Shift your body easily into ‘fat burning’ mode

Adele Stickland Adele Stickland

Fat burning mode for your body is easy. It is simply knowing what to eat and when. It feels confusing simply because most women are still burning carbohydrates for fuel and therefore using glucose as their body’s main energy source. Simply swapping from glucose burning to fat burning is easy and straight forward this blog will outline how you can get started today.

Why your body prefers to burn carbs

Using glucose as an energy source means that you will never burn fat. You can’t burn the fat from your love handles when you are eating a large number of carbs. This diet pla is currently being ‘prescribed’ by most nutritionists following the ‘healthy heart carb diet’.

Your body is extremely efficient and clever. It is not keen on wasting resources and therefore your gorgeous body will use the first available fuel resource that is readily available; which for most people following current guidelines it’s glucose. Glucose is easy to digest and utilise, your body will favour glucose any day. Who wouldn’t, given the choice we would all love to have a handful of chocolate and glass of wine if there were no consequences.

Simple question: what would you prefer a jam doughnut or corn on the cob?

The interesting point from this question is that the answer isn’t based upon will power. It is more powerful than that, it is your body’s predisposition. Understanding that simple principle will help you to shift into fat burning mode quickly. Realising that your body is taking the ‘quick fix’ and that is generating your desire. Knowledge is the key, knowing that your body is craving an easy route will give you the ammunition you need to out manoeuvre your cravings.

Then once you move from ‘glucose’ burning into ‘fat’ burning mode sweetcorn will look more appealing – I wonder what are your views on that statement? Or is that just crazy talk?


Jam doughnut or corn on the cob?

It isn’t will power, it is your body’s predisposition

It is your body’s natural reaction to opt for the doughnut. Your body is genetically driven to go for the sugar option. Does knowing that take the pressure off you?  It isn’t weak-willed or lack of character, it is your body’s favoured energy pathway.

Craving sugar, isn’t down to will power it is coming from your genes. You are genetically predisposed to crave doughnuts! We all are.

But what if there was another way?  What if you can switch off the glucose craving and burn fat instead?

You can shift your energy needs to burn fat instead of burning sugar. That is where I was going wrong.  In my youth, I used to teach over 25 classes a week and I have to be honest I was a podgy fitness instructor, simply because I was fueling my body with glucose, not fat.  

Like most instructors – I was fueling my workouts with carbs. 

Sugar in your food generally requires little to no digesting or processing and will be in your bloodstream within 60 minutes after eating.

In response, your blood sugar level shoots up for a while before coming back down rapidly a little while later. Even complex carbohydrates will be sugar in your bloodstream eventually.

Complex carbs breakdown into sugar

It takes your digestive system a little longer to convert complex carbs into simple sugars, so blood sugar will rise and fall a bit slower depending on factors like:

  • how “complex” your carbs are
  • how much fibre it contains
  • how fatty the food is that you are eating with them.

Once in the blood, your metabolism begins to use sugar in a variety of ways. If you are active or exercising, some of the sugar in your blood will be used quickly for energy. Glucose and/or fructose are the end-products of all carbohydrate breakdown. These simple sugars enter into either glycolysis (for glucose) or fructolysis (for fructose). In these processes, the metabolism uses the simple sugars to generate the compounds that, in turn, power all of the body’s other metabolic processes. Put more simply, your body converts simple sugars into energy.

HOWEVER

The sugar you eat isn’t used as quickly as you think.

Sugar is not used immediately it is stored in cells for use later. Glucose (think sugar for the body) triggers a reaction from insulin. Insulin is a protein that acts as a hormone in the digestive process. When there is more sugar in the bloodstream than the body is immediately using, insulin is released and initiates the storage process. Insulin causes glucose to be absorbed into cells where it is stored in one of two ways.

The primary storage method for glucose is as triglycerides in adipose (fatty) tissue.

The secondary method is as glycogen which is stored in your muscle and liver cells for later use as quick energy, primarily in times of exertion.

How much sugar do you want to burn off and how?

Burning off your carbs isn’t as easy as you think – there is an easier option

To summarize, when you eat carbs they are broken down into sugars by the digestion process. Sugar causes the release of insulin and insulin causes the sugar to be stored, primarily as fat in adipose cells. If carbs form a large portion of your caloric intake, then they will be the primary source of fat storage.

Easily shift to fat burning

If your metabolism is being fueled disproportionately with carbohydrates, the metabolic pathways that use and store carbohydrates will dominate while fat metabolism pathways will diminish.

The reason is two-fold.

Firstly the pathways required to store or use carbohydrates require a set of enzymes unique from those the metabolism uses to process fat. The body is remarkably good at not being wasteful and will decrease the production of fat metabolism enzymes when they are used infrequently.

The second reason is that insulin specifically stops the use of fat for energy by inhibiting the release of glucagon, a hormone that increases blood sugar and thus directly competes with insulin.

Fat metabolism and carb metabolism are in direct competition.

Because of this “competition” between fat and carbohydrate metabolism pathways, fat will only be used for energy in the absence of insulin. If you’re going to train your body to use fat for energy, it becomes critical to minimize both the amount and duration of any spike in blood sugar and the equivalent and corresponding insulin release.

 

What to eat to fuel your body’s fat burning

Fueling your body with fats is much easier than you think. Adapting the percentages of your macros takes some thought and adaptation but if you approach it slowly and with care, your body will be able to make the transition. Find out more: Watch your Macros not your calories

Find out more about when to eat – intermittent fasting does it work?

Get your nutrition right FIRST then work with your intuitive eating.

Adele @get-gorgeous.com

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