Are you predominantly a fat burner or a sugar burner?
1. Do you need to eat regularly, probably at least every couple of hours otherwise your energy bottoms out?
2. Can you go hours without eating despite feeling a little hungry with your energy levels in check?
If you are 1. you are a sugar burner meaning that you get the energy you need through the day primarily from the food you eat that day and the sugar that is circulating in the blood at the time, because this dwindles quickly you need to regularly refuel.
If you are 2. you are a fat burner who can easily dip into our energy stores when you need to refuel but are unable to eat or your body tells you you need to lose a little weight.
Ideally, and for optimum health, we need to be a fat burner, this is how our primitive body is programmed to be able to survive for long stretches without food without keeling over.
So how come so many of us have become sugar burners?
This is all to do with hormones and the large amount of sugar and processed carbohydrates in our diets these days. When we eat a lot of sweet and processed foods we call on the hormone insulin to take the excess out of the blood and pack it away firstly in short term storage in the muscles and then for longer term storage in the fat cells. What an amazing energy storage system!
But here’s the problem when we are in fat storage mode (because of raised insulin) we cannot withdraw energy deposits from our fat cells AT ALL! …and if we continue to eat every couple of hours our system will never have time to reset so we can draw on these deposits.
So how can we switch from a sugar burner to fat burner?
1. Start eating slow burning foods, whole grains, legumes, beans, fish, meat, whole fat dairy, this avoids calling on insulin and turning on fat storing mode.
2. Start the day with a good breakfast as this sets your metabolism for the day ahead. Include some wholegrain, protein and healthy fats. This will burn slowly allowing your hormones to start to reset.
3. Avoid sugar, artificial sweeteners and processed carbohydrates that flood the body with sugar and call insulin into action
4. Keep hydrated with lots of water and don’t drink sugary or artificially sweetened drinks.
5. If you need to snack make them protein based, for example nut butter on sliced apples, banana with peanut butter, nut and seeds with fresh fruit (avoid dried fruit as this is very concentrated sugar)
If you follow these principles slowly your body will rebalance and you will
– be able to go ages without food and not keel over
– loose any excess weight you have as the weight balancing hormone leptin can start working again
– feel your mood and brain functions stabilising
YAY, more energy, MORE LIFE!
with love Carol xx