Monday, April 18, 2011

Are you a Fat Burner or a Sugar Burner?

Did you know that you can change your body from its preferred metabolism of fat, to a sugar based metabolism?

Did you know that even if you have accidentally changed your metabolism to a sugar burning metabolism, you can choose to change your body to a fat burning, lean machine?

Sugar, in the form of glycogen, is utilized by the body in times of stress for rapid bursts of energy. Glycogen is stored by the liver, and when the adrenals call out for emergency energy, the liver releases glycogen. Living a high stress lifestyle, or eating a diet high in processed foods, can cause the body to get spoiled and lazy. This is because, burning fat for energy is a tougher process than burning readily available, easy to burn, sugars.

Your body also naturally burns sugar when you exercise. Which is why aerobic activity, such as walking, helps to reduce blood sugar.

If you have read my book, Maintain Your Weight, then you already understand my concept about your metabolic furnace. If not, then a simple way to understand it is, sugar and processed foods are like dead leaves when thrown on a fire. They flame up instantly, and then die out very quickly. Larger more dense pieces of wood burn slower, and hotter, and the energy they produce lasts much longer.

If a person eats too much sugar and/or processed foods, or they have insulin which is sluggish & isn't doing its job, these sugars are not processed as they should be. Unused sugars are sent back to the blood stream for disposal and since the body doesn't know what to do with the extra sugar it gets saved as fat. The problem is, sugars do not stoke up your metabolic furnace; so you need energy sooner, and because your body is trained to use sugar for energy, you start to crave more sugars and simple carbohydrates.

I am guessing by this point you can name several people, you know, who probably have a sugar burning metabolism. You may even be saying, "Wow, that sounds like me." Would you like to take charge of your body and teach it to burn fat? It is possible.

First of all you need to let go of the myths you have learned about what to eat, and what not to eat. Here are some common dieting myths:

  1. Fat is bad. NOT TRUE. Fat is necessary for building cells, protecting your organs, making skin soft and supple and other necessary functions. More specifically cholesterol, which is made from fats, is very important to the body. Every cell in your body uses cholesterol. The truth is; Healthy Fats are a vital part of everyones diet. About 30-40 percent of your diet should come from healthy fats.

  2. You can eat as much protein as you want. NOT TRUE. Protein is absolutely an important part of a healthy diet, but a variety of protein is important. If you eat meat, about 20% of your diet should come from lean animal protein or beans and legumes. Remember that vegetables, and grains like oatmeal also have protein, so you are not going to be without enough protein if you eat right.

  3. Grains should be a staple in your diet. NOT TRUE. Grains should be a small part of your diet, and they should be whole grains, like real steel cut oats. Not the kind that comes in a package you can pour hot water on and eat. In order for grains to be a healthy part of your diet, they must be difficult for your body to break down. Make your body work for those calories... and make sure the calories you provide are nutrient dense and high in fiber.

  4. Red meat is bad for you. NOT TRUE. Meat which has visible fat is bad for you. Lean cuts are acceptable, but remember a portion of meat is about 3-4 ounces.... which is about the size of a deck of cards. Some individuals tolerate red meats better than others. There are lots of other meats you could consume also. Consider chicken, white fish, salmon and tuna, deer, bison etc. Pork tends to have fat cells which are not visible, and you can not cut off, so we often recommend that people who have inflammatory conditions or are trying to manage their weight, avoid pork.

  5. Fiber is yucky! NOT TRUE. Vegetables have lots of non-soluble fiber. This fiber helps to balance blood sugar, and keep the pipes clean. Vegetables are also high in phytonutrients and are also known to help fight cancer. Vegetables are so important for your body you should eat some with every meal. 8 out of 10 bites of food should be a fruit or vegetable.

  6. Fruit is too high in sugar. NOT TRUE. Fruit is best eaten away from large meals, because it gets processed much faster than meats and vegetables, and can cause some gas or bloating if eaten on top of a meal. If you have fruit with your meal eat it about 15 minutes before the rest of the meal. Fruit has water soluble fiber in it, which also helps keep the pipes clean, and can help with constipation. If you are diabetic, you may find that fruit can raise blood sugar because your body is not utilizing sugar properly. It's absolutely necessary to get your body burning fat for energy if you are pre-diabetic, or already dependent on medications for blood sugar management.

So you need to know how to do this... right? Well, I recommend the Leptin Diet. If you would like a printable form of this diet click here. Below is a simple run down of how it works.

Eat These Foods:

Healthy fats, such as; nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, salmo, tuna etc.

Lean proteins, such as eggs, seafood, chicken, turkey, fish etc.

Vegetables and fruits, such as asparagus, cucumbers, spinach, lettuce, beans, green beans, garlic, peppers, apples, bananas, grapes, kiwi, pineapple, cherries, blueberries etc.

Foods to avoid:

Cows milk, frozen custard, fatty cheeses, processed meats, peanuts, barbeque sauce, ketchup, mayo, cakes, candies, processed foods, sugar, etc.

For the full diet and its explanation click on the link above. If you have questions please don't hesitate to call the office. By the way, this diet is a great maintenance plan for people who just finished their diet drops.

One of the most important things to remember is: Chew your food thoroughly. Chew it until it is no longer recognizable, then swallow it. Also, remember to drink plenty of water. You should drink about half your body weight, in ounces, of water a day.

Recommended supplementation:

L-Carnitine to help your body burn fat. L-Carnitine is to Fat, as Insulin is to Sugar. We do have a couple of different options at our office for this product. Recommended amount is 1000 mg at breakfast, and lunch, daily.

EFA's (Essential Fatty Acids) I always recommend that a person take 2000-4000 mg a day of a good quality, pharmaceutical grade fish oil or vegetarian based EFA product while trying to lose weight.

CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) Check out my blog from a week or so ago for more information on this great product. I usually recommend about 1500 mg three times a day while trying to lose weight.

Vitamin D is also very important in this process. Unless you live near the equator and spend a lot of time outdoors with very little clothing and no sunscreen, you probably need to take about 5000-8000 iu a day of a good quality, proven to be absorbable, product. We have two different types at our office, come by and ask about it.

Probiotics which are non-dairy in nature. Since you will be completely avoiding most dairy products during this program, you should find a good non-dairy probiotic. There are many available. We have one at our office that you only need to take 1 a day of, which is way less than most products suggest.

Enzymes are also very important for general health. We have a few different kinds which work well to aid in digestion if taken with meals, but they also work great to help clean inflammation out of the body when taken away from meals, on an empty stomach. We typically recommend enzymes for anyone who needs to lose weight, or may be dealing with food sensitivities.

I hope this information is helpful, and if you need someone to discuss it with, you can always make an appointment at our office. If you would like a printable form of this diet click here.

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