2

votes

Is insulin the only factor in weight gain?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 07, 2012 at 12:15 PM

I was having a discussion with an obvious LC/VLC and her argument was that insulin was the only factor in weight gain.

I personally think that this seems wrong. I am not saying that insulin is not a factor, or not even the biggest factor. But, my thoughts are this -

If I ate nothing but coconut oil for a month, and consumed 4000 calories a day with no exercise, I would have to put on weight, right?

Her argument seems flawed? What are your thoughts? Anyone up for my experiment in the name of science?

Edit So thanks for the answers everyone. My example was of course just that, an example. My point being that eating zero carbs but consuming double the amount of calories that you would normally need would have to lead to weight gain. I wasn't advocating doing it, I was just wondering what the outcome would be.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 08, 2012
at 08:10 PM

Sorry, I meant Deans, of course.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 07, 2012
at 11:52 PM

I don't think that petition says what Dr. Dean thinks it says.

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on January 07, 2012
at 10:33 PM

Incredibly interesting experiment. Would love to know his food and exercise.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 07, 2012
at 06:39 PM

Cool trick! ;-)

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 07, 2012
at 05:38 PM

@Ambimorph, yeah that I could do. I'll sometimes chew a piece of meat 'til the juice/fat is gone and then use it to blot up more broth/fat as I used to do with bread. Oh, wait. That's a secret. I did not say that.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on January 07, 2012
at 05:31 PM

@Matt: That's equivalent to saying you can reduce biology down to physics. Yet no one tries to explain predator-prey relationships by describing weak nuclear forces. Energy balance is the obvious part. Why energy imbalances occurs is the part that matters.

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on January 07, 2012
at 05:20 PM

Is insulin the only factor in weight gain? No.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 07, 2012
at 05:19 PM

I wouldn't do either, either. I'd like to keep my muscles. This guy was not eating only fat, though. He was eating fatty meat plus some extra fat. I currently do the same, but only at about 70% fat, not 85%.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 07, 2012
at 04:21 PM

Man, I love my fatty meat and buttered vegetables, and I want to continue losing excess fat, but Ewww! A month of fat-only sounds horrible and I highly doubt I could do it. A water fast is more appealing and I won't do that either. :-))

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 07, 2012
at 04:17 PM

If you ate nothing but coconut oil for a month, you'd be woefully malnourished.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 07, 2012
at 04:16 PM

And Dr Emily Deans nailed it: http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/2012/01/glorious-cause.html

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 07, 2012
at 04:16 PM

And Emily Deans nailed it: http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 07, 2012
at 04:15 PM

Agreed obesity is a multifaceted problem, but you can simplify it down to energy balance.

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on January 07, 2012
at 01:49 PM

yeah, I'm not going to try it. I think your taking my example way too seriously. cheers for the answer

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on January 07, 2012
at 01:45 PM

The 4000 calories of coconut oil was just an example, not my argument

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on January 07, 2012
at 12:53 PM

Yea, was also thinking 4000 kcal of coconut oil sounds like an impromptu colon cleanse to me.

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5 Answers

13
D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on January 07, 2012
at 12:31 PM

Insulin as the ONLY factor is absurd. Leptin anyone? Obesity is a multifactorial issue. Attempts to reduce it to a singular factor are laughable. And yes calories do matters. But that does not make CICO any less of a tautology BTW.

For repudiation of the insulin theory of obesity from Stephan Guyenet

In fairness, you should also read the retort from Peter at Hyperlipid

There is also the retort from Gary Taubes, and this the first of the many parts to it

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 07, 2012
at 04:16 PM

And Dr Emily Deans nailed it: http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/2012/01/glorious-cause.html

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on January 07, 2012
at 05:31 PM

@Matt: That's equivalent to saying you can reduce biology down to physics. Yet no one tries to explain predator-prey relationships by describing weak nuclear forces. Energy balance is the obvious part. Why energy imbalances occurs is the part that matters.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 08, 2012
at 08:10 PM

Sorry, I meant Deans, of course.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 07, 2012
at 04:15 PM

Agreed obesity is a multifaceted problem, but you can simplify it down to energy balance.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 07, 2012
at 04:16 PM

And Emily Deans nailed it: http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 07, 2012
at 11:52 PM

I don't think that petition says what Dr. Dean thinks it says.

6
Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on January 07, 2012
at 12:31 PM

It's not the only factor, there are multiple pathways, and differences between simple weight gain and obesity.

