Why Fat Is Premium Fuel
The body has an amazing (and annoying) ability to store fat, even when you make all efforts to keep your calorie tally low. Recently, we have seen a trendy return to calorie counting, thanks to the colourful marketing of “100 calorie snacks”. Not surprisingly, all of these quick crack snacks are processed, packaged carbohydrate products. The blatant lie you are being told is that as long as you keep calories low, you will shed stored fat. Eat sugar and you will lose weight, as long as you’re only having small amounts.
Does it work? Fat chance. Hormones play the lead role in this show, determining what you burn and what you store…WHETHER you burn or store what you eat is a more accurate way to put it.
In 1956, two British scientists, Gaston Panon and Alan Kekwick, developed a diet as a way to determine whether different macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, fat) would have different results on weight loss. They divided a random group of people into three groups, all consuming a total of 1000 calories (a very small amount of food). The first consumed 90% carbohydrates, the second consumed 90% protein, and the third consumed 90% fat. Any guess on the results? You’d think that on such a low amount of calories, weight loss would be inevitable…right?
Wrong. The carbohydrate eaters actually GAINED 0.24 pounds per day, while the protein eaters lost 0.6 pounds per day. The most surprising result was that the fat eaters lost 0.9 pounds per day. Nothing could be more indicative of the fact that even when calories are far less than what the body needs in a day, you will STILL store fat if you are constantly eating sugar and triggering insulin and cortisol. When you give your body fat (and protein) as fuel, blood sugar levels stabilize, and the brain does not feel starved. The body then does what it must, which is use fat “stores” (NOT the same as the fat you eat) for fuel.
Because of excessive grain and processed glucose consumption, most people have unknowingly programmed their bodies to use sugar, rather than fat, as their primary fuel. Manipulative marketing and lack of understanding have created this lust for “whole grains” with a corresponding instilled fat fear. This is an unfortunate reality since insulin responds to abundant carbohydrates by STORING glucose in the liver and in fat cells. The resulting low blood sugar signals STRESS, which in turn stimulates the release of cortisol, so you crave those same foods again. Yikes! Eat – store – crave. A hamster on a wheel.
The body is much more efficient at dietary fat as fuel. It actually prefers it. When you eat fat (and protein) instead of dense carbohydrates, the whole insulin-cortisol roller coaster is avoided. You BURN fat to produce energy. And to the scare tactics used by the food industry, your body IS able to convert dietary fat into glucose as you need it. As this study shows, and as your own body will demonstrate if you DO it, eating fat IN PLACE of dense carbohydrates is the ONLY way to lose weight and get off that roller coaster.
In a nutshell…
You will only EVER get better at burning fat if fat becomes your favoured fuel. If you continue to be controlled by your carbohydrate convictions you will NEVER switch your metabolism and will forever keep your fat stores full. Even when calories are restricted.