Sugar vs. Fat Burner

Last Updated: March 31, 2017

Sugar burning or Fat burning for energy? Which is better? Which is more efficient?

The body needs energy to fuel your activities everyday.  When I grew up I was told to eat a plate of spaghetti the night before I played in a big game or ran in a race.  This was called carbohydrate loading.

Carbohydrates break down to make energy in your body.  They produce glucose.  It is estimated that you can store approximately 2,000 calories (kcals) of glycogen (glucose) in your body to use for energy.

Some shocking information came across my desk when I had completed 8 years of school that a greater source of energy that you stored was fat.  Your body can store over 40,000 calories (kcals) of fat to use as energy. (1) This is a huge difference!!!

The most important question for you to become a fat burner is how can I tap into this reserve that is 20 times bigger than the small energy reserve provided by glucose.  How can I become a Fat Burner?

Fat Burning mode is achieved when your body transitions from using glucose as energy to using fat as energy for metabolic functions.  Normally glucose is used first because it is easy to break down and your body has been trained to use it by your nutritional habits. 

If your nutrition has been based on consuming carbohydrates two things happen:

  • Your body normalizes to using carbohydrates as its primary energy source.
  • Your body stops using fat as an energy source and starts to mobilize the fat or store it in your body for later.

When you eat glucose your body will suppress the breakdown of fat for days, not just the hours after you eat, but days.  This is not good use of energy.

In order to adapt to a new set of rules you must start to take in more fat in your diet.

This is called keto-adaptation and is the transition that you need to start to access that 40,000 kcal tank that will keep your fat metabolism at an efficient level.

A ketogenic diet that is implemented effectively will take about 2 weeks to implement and start to transition your body into fat burning mode.

This type of diet is highly recommended for its efficiency of fat use and also as a performance-based diet for athletes.

People who successfully transition from sugar burning to fat burning see an increase in lean muscle, a decrease in body fat and an increase in energy reserves when it is combined with metabolic exercise.

Many people have used the ketogenic diet as a weight loss program.  I find it works best as a lifestyle modification for 3 months per year along with exercise.  It helps reduce sugar cravings, eliminates afternoon drowsiness and improves energy levels.

Sources and References


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