Burning the extra fat from your body requires a two pronged approach. Both a strong nutritional intake and an exercise program focused on fat burning and building lean muscle are needed to achieve your goals. In this article we are going to address the nutritional needs your body has to change from burning carbohydrates to burning fat.
Let’s start with we prefer our body to burn carbohydrates. In the first place it is very, very easy to eat a high carbohydrate diet. Simple carbs are everywhere, and they taste so good! They are often high in sugar, white flour and are quickly metabolized once they hit the stomach and intestines.
As carbs are broken down they turn into blood glucose, or blood sugar. This spike in blood sugar triggers a release of insulin from the pancreas. The insulin is responsible for ushering the blood sugar across the cell wall to be used for energy. When there is too much blood sugar to be stored in the cells, the liver then stores it as glycogen. When the liver stores are complete the extra sugar is converted to triglycerides by the insulin. As blood sugar drops often times there is extra insulin in the bloodstream. This triggers sugar or carb cravings, which starts the process all over again.
Instead, you must change what your body is burning for fuel from carbohydrates to fats in order to reduce your body fat, increase your insulin sensitivity (a good thing) and reduce your potential to develop diabetes.
The second thing that must be changed in your diet is to replace those low carb calories with more protein. Protein are the building blocks of building muscle. You body will also burn more calories metabolizing protein than it will metabolizing carbohydrates.
Your goal is to also burn the fat that is already stored in your body and in order to do that you may have to reset your fat set point. Your body would prefer not to starve. In preparation for times when you may not have enough food your body will lay down fat stores, like when you eat too many carbohydrates. However, when you start burning stored fat it changes the fat to ketones so the cells can use it for energy.
In recent research scientists have found that ketosis will not only help to burn fat from your body but is also a healthier state than hyperglycemia or hyperinsulinemia which are the result of eating carbohydrates for fuel. (1) But the trick is to let your body use ketosis as it needs to in order to drop weight and get healthy.
To do this you’ll want to restrict your carbs to 50 to 80 grams per day. This way the body will change over to burning fat when it needs the fuel but use the carbs if it doesn’t need the extra fuel. Moving to fat burning will help to melt the fat from your body, increase your energy and help you to feel better without the extra cravings during the afternoon and evening.
Also, don’t go below 1200 calories a day because you’ll just put your body into starvation mode and slow your metabolism to a crawl. If you have trouble making the dietary changes, do them slowly over a period of time. The time is going to pass anyway – if you can’t do it cold turkey then do it over 3 weeks. YOu’ll get to your goal and be happier for it.
And, drink water. Drink lots and lots of water. At least 8 glasses per day. This will flush out toxins and help to charge your metabolism. Drink until your urine is a very light yellow color but don’t over drink because you can cause electrolyte imbalances that can be dangerous to your heart health.
(1) Mercola: Ketogenic Diet May be Key to Cancer recovery
Muscle and Fitness: 12 Lawa of Fat-Burning
Food Renegade: How to burn stored body fat
CNN Health: the 51 Fastest Fat Burners