Sugar is one of the main sources of fuel for your body. For this reason, you may think this means you have to continually consume sugar to stay energized throughout the day.
However, if your goal is to lose weight, that is not a good idea.
You actually want your body to prefer burning body fat, not sugar.
In this post, I explain how to make a simple shift in your food choices to help your body prefer to burn body fat rather than sugar.
The answer may surprise you!
How to Get Your Body to Use Fat for Fuel [Video]
When your goal is fat loss, you want your cells to burn body fat for energy before sugar. This video explains how to make your body a better fat burner.
In the video, you’ll learn…
- Why your body prefers burning sugar over body fat
- What it takes to switch from a sugar-burning metabolism to a fat-burning metabolism
- A simple and surprising shift in your food choices that will help your body burn fat
Your Body Wants Easy Energy
The first thing to understand is that your body looks at sugar as easy energy.
We get sugar from the carbohydrates that we eat. So all carbs, (whether they come from a piece of broccoli or a candy bar), eventually will end up as sugar, or glucose, in your blood.
When your cells need energy to perform their functions, they take that sugar in, run it through their power generators, which are called mitochondria, and you are good to go!
The Carbohydrates You Consume Feed Your Cells
So, you can think of it this way…the carbs you eat, feed the sugar-burning machinery in your cells.
There is nothing wrong with this system as long as you are not taking in more sugar than your cells need.
If you do take in an abundance of sugar, your cells simply say, “No thank you, we have had enough energy for right now. Let’s go ahead and store that sugar as future energy.”
How Does Future Energy Get Stored?
How does future energy get stored? As body fat.
If you want to shrink your energy reserves and burn that body fat off, you want to limit the sugar that is available in your blood.
When that quick-burning sugar is not available, your body is forced to pull stored energy out of your fat cells.
This process explains why low-carb diets are effective.
The Reason Low-Carb Diets Are Effective Diets to Burn Body Fat
When you keep your carb intake low, your blood sugar stays low.
This causes your body to shift from being a good fat-storer to being a good fat-burner.
Now, let’s say that you typically eat 250 grams of carbs a day.
That would be the equivalent of having a piece of toast and Orange juice in the morning, a sandwich and potato chips at lunch, a cookie and a frappuccino to keep you going in the afternoon, pasta for dinner, and a cup of ice cream for dessert.
If you cut your intake of carbohydrates in half (i.e. 125 grams/day), you are at the upper limit of a low-carb diet.
How Many Carbs Can I Consume Per Day on my Low-Carb Diet?
A low-carb diet is generally thought of as 125 grams of carbs or less.
If you drop from 250 grams of carbs in a day to 125 grams of carbs in a day, your body is going to wonder where all of the energy has gone.
You Can Burn Body Fat For Energy, But It Works a Little Differently
You see, the mitochondria of your cells can use either sugar or fatty acids for energy.
However, there are different enzymes and pathways involved in turning a molecule of sugar into energy versus turning a fatty acid into energy.
Unfortunately, until your body makes that shift, you will feel a bit fatigued and wiped out.
(Dr. Becky Tip: Try using an electrolyte supplement to lessen the effects of this shift. Put a few drops of a high-quality electrolyte supplement in a glass of water, and drink it in the morning and evening.
However, once your body does make the shift from sugar to burning body fat, it will feel much better because fats provide great sustained levels of energy when they burn!
Having a Body That Runs off of Body Fat Will Make You Feel Great!
Fatty acids are like the logs on your metabolism fire. Sugar is like the twigs…
Fats burn long and slow, whereas sugar burns fast, (and gives you energy fast), but quickly burns out.
So, when your body has made the shift from burning sugar to burning body fat, you want to encourage it to become an even better fat burner.
How To Make Your Body Into a Body Fat Burner…It May Surprise You!
The surprising way you make your body prefer burning body fat is by boosting the amount of fat you eat.
When you do this, your cells will take up the fatty acids from the food, and feed the fat-burning machinery of your cells.
Then when dietary fat is not present, these fat-burning factories in your cells will easily burn fatty acids by taking them from your fat cells.
So, if you want your body to prefer burning fat as fuel, you want to reduce your carbohydrate intake and boost your fat intake.
Re-Teach Yourself How To Diet!
Now, I know that eating more fat and fewer carbs may sound counter-intuitive, and it can be hard to make this shift.
We have been told for the past 60+ years that low-fat was the way to go.
However, the reality is that during those 60 years, obesity rates skyrocketed.
If you need a way around the confusion, I encourage you to check out my coaching program. It will provide you with the specifics of what to eat to get the right mix of carbs, fats, and proteins to put your body in a fat-burning state. As well as many other helpful tools and resources!
Thank you for reading, I hope this information will help you to reach your healthy goals!
About the Author
Dr. Becky Gillaspy, DC graduated Summa Cum Laude with research honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1991.