The reason many of us struggle to shift weight is because of the development of whats called “metabolic syndrome”. Its is now believed to be the cause of many of the biggest killers, diabetes, heart disease and cancers.
Our bodies run on four fuel sources. Firstly carbs, then fats, protein and finally alcohol. Carbs are a very easy to access source of energy as they are stored as glycogen in our blood. However, they are very short lived and constantly need to be topped up. The constant topping up and burning of carbs does a few things which slows down or even stops the body’s ability to burn fat. It slows down recovery and can even make us sick.
As stated earlier it is important to understand that for our body to burn fat, it must first burn off 80% of the stored carbohydrate. The more carbs we consume, the longer it takes for our body to burn them off before even looking at burning fat. Unfortunately most people consume far too many carbs and as a result, very rarely get a chance to burn fat.
When we consume carbs (and I’m talking about all carbs even ones which do not even contain sugar as an ingredient such as pasta), we automatically get a spike of blood sugar. Our body’s reaction is to release insulin from the pancreas to flush the sugar out of the blood and force both sugars and fats into our cells. This is an automatic survival mechanism to help our body store calories in states of famine, even if we have an abundance of food and are far from a state of famine.
Now this is not great news if you are trying to lose fat or want to use fat as a fuel source, nor is it great for your energy levels as you will experience peaks and troughs throughout the day. If you have ever had a candy bar or something high in carbs mid afternoon, you will have experienced the short lived energy that the carbs provide, quickly followed by an energy crash as your body struggles to remove the sugar from your blood. After the crash, you will often feel quite sleepy. Your body wants you to sleep so your metabolism can slow, making it easier to store more fat for survival. Carbs are not a great source of sustainable fuel.
So to recap, the consumption of excess carbs create a roadblock for our body to be able to access fat as a fuel, therefore storing it as fat on or body.
When we eat a diet high in good fats, moderate protein and very low carbs, our body is constantly able to access fat as a fuel to burn, avoiding blood sugar spikes and giving us constant energy, even in a fasted state.
We have to eat fat, to lose fat.