Yes I live in Las Vegas. No you don’t have to play roulette with your diet selection, spending your money and time, only to have it fail. Yes there is a way to at least give your diet a fighting chance before you start.

I’ve talked to thousands of people who have all kinds of reasons why their diet failed. Sadly, those that believe they sabotaged them self may actually have had no choice because it was destined to fail before they started.

There is one simple reason why diets fail.


carbs clip art

Carbohydrates were why the three major diets I started had failed. The Adkins diet, may have worked when I first tried it because it limits carbs, I ate way to much protein and the excess that my body could not absorb turned into glucose just as if it was a carb. The Dr. Barry Sears Zone diet only portioned control my macros and unfortunately the 40% allocated to carbs were to much for me. Then the Fit for Life diet failed because again the amount of carbs were too much. I faithfully used the Isagenix 30-day Cleansing and Fat Burning System and it actually helped me for the first 8 years. Little did I know then that intermittent fasting, while cleansing, is very beneficial for those with my condition and probably the single biggest contributing factor to it’s success for me.

Why are carbs now all of a sudden bad? I know you may be thinking that everything you’ve ever heard or read was that carbs were good and fat was bad. As I’ve always said, “You can’t believe everything you read. In fact, you may be thinking that now!

Truth: Carbohydrates are the gatekeeper to fat burning.

Truth: If you want a diet to work for weight loss you have to burn fat.

The most important question you have to answer to predict the results of any diet is:

Are you insulin sensitive or resistant?

If you’re insulin sensitive your body processes and uses glucose well and thus you can use carbohydrates in a diet and get into fat burning. If you’re insulin resistant, your body does not process and absorb glucose well and is carbohydrate intolerant. Learn more here.  This is why most diabetics are overweight. They all are insulin resistant and because they don’t restrict carb calories their body is always in non-fat burning mode and instead they are in fat storage mode.

Insulin is the key to fat burning. Insulin is at higher levels in your blood (see Figure 1) to deliver glucose to working muscles. The insulin attempts to connect to the glucose receptors in your working cells to deliver glucose as fuel. While at the same time, insulin hits the off switch on a fat cell and thus the fatty acids lie dormant and in storage mode. If your cell’s glucose receptor turns it’s nose against insulin (i.e., it’s resistant to the insulin), you can’t use the glucose in your blood stream and the portion of glucose not used is sent to fat storage. When a fat cell’s burn mode is off, it’s storage mode is on.

Figure 1


Predicting the Results of a Diet Before You Start

As illustrated in the simple graphic your goal on a diet is to lose weight and that means you need to burn fat while you restrict calories. If insulin is higher, triggered by carbohydrates, your fat cells burning is turned off and fat storage is turned on. If insulin is lower, it turns fat burning on and it turns storage mode off.

Insulin is triggered and released in your blood when glucose is higher. The source of glucose is carbohydrates. This is why carbs are the gate keeper to fat burning.

If you are therefore insulin resistant, like about 1 in 4 American adults, carbohydrates are working against fat burning.

Why Your Past Diets May Have Failed

If you’ve tried other diets in the past that had carbs as an element and you failed, your body may have experienced the following. Most diets are calorie restriction diets. The prevailing belief is the calorie in, calorie out method. Most believe if you consume less calories than you’re using, you have to burn fat to make up the difference. If you’re insulin resistant though and still eating to many carbohydrates for your specific body’s needs, insulin still may be to high and thus you never get into sufficient fat burning. Then the brain’s needs will have a hard time being met and it will start to control you.

You’re asking, “What does my brain’s needs have to do with my diet? There is no fat in my brain!” (Well I’ve been called a fat head and maybe I have fat in my brain!)

Your brain needs about 600 calories a day to survive. If you’re not burning fat which triggers the production of an alternate brain fuel called ketones, your brain has to survive on the glucose levels either stored (glycogen) or those you put into your body eating. Lets say you go on a 1,200 calorie daily diet and are exercising. If your body (muscles and not your brain) needs all 1,200 calories, you leave none for your brain. The brain will kick in and start to rebel and you’re going to go through massive feelings of hunger. These can be so great that you have to take care of this need and most likely will break the diet and eat. When this happens many people either say their diet doesn’t work and hate it, leading to quitting. Or sadly some I’ve talked to will believe they are somehow the fault. I’ve heard some say, “I suck at will power. My life has always been a failure just like this diet. I’ll be fat the rest of my life.” For those who have failed, just like me on diets, pick yourself up and realize you were only following the needs of your brain. You have very little control over that. It’s going to keep you alive even if you want to starve it.


Science has not solved why and how insulin resistance is created in a body. Because science doesn’t understand how it is created they have not figured out how to correct it either.

What diet does work with predicable results is a low carb diet. The higher amount of carbs you consume on a diet, the more variable your diet’s results will be as illustrated in the graph below. It’s like the game of roulette. It may or may not work.

This is why the Isagenix system worked for me. Because I’m insulin resistant, during periods of intermittent fasting where I was not consuming carbs, my insulin levels decreased and my fat burning was turned on. However the last three years my insulin resistance increased and even the Isagenix system was not yielding the results I had had the first 8 years using it.


graph to fat burning

If you feel you may be insulin resistant (click here for more information how to determine if you may be) then the only way to achieve predicable results with less variability is to reduce the amount of carbs in your diet.

If you believe you are the opposite, insulin sensitive (i.e., your cell’s glucose receptors are sensitive to insulin), then consuming carbs on a restricted calorie diet will probably work well especially if you intermittent fast to get into quality fat burning and even to the level of ketosis where you’re producing the alternate brain fuel of ketones.

About the Author Michael Lantz (Big Papa)

The Wellness Warrior™; Health & Leadership/Business Coach, Speaker, Blogger, Author, Ironman Triathlete Helping others live with more health and joy, paying for their dreams and make a difference in the world! Learn more: