Why can’t I lose weight?  I hear this question all day long, so I decided to write a pointed answer to this common question.

Common knowledge is that is you cut calories, you will eventually lose weight.  The thought is that if you burn more calories than you consume, you should lose weight, right?  Technically, this is right, but it fails to take into consideration the whole “I’m hungry” thing.

So, basically, the calorie burning theory of losing weight will work if you have a whole lot of willpower, enough to override your body’s cravings.  I don’t know about you, but I’d like a better way to lose fat.  And there is.

Lose Weight and Balance Your Hormones By Optimizing Insulin

What if I were to tell you that you could use your own hormones to not only lose weight, but that it would also help to balance other hormones, such as your thyroid, estrogen and progesterone, while helping to prevent other degenerative diseases, such as arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer?  The answer lies in how you manipulate your own master storage and inflammation hormone, insulin.

Yes, insulin levels can be the key to your health, or lack thereof.  You see, when you keep insulin levels low, or at least avoid insulin spikes, your body will cut down it’s inflammatory response, cutting down it’s risk of cancer, arthritis, heart disease, and even Alzheimer’s disease.  In this discussion, keeping insulin down will shift the body from fat storage to fat burning.  So we want to keep insulin down.

Simple Steps to Minimizing Insulin

So how do we minimize insulin?  It’s actually very simple. You see, whenever we eat more than 10 grams of carbohydrates, our body produces insulin, in direct proportion to the amount of carbohydrates you eat.

For example, do you know how much food you have to eat to get 10 carbs?  Not much is if you’re consuming starches, sugars, or fruit.  However, if you eat veggies, they hardly have any sugar/carbs in them.  You could eat about 1 ½ lbs lettuce to give you 10 carbs,  10 oz of kale, 10 oz of pumpkin, 7 oz of macadamia nuts, or 10 oz of cottage cheese.  Compare this to 2 ½ teaspoons sugar, or ½ slice of bread, or 1/3 of a banana.

Eat This, Not That–When Optimizing Insulin

Obviously, the sugar, bread, and fruit causes a greater insulin release to balance blood sugar, and hence stores fat (along with other nasty consequences).  So you get the point, eat veggies to keep carbs low as possible to keep insulin as low as possible.

Here is another article I wrote on how to optimize your insulin levels.

It’s important to note that meat, fish, chicken, cheese, eggs, all contain negligible amounts of carbs. They do produce a small insulin surge, but much less than carbohydrates.  For all intents and purposes, we consider them a “FREE FOOD”, meaning you don’t need to restrict them.

Fats do not create an insulin response, so don’t have to worry about them either.

Here is a chart of the “FREE FOODS” you do not have to count toward your total carb tally:


*Based on the works of Dr. Mendosa’s Glycemic Index.

# is carbohydrates in a 3.5 ounce portion


Alfalfa seeds, sprouted 1.28
Arugula 2.05
Asparagus, cooked 2.63
Bamboo shoots, cooked 0.92
Beans, green, cooked 4.69
snap, green, cooked 4.68
Beet greens, cooked 2.56
Broccoli, cooked 2.16
Cabbage, cooked 2.16
Cauliflower, cooked 1.41
Celeriac (celery root), cooked 4.7
Celery 1.95
Chard, swiss, cooked 2.04
Collards, cooked 2.1
Cucumber 1.8
Dandelion greens, cooked 3.5
Eggplant, cooked 4.14
Endive 0.25
Fennel, bulb 4.19
Hearts of palm, canned 2.22
Jicama 3.92
Kale, cooked 3.63
Lettuce, butterhead 1.32
cos or romaine 0.67
iceberg 0.69
Mustard greens, cooked 0.1
Mushrooms 2.94-3.57 (except shitake)
Nopales, cooked 1.27
Olives, canned ripe 3.06
Okra, cooked 4.71
Olives, canned ripe 3.06
Parsley 3.03
Peppers, serano 3.00
jalapeno 3.11
sweet green 4.63
sweet red 4.43
Pumpkin, cooked 3.80
Purslane 3.43
Radicchio 3.58
Radishes 1.99
Rhubarb 2.74
Sauerkraut 1.78
Scallions (green onions) 4.74
Spinach, cooked 1.35
Squash, summer, cooked 2.91
zucchini, cooked 2.53
Tomatillos 3.93
Tomatoes 3.54
Tomato juice 3.83
Turnips, cooked 2.9
greens, cooked 0.86
Watercress 0.79

Avocados 2.39
Chayote (christophene) 2.20
Raspberries 4.77
Strawberries 4.72


Macadamia Nuts 4.83
Pecans 4.26


All meat and fin fish 0.00
Caviar 4.00
Crab 0.95
Lobster 1.28
Shrimp 0.00

Butter 0.06
Buttermilk, lowfat 4.79
Cheese, cheddar 1.28
Edam 1.43
Gouda 2.22
Swiss 3.38
Cream cheese, 2.66
Cottage cheese, 2% milkfat 3.63
Eggs 1.22
Half and Half 4.30
Heavy Cream 2.79
Goat milk 4.45
Mayonnaise 2.70
Milk, 1% milkfat, added solids 4.97
3.25% milkfat 4.66
Ricotta cheese, whole milk 3.04
Yogurt, plain, whole milk 4.66

Coffee (without cream or sugar) 0.00
Tea (without milk or sugar) 0.00
Water 0.00

How do you know if too much insulin is your problem? Usually, this needs to be confirmed with blood tests. But if you do have too much insulin, usually following this dietary strategy will help you lose weight quickly and efficiently.