Is it insulin or excessive calories that make us gain weight?

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What really matters for weight loss? Calories in and calories out, or is body weight carefully regulated by hormones, like the fat-storing hormone insulin?

In this presentation from the LCHF Convention in Cape Town I describe why the second explanation – about hormones – makes much more sense. And why the first one – about calories – is a simplistic description that completely fails to address the cause of obesity.

Watch a segment above (transcript). The full, longer video is available on our member site:

Weight Control: The Calories vs Insulin Theory – Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt

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  1. Pierre
    What really matters for weight loss?

    In the end , it is calories in and calories out that matter.

    Reply: #5
  2. Low Carb Linda
    @ Pierre: False
    Reply: #3
  3. Pierre
    I think you don't understand the secret behind low carb diet.
    It is about energy density of food.

    Anybody can binge on 300 g of donuts ~ 1500 Kcal.
    But I defy you to binge on 6000 g of raw cabbage ~ 1500 Kcal.

    Reply: #6
  4. Gentiann
    Not only you are wrong, but the link you posted to justify your position, is extremely do you dare to use this as a reference????
    Reply: #9
  5. Matt
    It is about more than energy density of food. Straight fat is probably the most energy dense food there is but nobody binges on it. CICO isn't wrong it just isn't helpful. It's like telling a drowning man to just keep breathing and he'll be fine.

    In the real world the macronutrient content of what you eat influences how much you eat and how you feel.

    Reply: #7
  6. Pierre
    Yes people binge on fat.

    A donut of 280 calories has 18,3 g of fat , 27 g of glucide and 2 g of protein.

    So you have 165 calories from fat and only 108 caloris from sugar.

    Technically, it is almost 60% fat

  7. Gentiann
    People do not binge on fat, they binge on sugar and carbs are using a bad example because a donut is full of sugar.
    If you use an example without sugar or carbs, only fat and protein, for example bacon and eggs cooked in butter, you will feel satisfied without having a desire to binge...... you will lose your hunger very quickly on a High Fat Low Carb diet, regardless of the number of calories.
  8. gbl
    How dare he cite reality? Get a grip. One of the unstated (here) facts of obesity is that obese/D2 people eat massive quantities of food, translating as thousands of calories over needed. LCHF diets work best for these people, becasue it brings them down to approximately normal intake, with greater satiety, but not without creating other, dangerous health problems.
  9. gbl
    Diabetes 2 cured with calorie restriction and exercise:

  10. Blobby
    Is it not the case that eating only fat and protein satiates your appetite so you eat less and therefore consume fewer calories? So it is effectively CICO, just the calories don't come from carbs.
  11. Darlene b
    You are discounting the effect of sugar/carbs on blood sugar and the hormone insulin as opposed to the difference in effect of fat on blood sugar and insulin . PLEASE SOMEONE VERSED IN THE SCIENCE OF OBESITY WEIGH IN HERE. It is not simply calories in/calories burned.
  12. 1 comment removed
  13. Darlene b
    If you listen to the several wonderful video discussions of the role of insulin that are presented on this site you will understand that calories in/calories out is a simplistic and inaccurate explanation of obesity.
  14. Donna M
    I have Juvenile diabetes - type 1. I have been following a low carb diet since I went on the pump 16 years ago. However, for the past 4 weeks I have followed a strict low carb, high fat diet from and while my blood sugars are fantastic and my endocronoligist will be pleased. I have not lost weight. I can't find any information (except caution about low blood sugars which I have but manage and I have dialed back the insulin) that explains the physiology of a person who does not produce and therefore release their own insulin. Does anyone have suggestions or can direct me to a website?
  15. Marlene Cheng
    I am on the HFLC diet. I do not have a gall bladder. I often feel slight pain in the stomach and often have loose stools. Should I be supplementing with BILE SALTS?

    Also, my blood sugar is high in the morning, even when it was in range before going to bed. Then I have to spend all day getting it back into range. What is my body doing overnight? I often try taking MCT before bed, in case my Brain is demanding fuel. I get the stomach problems and my Blood Sugar still goes up. Maybe, my fats aren't emulsified and they go right through leaving no fuel for my brain and the body has to try and rectify the situation.

    I've been doing this diet for nine months. I lost 15 #s and am now at my high school weight and have plateaued there. I was on insulin, metformin and januvia for 6 years before my new doctor suggested that I take this new meds, HFLC. I am 79 years old.


  16. Jon
    I love reading fat people get triggered about their excess caloric consumption and blaming it on genetics.

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