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Balancing Blood Sugar Levels for Weight Loss: The Best Way to Lose Weight Naturally

best way to lose weight naturally

balancing blood sugar levels for weight loss

For decades, we’ve been told that fat loss is simple: Burn more calories than we consume. Eat less, move more. Calories in, calories out. Simple first grade math, right? 

So how do we explain the fact that, in spite of doing everything right, we still can’t break through to achieve our ideal weight and body composition? 

We count and restrict our calories. We hit our daily step targets. We even make sure we exercise in the optimal fat burning zone. And while this seems to work for some, and maybe even worked for us at first…it’s not working anymore. 

So, what’s going on? You might be asking yourself…

Am I bad at math? 

Am I disciplined enough? 

Is there something wrong with me?

None of the above. You see, the truth is…

  • Weight loss, like most physiological processes, is complex and highly individual. 
  • “Eating less and moving more” neglects biochemistry, specifically blood sugar and insulin, in the physiology of weight loss.  
  • By regulating blood sugar and insulin, you’ll make it easier to break through your weight loss plateau. 

Why “Eat Less, Move More” Doesn’t Work for Weight Loss

Studies demonstrate that the “eat less, move more” approach to weight loss isn’t an effective long-term strategy for a majority of people who try it. 

Why is that? 

One reason is that it doesn’t account for the role hormones play in regulating our weight. 

When we focus on calories, we incorrectly assume that all calories are metabolized the same way. For example, we might believe that one beer is the same as three slices of bacon. 

After all, both are roughly 150 calories…right? 

The logic follows that as long as we burn more calories than we consume, we should lose weight. In this model, the source of the calories is irrelevant. 

Unfortunately for the beer lovers, it's not quite that simple.

Blood Sugar and Insulin: The Missing Pieces to Your Fat Loss Puzzle 

In reality, our bodies respond differently to beer than bacon, regardless of their caloric value. 

Beer, a carbohydrate-heavy, nutrient-devoid liquid, is likely to spike blood sugar which in turn elevates insulin. Bacon, higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates, will have a much smaller effect on blood sugar for most individuals.  

So why do blood sugar and insulin matter for weight loss? 

When we eat, the amount of glucose in our blood (blood sugar) will rise. 

In response, our pancreas releases insulin, which among other things, facilitates the uptake of blood sugar into fat cells. 

Insulin also inhibits our body’s ability to use fat as fuel. 

When insulin levels are high, the body stores glucose as fat, while simultaneously shutting down the ability to burn fat.

This isn’t necessarily a problem when blood sugar and insulin levels remain in a healthy range for a short period of time. 

However, when blood sugar and insulin levels spike above a healthy range and remain elevated, weight loss becomes nearly impossible because our body stays in fat storage mode. The elevated insulin will literally imprison our fat stores while our cells burn through our glucose supply.

What happens when the glucose runs out and we need more fuel? 

Under healthy conditions, we would dip into our fat stores. But as long as insulin is holding those fat stores hostage, they cannot be utilized and our body signals us to get more fuel from food (hunger)…and the cycle repeats itself. 

As a result, we not only stall in our weight loss but are likely to gain weight

If we are able to ignore the hunger and endure the associated pain and suffering, we can lose weight in the short term. However, over time our metabolic rate will slow to compensate for the reduction in calories and our weight loss will plateau in spite of our heroic efforts. 

On the contrary, when you keep your blood sugar and insulin levels stable, the body will use glucose and then fat for fuel.  This makes it easier to sustain a caloric deficit and lose weight because our metabolic needs are being met by the food we eat and the excess fat that has been stored and is also available for energy. 

This results in a caloric deficit and a healthy energy balance, which is the formula for sustainable weight loss. 

Here are the big takeaways…

  • “Eat less, move more” isn’t an effective weight loss strategy because calories aren’t the only things that matter. 
  • Weight loss (and gain) is largely a function of our hormonal response to the food we eat. 
  • Losing weight becomes easier, safer, and more sustainable when we target that response by regulating our blood sugar and insulin levels. 
  • Instead of obsessing over calories, we should focus on reducing blood sugar and insulin levels. 

How to Regulate Blood Sugar and Insulin for Fat Loss 

The good news is there are many natural ways to regulate blood sugar and insulin. Diet, exercise, intermittent fasting (or time restricted feeding) and certain plants, spices and supplements can help regulate blood sugar and insulin so you can finally achieve sustainable weight loss.

