The Physiology of Becoming a Fat Burner

How it Works

What happens when you stop eating so much sugar and so many refined carbs? Your body slowly weans itself off of sugar as an energy source. This process is called ketosis.

Because the carbohydrates are no longer flooding your system and your body still requires energy to function, your brain grabs glucose from glycogen stored in the liver to use as a temporary source of energy.

Then, your body finds additional energy through a process called gluconeogenesis, in which it makes sugar out of protein and a little out of fat. This is not a great long-term solution. Eventually, the protein being used for energy could end up being stripped from the muscles and organs themselves.

Thankfully though, the body’s natural survival mechanism kicks in to prevent that from happening and instead begins raising compounds called ketones instead (hence the name “ketosis”).

By using substances primarily from fatty acids to produce ketones, your body can now make energy from the fat stored in your body. After a few weeks, the fat you’ve been carrying around is being burned to supply a major portion of energy to your brain and nervous system.

So should I just eat more protein?

This switch can take place when you switch to eating 50 or fewer grams of carbohydrates a day.

Typically, such a switch requires an increase in healthy protein intake. However, consuming too much protein can prevent ketosis from occurring because excess protein converts to sugar. If this happens, your body is never forced to wean itself from this inefficient energy source, and therefore will not switch over to fat-burning mode.

While an increase in healthy protein intake is recommended, eating healthy fats like fish, avocado and extra virgin olive oil should remain the focus.

A diet based on hormones

For too long, the focus of dieting, weight loss, and getting into shape has been oversimplified to a transaction of calories. What many fail to realize is that our hormones play an absolutely crucial role in the functioning of our bodies—including our individual abilities to lose, gain and maintain weight.

The Maximized Metabolix book and program were developed to help you balance, maintain and maximize the function of your hormones. Ask your Maximized Living doctor whether this program could benefit your family.