carb-visitors initially into room #1 (liver). When the capacity of the room is reached, they ask carb-visitors to go into room #2 (muscle cells). And when both rooms (#1 and #2) are full but there are still too many carb-visitors in the hallway, the organizers ask the bouncer with the name “Insulin” for assistance to convert excess carb-visitors into fat and store them in the overflow room #3.

With a low carb diet there will be little insulin release.


  • When too many carbohydrates are ingested, the blood sugar level will spike.
  • When the blood sugar level spikes and sugar is not needed for instant energy (exercise, organ function) insulin will be released.
  • When insulin is released, carbohydrates are stored as fat.
  • Fat can only be converted back into energy when there is no insulin in the blood.
  • With a low carb diet there will be little insulin release, which means stored fat can be utilized for energy.

Stay tuned for the following:

  • Low carb doesn’t mean no-carb. Learn more about good and bad carbohydrates, what to limit and what to dig in.
  • The onset of diabetes type II: High levels of blood sugar and high levels of insulin result in cells that become resistant to insulin, which is dangerous to the whole body.
  • Why Diabetes type II is a disease by choice and how you can become healthy again with a change in diet and lifestyle choices.
  • Discover more factors that influence blood sugar levels like caffeine and stress.
  • The power of insulin to make you tired and crave even more carbohydrates.

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Why a low carb diet works for weight loss (and the link to insulin your fat storage hormone) by
Tanja Knapp
About the Author
Tanja Knapp

Tanja Knapp is an Explorer, Adventurer and Happiness Hunter currently camping in beautiful Vancouver, Canada. Her roots are in Germany where she grew up on a remote farm. A colony of abnormal cells in her cervix taught her the lesson that would change her life forever. Life doesn't get better by chance, it get better by change. She truly believes in creating happiness & health through constant adapting, growing and evolving. Her super power is curiosity. With her blog she likes to inspire others to explore uncharted territory.

If she is not busy writing, running, swimming or cycling, she is expanding her knowledge, exploring the World, and taking on new challenges.

She is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and graduated with an Honors diploma in Holistic Nutrition from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in 2013. She obtained a Hospitality certification in 1998 and a Marketing Communications diploma in 2004. She has worked both in Europe and North America.

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