Balance Blood Sugar with Diet

As a general rule, it’s best to avoid foods that spike blood sugar. Knowing which foods spike your blood sugar, personally, is the real challenge. As a general rule, it's often safe to stick to:

  • Healthy fats
  • Vegetables and leafy greens
  • High-quality protein sources
  • Complex, whole-food carbohydrates

Remember…it’s not necessarily the foods we eat that makes us gain weight. What’s most important is our body’s response to those foods, and our individual response is dependent on a number of variables including our individual genetics, microbiome, and stress levels

Keep in mind that finding what diet works best for you is a journey that looks different for everyone, and trial and error is often the best guide.  

To Carb or Not to Carb?

It depends…

Many people find a low carb diet was the missing piece to their fat loss puzzle. And while studies like this, and this (and many others) show low carb diets to be extremely effective at regulating blood sugar and losing weight, they're often conducted on obese or diabetic populations, both of which would likely benefit most from reducing carbohydrates.

However, keto or low carb doesn’t work for everyone. This is because the same factors like genetics and microbiome play a role in your individual response to carbohydrates. 

A landmark study by the Weizmann Institute illustrated this point, with results that showed vastly different blood sugar responses to the same carbohydrate sources between different people, as well as surprising results among the same individuals. One person's blood sugar spiked higher in response to eating a banana (complex carbohydrate) than it did to eating a cookie (refined carbohydrate)!

So in other words, we can't say for sure whether low-carb is, or is not, the best diet for your weight loss journey. It depends on your personal blood sugar response to certain carbohydrates, and the only way to know that is a little self-experimentation! You can simply look out for signs you’re eating too many carbs, or really geek out with data and blood glucose testing using Robb Wolf’s 7-day carb test.

Reduce Blood Glucose and Improve Insulin Sensitivity with Exercise

When we exercise, we improve our ability to direct blood sugar (glucose) into muscle cells instead of fat cells. Exercise also contributes to a reduction in blood sugar levels and improves insulin sensitivity (which means we need less insulin for the same job). 

What kind of exercise is the best for managing blood sugar, and how much is enough?

Just 30 minutes of daily moderate exercise can do the trick, as well as low-volume, easy walking after a meal (postprandial walking).

The specific kind of exercise you choose should depend on your fitness goals. However, if your primary fitness goal is weight loss, it might help to know both cardio and resistance training are effective for blood sugar regulation and weight loss. 

In general, a cardio workout burns more fat during the workout. Resistance training elevates our metabolism for longer post-workout and is better for building muscle, both of which can increase the amount of calories you burn outside your workout. As a general recommendation, it’s best to incorporate both in your exercise regimen. 

Intermittent Fasting (Time Restricted Feeding) Is Effective For Regulating Insulin and Blood Sugar

Intermittent Fasting (also known as Time Restricted Feeding) involves fasting for 12 to 22 hours between one day’s final meal and the following day’s first. It has been shown to be effective for fat loss and improved body composition in part because it improves insulin sensitivity and lowers overall levels of blood sugar

One often-used strategy for intermittent fasting and weight loss is the 16:8 method. You simply fast for 16 hours a day, often skipping breakfast, and have a feeding window of 8 hours. Many people find improved weight loss abilities and blood sugar responses by using this method. Read here for more information on how to incorporate IF for weight loss.

A note of caution for women: the female body has been shown to be more sensitive to caloric restriction than male physiology. When done improperly or excessively, fasting may result in irregular menstrual cycles, hormone imbalances, and blood sugar dysregulation. That doesn’t mean women shouldn’t fast at all, they just may need to fast differently or take extra precautions. Check out this blog post (and Part 2) for more information on fasting for women.

Promote Healthy Blood Sugar with Plants, Spices and Supplements

Many plants, spices and herbs have also been shown to have positive effects on blood sugar and insulin sensitivity.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Cinnamon

Numerous studies show apple cider vinegar can lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity as does cinnamon.

Many people will use apple cider vinegar in water as a tonic before or after meals to blunt the blood sugar response. It can also be used in salad dressings or other recipes to add flavor and health benefits.

Try sprinkling cinnamon on higher carbohydrate meals like oatmeal or sweet potatoes to not only improve your blood glucose response, but also the taste!

Chinese Ginseng, Astragalas Membranaceus and Wild Bitter Melon

There are also lesser-known but extremely potent and long-used plant compounds. Chinese ginseng and astragalus membranaceus are two notable examples that have been shown to decrease the duration and intensity of blood glucose spikes.

Wild bitter melon has also been shown to increase adiponectin secretion from fat cells. Adiponectin is a hormone and key regulator of insulin sensitivity. Wild bitter melon therefore indirectly increases insulin sensitivity by upregulating the hormone that improves it. 

However, finding high quality extracts of these plants in the right doses can be difficult and costly. 

That’s why we formulated Kion Lean: A plant-based supplement designed to support healthy blood sugar, metabolic wellness, assist in weight management. Kion Lean can assist in stabilizing energy and may help prevent unwanted weight gain—even after indulging in a meal that spikes blood sugar.


Although calories do matter for weight loss, they are just one piece of the fat loss puzzle. 

Restricting calories is not only a soul-sucking activity, it doesn’t take into account bio-individuality and will only get you so far on your weight loss journey. It may work at first, but after a while results will plateau and your body will adapt. 

What’s more important to consider is the effect your personal biochemistry has on your fat metabolism, namely the role blood sugar and insulin play in determining whether nutrients get stored as fat, or fat gets burned up as fuel. 

To win the game of fat loss, you need to ensure you’re keeping your blood sugar and insulin levels under control. 

Try these blood sugar balancing strategies to enhance fat loss: 

  • Find the foods that spike your blood sugar and avoid them (this may or may not be carbs).
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes a day with cardio, weights, postprandial walks or all of the above. 
  • Try intermittent fasting.
  • Integrate apple cider vinegar and cinnamon into your diet. 
  • For the best of what the plant world has to offer, supplement with Chinese ginseng, astragalus membranaceus, and wild bitter melon. To make it easy on you and your wallet, try Kion Lean which has the clinically-proven doses of these ingredients, using the highest quality extracts. 

44 thoughts on “Balancing Blood Sugar Levels for Weight Loss: The Best Way to Lose Weight Naturally

  1. Ben
    when do you recommend to take ACV? with the potentially “spike” meal or as a part of a morning routine?
    Thx, Dean

  2. Well, loosing fat ‘fast’, is not exactly like people think you state it , since, they link it to ‘weight’, and… you don’t loose fat ‘fast’ … you can’t. Besides, reducing weight and fat to fast if you go all in, you get into trouble with your skin… seen to many examples of guys who lost 80-100pounds in 1 year, looking great, but… then they took of their t-shirt and seeing a floppy belly. The skin can’t recover that fast if you loose to many weight in a short period of time… especially not older people.

    Doing keto, you loose weight fast, initial… water weight! After that, it slows down a lot (at least in my case). I do IF and keto, and still loose weight and getting slimmer, but not the 5-10kg per month stories you sometimes read (depends ofcourse heavily on your begin weight).
    I ‘ only’ loose about 1-2kg per month (which is still 12-20kg a year, which, is more then most people even manage). I lost 20kg since july last year… first by reducing meals and starting to train, when I ‘stalled’, I got into keto and IF, which didn’t bring me the results I hoped for, but still, I loose weight and my body is getting toned more and more… and I don’t have a floppy belly 🙂

    1. sounds like something is missing.
      Are you fasting and getting the sleep you need? From what I have seen, if everything is in place that skin will tighten up. If you are not sleeping well, fasting, or are eating excessive carbs it won’t and your fat loss will also suffer..

    1. This all depends on how well you metabolite fat Gil. Some people have certain genes that don’t allow for great Sat. fat break down and clearing. Ghee is very high in Sat. fat and for APOE4 carries and people with poor metabolism it may not be a great option.

  3. Hi Guys-

    Would Kion Lean be recommended for a type 1 diabetic who struggles with blood sugar regulation? He is very thin and cannot gain weight but really struggles with sugar regulation, would this be a good way to get all of those ingredients at once or is there anything in there that would be adverse?.

  4. This blog about How To Burn Fat Fast Without Destroying Your Body
    has helped me a lot, is very well written. I used this fat burner product: and I reached the ideal weight.
    Kiss you All!

    1. Extra virgin coconut oil is a great option for deep frying, assuming you digest saturated fats relatively well. That’s not to say that you should be deep frying everything all the time, but if you’re going to deep fry, coconut oil and avocado oil are excellent options that won’t cause the same inflammatory response as canola or soy oils.

      1. I use rice bran oil for frying which has a high heating point. Also very good for omega 6 intake. Coconut oil is quite strong in flavour and doesn’t go with everything I find.

  5. Great advise as always. I am curious if there is a difference in effectiveness of those techniques based on body fat percentage? I noticed while I just had to “eat less and move more” when I was close to 30 percent body fat, it simply doesn’t cut it anymore once I approach single digit body fat percentage. Thank you.

    1. There are several factors that play into this… Typically when you’re at a higher body fat percentage it corresponds with higher calorie diets that often include unhealthy fats, processed sugars, etc. Simply eliminating these foods helps to eliminate inflammation and create caloric deficits necessary for weight loss and fat burning. Utilizing a few of the strategies outlined in the article could be great complements.

  6. Hi Ben. I have the FTO rs1421085(C;T) gene, and in addition to being the obesity gene, it also says that I have decreased thermogenesis. Does this mean that my 2-3 minute ice-cold morning shower is not beneficial? Or just less beneficial? I am pretty lean for the most part but don’t want to do it if I am not getting anything out of it.

