How Well are You Burning Fat?
Our cells use two things for energy: sugar and fat. Sugar burns ‘dirty’ while fat burns ‘clean’. In terms of cellular energy, sugar burns like a smoldering wood fire and fat burns like a cleanly lit gasoline stove top. Today, most Americans are “sugar burners,” meaning that their cells are relying on glucose for fuel.
How did this happen? Our ancestors and those of other cultures did not follow a sugar burning lifestyle. Either by necessity or instinct they followed a low carb, high-fat diet. For those who did, many lived to lead healthy lives into their older years.
In our modern age, foods are toxic, processed and convenient. We reach for comfort foods such as ice cream, bread, pasta and pizza when stressed or depressed. We learn most of these habits through childhood. So, choosing healthier options becomes a bigger challenge.
Are We All Doomed to be Sugar and Carb Junkies?
Must we rely on sugar and carbs as food and drink to perpetuate our less than optimal sugar burning habit? The answer is no. By changing our eating habits, we can encourage our body to switch from a sugar burning state to a fat burning state. As a result, weight loss and improved metabolism take place.1
The human body has its own glucose manufacturing plant and storage unit. Our liver and muscles can store enough glucose in the form of glycogen to keep us going for a full 24 hours. If we don’t feed it sugar or carbs, the body runs out of glucose. Our body then uses fat to feed the hungry mitochondria that make our energy known as ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). These mitochondria lie within every cell in our body.
Using Ketones for Energy
While following a ketogenic diet you will eat healthy fats, protein and low amounts of carbohydrates. This diet helps the body use fat for energy. Ketones that form from eating healthy fat balance blood sugar, boost energy and nourish the brain.2 Balanced blood sugar levels prevent a mid-day energy crash and fights off hunger cravings. Eating all day to support energy and mood does not have to be your destiny! Once you train your cells to burn your own body fat for fuel, you will glide through the day with effortless vigor and vitality. Plus you will enjoy a clear mind and a lean physique.
Healthy fats are the back bone of ketosis. It is important to consume foods high in fats such as nuts, cream, cheese, meats (unless you‘re vegan) and quality oils. Coconut oil is a go to oil for ketosis. It contains a lauric acid; a fatty acid that offers positive health benefits. Healthy fats in coconut oil support ketosis by increasing energy, balancing blood sugar and fighting off pathogens.3 It is best to use a raw, cold-pressed, and unrefined oil such as Skinny Coconut Oil.
If you don’t prefer the taste of coconut, MCT Oil is a great alternative. MCT’s are medium-chain triglycerides that come from fatty acids. The fatty acids in MCT oil absorb easily in the GI tract preventing storage of fat. It speeds up metabolism and provides antioxidants that reduce inflammation and increases ketone production.4 Start with a low dose: 1/2 teaspoon daily and slowly work up to 1 tablespoon per day (or 3 teaspoons daily). Take MCT Oil before a workout on an empty stomach, with meals to minimize glucose spikes, or add to your coffee to get your brain moving!
Another supportive product to assist in burning unwanted body fat is CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). CLA is an omega-6 fat that helps reduce hunger, improve your nutrient absorption and maintain lean muscle tissue. It is always best to get CLA through your diet but when you fall short, supplementation will give you a boost.
Tips for Ketosis
It typically takes 2-4 weeks to become fat adapted, or to be in full ketosis. For most people, it will happen in 2 weeks. For some people, it can take even longer, especially if there is underlying toxicity. So, please don’t over-think it. This isn’t the Atkins diet. Most people will transition into ketosis by limiting consumption of grains (which drive inflammation),eliminating sugar, and eating carbohydrates from vegetable sources. This isn’t the Atkins diet. Most people will transition into ketosis by limiting carbs to 50 grams or less per day, however, others may need to eat 30 grams or less per day to enter ketosis.
The 2/2/2/2 rule - the heart of ketosis:
- 2 TBSP of coconut or MCT oil. You can eat it right off a spoon, put it in a smoothie, and even cook with it. These medium-chain triglycerides help you burn fat and suppress the appetite. CAUTION: Too much MCT oil or coconut oil at once can cause stomach upset, so it is better to use smaller amounts throughout the day.
- 2 TBSP grass-fed butter or ghee. You can eat it by the spoonful, add it to coffee, and cook with it. This gives you healthy monounsaturated fats and adds variety to the healthy fats you are consuming.
- 2 TBSP olive oil, avocado oil, or macadamia nut oil. Add it to smoothies or cook with it. Avocado oil is also great for cooking at high temperatures. Your cell membranes need oils high in omega-6. This is important for many health conditions.
- 2 tsp. sea salt. You can add it to water, shakes, juice or food. When you start fat adapting, you will lose stored sugar from your muscles. This will cause the loss of some water and therefore electrolytes. The sea salt can help with feeling weak or dizzy and helps you adjust. This makes a big difference with the “Keto flu”.
- Another option to get healthy non-denatured omega-6 and omega-3’s is Andrea’s Seed Oils. These are true cold pressed oils including sunflower or pumpkin seed oil. Your cell membranes need oils high in omega-6 to support healthy cellular activity and prevent cellular inflammation.
- I also recommend incorporating intermittent fasting (fasting 14-16 hours from dinner to the next meal).
- Diet variation is the key to successful fat burning capability. Never stay on the same diet for months at a time.
Read more about how to jump-start ketosis here!
- 10 ounces Purity Organic Coffee
- 1/2 - 1 tsp. coconut oil or MCT oil
- 1 tsp. Kerrygold butter
- Dash of Stevita Stevia to taste
- 2 TBSP. (or less) grass-fed heavy cream
- Dash of cinnamon
Incredible results take commitment, perseverance, and going against the grain (literally) of everything you have ever heard about weight-loss. Are you ready?
- Kinzig, Kimberly P., Mary Ann Honors, and Sara L. Hargrave. "Insulin Sensitivity and Glucose Tolerance Are Altered by Maintenance on a Ketogenic Diet." Endocrinology151, no. 7 (April 28, 2010): 3105-114. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2903931/.
- Gasior, Maciej, Michael A. Rogawski, and Adam L. Hartman. "Neuroprotective and Disease-modifying Effects of the Ketogenic Diet." Behav Pharmacol17, no. 5-6 (September 2006): 431-39. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2367001/.
- Kabara, J. J., D. M. Swieczkowski, A. J. Conley, and J. P. Truant. "Fatty Acids and Derivatives as Antimicrobial Agents." Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy2, no. 1 (July 1972): 23-28. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC444260/.
- Mumme, Karen, and Welma Stonehouse. "Effects of Medium-Chain Triglycerides on Weight Loss and Body Composition: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials." Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics115, no. 2 (February 2015): 249-63. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25636220.