But then, your arguments are flawed as well. There's nothing saying you'd actually digest 4000 calories, there's a possibility you'll get sick and be unable to eat that much coconut oil every day for a month etc.

I'm not sure if she was arguing that the physiological processes were so strong that you couldn't overcome them by force-feeding yourself into an early grave.

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on January 07, 2012
at 01:45 PM

The 4000 calories of coconut oil was just an example, not my argument

5
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 07, 2012
at 03:29 PM

The only factor? Of course not. Another obvious one is genetics.

But as to your second part, I would expect you to lose weight on 4000 calories of fat a day. If you want to retain your muscle mass, make a small amount of that protein.

Here's an example of someone who did that and published their results.

Total : Wed Jan 14 - Tue Feb 3

Average Calories: 4105 Average Fat: 86%

Expected: 5.4 kg body fat gain Actual: 4.3 kg body fat loss

This should speak loud and clear for itself.

I've been over consuming calories since Nov 24, 2008. Since then, I've lost 10.3 kg of body fat!

In November, I was not able to button my size 34 jeans. Now, I cannot wear those jeans, cuz they fall off me. The size 33 jeans I have been wearing are falling down to the point I won't be able to wear those anymore here real soon. I had a large bulging belly back in November, and now, my fat roll around my belly is getting very small. When I'm sitting down, I can still grab some fat, and so, I've still got some to lose. Eating this way, I'm totally sure that, no matter how much I eat, I will lose every bit of body fat I have. Stay tuned and watch for yourself. Better yet, try this out on yourself and you will discover the truth.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 07, 2012
at 06:39 PM

Cool trick! ;-)

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 07, 2012
at 04:21 PM

Man, I love my fatty meat and buttered vegetables, and I want to continue losing excess fat, but Ewww! A month of fat-only sounds horrible and I highly doubt I could do it. A water fast is more appealing and I won't do that either. :-))

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 07, 2012
at 05:38 PM

@Ambimorph, yeah that I could do. I'll sometimes chew a piece of meat 'til the juice/fat is gone and then use it to blot up more broth/fat as I used to do with bread. Oh, wait. That's a secret. I did not say that.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 07, 2012
at 05:19 PM

I wouldn't do either, either. I'd like to keep my muscles. This guy was not eating only fat, though. He was eating fatty meat plus some extra fat. I currently do the same, but only at about 70% fat, not 85%.

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on January 07, 2012
at 10:33 PM

Incredibly interesting experiment. Would love to know his food and exercise.

2
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on January 07, 2012
at 12:32 PM

Try it and see, if you're willing. But you'd probably be starving yourself of micronutrients, and you'll probably go high on cortisol, and at least do take a multivitamin.

If you do zero exercise for a month, your muscles will atrophy (I personally find that if I'm inactive for a week, I start to lose muscle mass), and certainly since you'll go down the path of gluconeogenesis for glucose, you'll catabolize muscle tissue even faster than you would by just being sedentary.

You'd probably also get massive cravings too, which you'll need to plan for before you embark on such an experiment, or you'll fail to complete it. You'd also need to warn people around you that you'll become somewhat crabby and may not be as friendly as usual, and that they shouldn't take it personally.

4000Kcals of coconut oil is ~445 grams or 15oz (roughly about two cups). I'd suggest you take only a little bit at a time to avoid the trots. :)

A better test would be to use around 2000Kcals, since you say you'll do no exercise, and thus would be sedentary, and would not need the extra calories.

Perhaps you could try this twice, once with 4000Kcals, then go back to your normal routine for a few months and repeat with 2000Kcals and see if there is a different effect.

Make sure you're in really good health and have some body fat before you attempt it.

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on January 07, 2012
at 01:49 PM

yeah, I'm not going to try it. I think your taking my example way too seriously. cheers for the answer

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on January 07, 2012
at 12:53 PM

Yea, was also thinking 4000 kcal of coconut oil sounds like an impromptu colon cleanse to me.

1
7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on January 07, 2012
at 04:56 PM

If I ate nothing but coconut oil for a month, and consumed 4000 calories a day with no exercise, I would have to put on weight, right?

Sounds like a good Seth Robert Low Food Reward experiment to me...

So of course there are many factors hotly debated here at Paleo Hacks. For me personally, I eat low carb when I'm shedding bodyfat but I'm starting to experiment with the low food reward protocol too. And then there are the emotional factors.

To the insulin point though...if you ate fat and protein you typically won't be hungry enough to over-eat to the point of 4000 calories...which is why so many people like it. It takes out most of the willpower factor.

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