Burning Fat

Today is Day 9 of my Whole 30-- 30 days of no sugar or sweeteners of any kind, no alcohol, no junk food. I have passed through the headache stage, and the low carb flu. Then I traversed the bloated belly stage. Yesterday I made it to the "no more hunger" stage. A strange sense of calm has come over me.

It's possible that I've now switched over to burning fat instead of sugar. Did you know our bodies are designed to burn either one? Yup. But many of us never get to use our fat-burning capacity because our bodies will always burn sugar if sugar is available. It is only when we take the sugar away that our systems will be forced to switch over to burning fat.

When we burn sugar for energy, we are on a roller coaster. Sugar is a fast source of energy. We eat some and it is very quickly available in the blood stream for burning. This is the "sugar high." Immediately after consuming sugar, the blood sugar levels shoot up. If you're in the middle of running a marathon, your body thanks you for that burst of energy and simply burns the sugar. If you're sitting on the couch watching a sit-com, your body responds to your high blood sugar with a burst of insulin. This drives the sugar into your fat cells to store it for later use. Only you will never burn off that fat as long as you keep eating more sugar.

When you restrict the sugar (and carbs) in your diet, your body will eventually switch over to burning fat. It is not instant. It might take a few days. In my case, it took 8. For some people, it might take weeks. Everyone has a unique metabolic system. It is healthy to be able to switch easily back and forth between sugar and fat burning, but those with diabetes or insulin-resistance may have more difficulty.

Once you have moved into a fat-burning state, you will know it. You will feel calmer than usual. As I mentioned, yesterday I had no hunger. I ate all three meals, but they were very small. I wasn't very hungry at dinner so I only ate about half my meal. I saved the rest and ate it later for a snack. If you normally have an obsessive relationship with food, where you are constantly thinking about your next meal or snack, this state of mind will be a pleasant surprise. You'll be able to focus on other things for a change!

And the other great thing about burning fat is exactly that: you will begin to burn your own fat! If you have fat on your body to burn, this is really good news. And since most of us (two-thirds of Americans) are overweight or obese, we do have excess fat to burn.

Have you been trying to lose weight for ages, to no avail? Have you been watching the numbers on the scale creeping upward? Have you been frustrated every time you start another diet? Are you constantly hungry? Do you crave sweet treats? The answer is a whole lot simpler than you thought: in order to burn fat, you have to take away the sugar.