Want to be a fat burner instead of a sugar burner? Sugar burners just use the glucose/sugar that’s always in their blood stream. Fat burners metabolize and use their fat stores. You’re either one or the other, and you’ve trained your body to be whichever it is. If you’ve been living by a “calorie in / calorie out” paradigm, you’re probably a sugar burner. If you’ve been keeping your intake of sugar and flours low, and letting hours pass between meals, you’re mostly likely a fat burner.
Here’s an idea I’d love to ingrain in everyone’s head: ” a calorie is not a calorie is not a calorie. ” What’s that mean? All calories are not equal. If you’ve been struggling with your weight, starving on a low-fat/low-cal diet, exercising your heart out, and not seeing permanent, positive results, this is the reason why. When we eat meat, or fat, or vegetables, or grains, or processed, refined foods(PRFs), our body breaks them down to their barest nutrients and metabolizes them in completely different ways. These nutrients all have completely different effects on our body. Letting a number be your guide, as in 1400 calories a day, or 1800 calories a day, etc, is futile. Losing weight and getting healthy are about the foods we eat and the hormone responses they induce. The whole “if I don’t eat much, maybe I’ll burn my fat stores” theory – Un.True. If you don’t eat much, your thyroid will turn down the metabolic rate of your entire body, and muscle will be burned BEFORE fat will.
But I digress. What happens to the different foods/calories?
Protein is broken down to amino acids and used for building and repair. Examples: building brain neurotransmitters, building hormones, building enzymes, building muscle cells, building bacteria and yeast (yes, they’re protein).
Fat is broken down to fatty acids and used for building and energy. Examples: building the brain (60% of your brain is fat), building the heart ( which is riddled with fat), building your hormones, building connective tissue, generating electrical currents, building the immune system, building nerves, building bone (marrow), etc etc. It’s also several organs favorite food: the heart, the muscles, and the liver, all prefer fatty acids over glucose.
Carbohydrates are broken down to glucose and fructose; glucose is used for a tiiinnny bit of the bodies energy needs, and…. nothing else. Carbs don’t build or repair anything. As a matter of fact, an adult can only store about 500 grams or so of carbohydrate; the same adult can store several several thousand grams of fat; this is why our body ( the liver) turns excess carbs into fat. High levels of glucose/carb in the blood are dangerous; excess glucose causes big damage. When our body converts that into fat, it’s actually doing us a favor ( hmmmm…).
If you read the last post on Fructose, you know that Fructose, another sugar molecule, is just as harmful as Glucose. Fructose can’t be burned or stored at all. Period. It has to be converted immediately in the liver into something else: Fat. Actually, an assortment of fats: free fatty acids, triglycerides, and VLDLs (very low density lipoproteins, the baaaad cholesterol). Fats our body makes from glucose and fructose tend to be stored, but not before they’re carried through the body by either the caustic, damaging hormone Insulin (which carries glucose), or the prone to oxidation triglyceride carrier, VLDL. Hello Inflammation!
So besides making us fat, Glucose and Fructose damage our organs, arteries, liver, eyes, and brain. Back to my above comment: low-fat/low-cal diets cause Muscle to be burned before Fat. Here’s what I mean in simple words: Muscle cells are metabolically active, they take a lot of calories to sustain. Fat cells are much less metabolically active, and take far less calories to sustain. When the body perceives a lack of nutrients, it gets rid of the cells that use up the most nutrients first in an effort to save itself. That’s our muscle cells. That’s why when you go on a low calorie diet, you can PERMANENTLY down regulate your metabolism. Not a good idea, and one that leads to a never ending pattern of cutting calories, slowing down your metabolism, cutting more calories, slowing down your metabolism. Does this make sense?
This brings me all the way back to the beginning: want to be a sugar burner, or a fat burner? Want to gain muscle or lose muscle? Want to have healthy hormones, and a strong immune system? It’s your food, it’s the nutrients. It’s not the calories. This is going to be the focus of my Weight Loss Strategies class. Hope you can make it!