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Burning fat is a very important topic but pretty much all the mainstream recommendations are completely outdated.
According to statistics in America, only 2% of the population is ever successful at burning fat or achieving their weight loss goals and an average female spends 17 years of her life dieting.
What does that tell you? They are operating on incorrect information. What I am going to tell you is based on fact, physiology, and the way your body works. In this article, I will show you how to burn fat the right way.
Two Sources of Fuel
Your body has two main fuel sources – stored sugar and fat.
Sugar stored in your liver and muscles is called glycogen. It’s released when your body needs it. When there’s no sugar available, your body can burn fat(1).
Ketones are the by-product of fat metabolism and your body can run on them very efficiently. In fact, they are a longer lasting and cleaner fuel source than sugar and even your brain can use them(3).
Fat-making hormones, however, trigger the storage of sugar and the conversion of the sugar into fat. The great majority of people are only burning sugar, which is glucose, and are not burning fat. They may diet and lose some weight but it’s not fat they are losing but temporary water weight and then they hit a weight-loss plateau.
What Determines if You Burn Sugar or Fat?
The single biggest controlling factor that determines whether you are burning fat or sugar is the hormone insulin(4). Even in small amounts, insulin has the strength and power to prevent you from tapping into your fat reserves.
When I say insulin, I might as well say sugar because sugar triggers insulin. I could easily just say that the number one controller of fat burning is sugar or hidden sugars.
If your sugar/insulin is high, you are not going to be able to burn fat because your body is running on sugar.
But what about everything in moderation? Well, let’s say you cut your sugar intake into half. Will you burn fat? No, because your sugar/insulin has to be zero for you to tap into ketones, which are the by-product of fat burning. Fat burning = ketosis.
Ketosis is what you are after. You may hear some negative things about ketosis in relation to diabetes, but we are talking about doing ketosis in a very healthy way.
Ketosis is the best thing you can do for your blood sugar, your heart, and your brain and for conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome(5). Here, the person is almost always insulin resistant and if they get into ketosis, they would see great improvement.
Now, ketosis does not happen overnight. It’s really easy to tap into sugar reserves – just eat sugar, but getting into ketosis is more complicated. It takes way more than a couple of days and could take a week or a month. In some situations, it could take five or even six weeks before you are really into hardcore burning of fat.
Why is that?
If you have been living on sugar your entire life, your system would be very inefficient. You are so used to burning sugar that it’s going to take a bit of time to become keto-adapted and switch over to burning fat.
Within a few days, there will be ketones in your urine but you have to stick with it a little longer to become truly adapted. People get discouraged when they expect to burn fat in the first day or two and when it doesn’t happen, they give up.
Hang in there because it will happen and your body will start burning fat. A lot of other problems will go away, too.
What to eat to get into Ketosis – the Formula for Burning Fat
1. 5-10 % of your calorie intake should be vegetable carbs only.
Vegetables have a small amount of carbohydrate but also a lot of vitamins and minerals that you're not going to get with protein or fat. Additionally, the net sugars are very low to none at all.
2. 25% of your diet should come from protein, about four to six oz. at each meal. This is not the high protein Atkin's diet. Skip the lean protein so you get some fat with it. Your body is not made of carbohydrate but of protein and a lot of fat.
3. 65-80% of your calories should be in the form of good fats (no deep-fried anything). Before you freak out, remember that an Eskimo diet of blubber means almost zero heart problems. Ketosis is healthy and makes you feel good.
Don’t fret about increasing your cholesterol. Your body makes 3 000 mg of cholesterol (equivalent to about 14 eggs, 333 strips of bacon or 1 pound of butter) every single day.
It uses it to build cell walls and the lens of the eye. It’s the raw material for hormones, especially for stress hormones, and is essential for neuronal activity in your brain.
When you consume more cholesterol or fat, your body adapts and just makes less. If you eat less, it makes more(6).
In high school, I tried to gain weight by eating fatty foods. The more fat I ate, the more weight I lost. This was confusing until I discovered that consuming fat is insulin neutral. Eating fat does not trigger insulin.
Insulin Is the Key
It only takes a little bit of sugar to totally throw you out of ketosis once you are adapted. Insulin must be nil to get your body into fat-burning mode but you'll feel so much better with more energy, more endurance, and better cardiovascular health.
Add exercise on top of this and watch what happens. A lot of professional athletes use ketosis for better performance. Many credible medical doctors even recommend it.
It’s new and you know it's the real deal because it's the exact opposite of what the mainstream is telling you.
They ask you to have 60 % of your diet as carbs, 5 or 10 % fat and the same amount of protein. Just reverse this and you’ll come out ahead. If you want some specifics of what fats to eat, click here.
Understand how to burn fat and see more Fat burning advice from Dr. Berg's YouTube Channel.