Hello followers and passers by and welcome to my blog. Here you will find my stories and musings on how to live a heathy and nutritious life based on the Paleolithic way of eating. I've been eating and living like this since 2009 and I've been reading and gatering a lot of information since my journey began.

Monday, 27 February 2012

The Burning Question

Are you a fat burner or a sugar burner?


More importantly, which one do you want to be?

With all of the misinformation that swirls around the health and diet industry I wasn't sure which one I wanted to be, but I knew I wanted to reduce the soft belly fat that's been slowly collecting around my midsection and then when I sat down and thought about this, I was hit by how obvious the answer is.  I thought, how can I burn my body fat if I my body is not in a fat burning state.  At the risk of over simplifying this, could the key to losing that unwanted and unsightly body fat be to get my body into a fat burning state?  But how do I do that?

My answer came to me while listening to the Jimmy Moore podcast interview with the Low Carb expert Mark Sisson, the creator of Marks Daily Apple.  It's all about the ketones.  I won't go into a lot of the details that Mark and Jimmy cover in the podcast and it's well worth the investment of time to listen to it.  Also, there are loads of resources via your favourite search engine.

Due to the reading I've done in the past and the podcasts I've listened to over the years I was familiar with the two fuel pathways of glucose and fat, but I'd not thought of this in a glaringly obvious way.

How can I expect to lose the belly fat if my body is not primed to use it as a fuel source?

If I'm eating foods that are providing a steady source of glucose into my blood stream, then my body is going to be using that as it's primary fuel source.  And so therefore, the fat is going to remain planted there on my belly and hips ready for the time that the steady supply of glucose dries up; an occasion when I need to use that fat.  But in today's modern world with supermarkets and vending machines everywhere, the glucose never stops and therefore I never dip into those fat stores and they remain planted exactly where they are.

So I need to switch from being a sugar burner to a fat burner and how do I do that?

It's easier than I thought; if I stop providing my body with a steady supply of sugar/glucose and provide it with a higher amount of fat my body will switch to burning that fat as a primary fuel source.  Once that pathway is activated, then my body will readily unlock the fat as a fuel from my adipose tissue.  Also, as my body switches to fat as a fuel it will generate ketones which is the preferred fuel of the heart and kidneys.  Ketones are the human beings natural and normal fuel source and this was the way we were designed.  This design was useful in our ancestery because when the body is burning ketones it is sparing lean muscle mass and lean muscle is exactly what you require when you're trying to bring down a Woolly Mammoth and carry it back to your cave.  Whereas when you're in a sugar burning state your lean muscle won't be spared in providing energy to burn because you body is calling out for glucose.  What happens is the muscle protein get's sent off to the liver to be broken down to provide glucose.

I've already started to change my diet and will report back with the results over the coming weeks and months with the basic principles:
  • Carb intake to be in the range of 50g to 100g per day (about 5% of calories);
  • Protein intake to be moderate at around 0.75 to 1g per pound of lean body weight (about 35% of calories)
  • Fat to make the highest contribution of energy (about 60% of calories)
There are a lot of really good resources out there on the ketogenic diet which you will easily find with your favourite search engine and I encourage you to take a good look and an even better read of them but feel free to ask me any questions.

Take care of yourself