    How long before a cold shower (or cold exposure in general) do you recommend taking bitter melon extract?

    Thanks for all you do Ben!!

    1. It is best taken an 1-2 prior to cold thermogenesis… Important to note that having decreased thermogenesis is different from having none, and that CT has many benefits associated with it that go beyond just burning fat, including: improving deep sleep, helping to support hormone regulation, acts as an anti-inflammatory, etc

  7. Are fasted easy movement sessions, such as an easy conversational run, one or two times a week good for lean females? I know fasting can be stressful on lean, athletic females’ hormones but wanted to find out if easy session suggested above would be good for lean, athletic females. Thank you.

  8. Do you recommend the fasted easy workout with black coffee for lean females? I was thinking of trying this on my easy run days. RIght now, I have a coffee with a bit of steamed almond mile and cinnamon, which I love, before my workouts. However, I could change this to black coffee on the easy run days if it would be helpful. After the run, I do weights but could have a small snack before that. What do you think?

  9. I have been doing H.I.T. workouts first thing in the morning , I take fish oil ,MCT,& coffee-green tea right before, Am I Destroying Your Body ?

    1. From what Ben wrote, you’re best to avoid food a.k.a the mct or fish oil, I believe because it causes an insulin response and will prevent your body from burning fat in the “fasted state”. I always have two cups of Kion Coffee and then do a 30 minute run, Having fasted from about 2pm the day before. Chews through the “problem” stomach fat in my experience.

      1. MCT or fish oil do not cause insulin response because they are fat. It’s carbs and protein that do. Just fat can keep our body in autophagy. However, if you are trying to burn fat, I would stay away from MCT oil. You should always take fish oil with food when you break the fast for better absorption.

    2. You don’t need fish oil or MCT. Caffeine certainly helps if you are doing bursts in a fasted state.

  10. Would 3 minutes in a cryo chamber satisfy the cold exposure necessary to be effective? 2 hours after workout?

    Are the cold vests effective, and for how long?

    At one point there was a vacuum chamber your hand that was supposed to get your core body temperature lower? Are you familiar? Would that be effective?

    Should I just increase my exercise intensity as I get in better shape? Thank you.

    1. Hi Dale, Cryotherapy is great, but cold-water immersion beat it out when the two were compared in this study.

      And yes, cold vests are an effective form of thermogenesis when worn 1.5-2 hours.

      Not really sure about the vacuum chamber you’re referring to, sorry.

      While it depends on your health and level of fitness, increasing exercise intensity is a great way to challenge yourself and continue to get in even better shape.

      Questions like these are great to also post to the Kion Community. It’s a completely free online community of like-minded people who both have advice and are seeking advice!

  11. Ben,

    For the fasted cardio session would drinking bulletproof coffee (with the MCT possibly butter or not) oil be benifical or just straight coffee?


    1. Food cooked with more stable oils like palm and coconut, or even butter, will be far less inflammatory than the polyunsaturated oils. I would save the olive oil for salad dressings.

  12. In part of your earlier trainings, I was under the assumption that the cold showers wouldn’t work as effectively,
    if one was in an inflammatory state, and that they’d be more effective when not, correct?

    1. Hi Cheryl, Thank you for your comment. I believe what you’re referring to is when Ben suggested that cold exposure immediately following a workout could blunt some of the natural, positive, inflammatory processes. Because of this we recommend waiting a couple of hours following an intense workout before exposing your body to cold.

  13. Another fantastic article! A couple short questions…
    My freezer is (fortunately) full of venison and elk! How many times per week, or in what ratio, do you suggest I eat these very lean forms of meat compared to fish and poultry? Also, what’s your ‘go to’ way to prepare big game?
    Next, how ‘cold’ should I be while exercising in the cold? I mean, I live about 30 miles north of Spokane, and even though it’s ‘cold’ out, if I wear my ‘cold’ weather hunting or mountaineering gear, I stay pretty warm…know what I mean?
    Thanks in advance…I think I’ll treat myself to some Kion Lean!

    1. Yep! To support normalized blood sugar and insulin levels, take 1-2 capsules prior to your largest meal of the day or your highest carbohydrate containing meal of the day.

  14. How long do you need to do the cold shower (or cold component) for?
    How long should the walk (as the exercise) be?
    Should it be brisk or leisurely?

    1. Hi Sarah, 5-10 minutes for a shower, I would recommend reading the linked article in the “cold thermogenesis” section above for more information though. Length and intensity of exercise depends on each individual person. Basically, anything that’s light, low stress and that’s not going to completely exhaust you (Think brisk walk or jog, leisurely swim, or a yoga class.).

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