Want to lose weight?? Stop eating carbs.Sounds familiar!! Of Course it does, the fear of carbohydrates is being fed into the minds of common folks relentlessly by some so-called fitness experts, who appear to have a perverse need to create confusions such as good carb/bad carb, carb backloading/front loading or if you eat carbs in breakfast you’ll gain fat etc. Low carb zealots think insulin to be the main culprit and often point to the ‘carbohydrate-insulin hypothesis’ to validate their argument. To understand what this hypothesis is, we should first look at what insulin is.Insulin is a hormone which is released by the pancreas when you eat food. When you eat a meal which contains carbohydrates, it will be broken down into glucose which enters your bloodstream. This rise in blood glucose levels is sensed by the pancreas and it secretes insulin. Insulin then shuttles that glucose to your liver, muscle tissue and fat cells from the blood to get the blood glucose levels back to normality again. When insulin is spiked, it decreases body’s fat burning ability and turns on the “storage mode.” Your insulin level drops simultaneously with your blood glucose levels. This increase and decrease in the levels of insulin and blood glucose occur throughout the day, whenever you eat a meal.As we now know what insulin is, let’s look at what the insulin-carbohydrate hypothesis is.High carbohydrate meal/diet results in higher insulin levels which results in increased fat storage because of decreased lipolysis(fat burning) which in turn result in increased body fat. Proponents of the ‘Insulin Hypothesis’ use the above-mentioned logic to validate their argument that a low carb/ketogenic diet is best for fat loss because insulin levels are never elevated. Their logic chain goes something like this:Low Carbohydrate Diet = Low Insulin = Decreased Lipogenesis/Increased Lipolysis = Decreased Body Fat However, this logic is flawed because protein increases insulin secretion as well. In fact, some studies have shown that protein can spike insulin even more than simple carbohydrates, especially dairy protein (due to higher leucine concentration). So following this hypothesis protein should be fattening as well, when we know that this is not true. Also, your body does not need elevated insulin levels to store fat. Insulin has the effect of suppressing Hormone-sensitive lipase(HSL), which means the body is unable to burn body fat. However, fat also suppresses HSL, even when insulin levels are low.Let’s try to understand how insulin works with a simplified explanation.Essentially, insulin acts as the “signal” to store the incoming energy.Think of it as cars arriving at a parking lot to be parked, with the cars representing the incoming and outgoing energy i.e food(calories) which is to be stored as fat, and the valets representing insulin.Even if there are more valets present, then the number of cars in the parking lot won’t increase, unless the incoming cars are more than the cars leaving the parking lot.In the same way, if your maintenance is 2000 calories and you eat 1700 calories, then any amount of insulin won’t be able to increase the body’s fat stores because there’s no energy to store in the first place. Calories in vs out are what drives weight loss or gain, not insulin. End of story.