If you have a hard time skipping meals, know those “sweet after dinner cravings” all too well and can’t make it to lunch without having a snack in between, it’s safe to say that your body is using the wrong kind of fuel: sugar.
When you’re in sugar burning mode you are not optimally using your body’s abilities to turn the substances you get through food into useful energy for your cells. The best way for your body to create energy is by burning fat.
Are You A Sugar Burner?
Some sugar burner symptoms:
- Low energy levels
- Sweet after dinner cravings
- Can’t skip meals
- Feeling cranky or irratable (especially after not eating for a while)
- Stubborn belly fat
You can compare sugar burning with trying to keep a campfire steady with newspapers – it’s nearly impossible. Fat burning, instead, is like using dry logs and really keep your fire going.
When you’re in sugar burning mode and are running on burning newspapers, you can probably imagine why you’re so quickly out of energy again even if you just had a meal. This is what gives you those nasty sugar cravings, as your brain won’t understand that you just ate something: it’s all burned up again, reserves are running low, so more carb-rich foods and sugar, please!
THE SUGAR TRAP
But it’s not about eliminating carbohydrates completely. Your body needs a certain amount of sugar to keep all systems running smoothly. The sugar is burned in your cells and turned into useful but “fast” energy. But the difference with fat burning is that it gives you a much more steady and long-lasting energy flow. When you’re just sugar burning and not fat burning you only get those fast peaks followed by energy dips.
Sugar burning is fast energy, fat burning is slow and steady energy.
Unfortunately, our Western modern diet made us accustomed to amounts of sugar that are just off the charts. But the excess sugar that can’t be burned or used as energy, is stored in your fat cells. And because there is so much sugar available, your body won’t enter fat burning mode anymore. Hello, belly fat… Hey there, love handles…
One of the main reasons this happens is because compared to fat burning, sugar burning is relatively easy. Your body will always follow the path of least resistance. And because there is so much sugar available 24/7, why would you go down the hard road?!
Did you know that there are actually more than enough natural sugars in foods like fruit and vegetables? You really don’t need any processed foods. Eating processed foods will increase the sugar intake up to 60-70% of your total diet! Instead of those added sugars, it’s so much better to savour healthy fats to give yourself truly useful energy.
TOO MUCH, TOO OFTEN
Another reason the sugar burning-issue is so common these days is that we’re eating too much and too often. When you keep spiking your blood sugar to a point where your pancreas can’t produce enough insulin anymore to get it levelled, your cells will eventually get insensitive to insulin. The sugar won’t be able to enter your cells any longer, even though you have enough of it in your blood, which sends your sugar cravings even further through the roof. As a result of this, your hormonal system starts misfiring and no longer gives a sign of satiation. You’ll get insulin resistant.
FROM SUGAR BURNER TO FAT BURNER
But enough of all these reasons why you’ve ended up in sugar burning mode. Let’s get you in fat burning mode instead! Just follow these steps to reset your body’s fuel use. As with every change, it might be hard at first, as your body is used to easy sugar burning and needs to make quite a big switch, but it’ll be worth it!
Also be aware that if you haven’t been in fat burning mode for some time, the toxins and sugars that are stored in your fat cells are going to be released, and this can be a tough process. You might feel lacking in energy at first or you can even feel a bit down, but just keep in mind that this is your body making the switch and that you’re starting to switch your gears to that beautiful fat mode!
How To Turn Into A True Fat Burner:
1. DO A SUGAR DETOX
Breaking up with sugar is the first and most important step to make the metabolic switch from sugar burner to fat burner. By removing excess sugar from your diet, your body is forced to go into fat burning mode simply because it’s (finally) running out of sugar.
Avoid any processed foods with added sugars and only eat natural, preferably organic whole foods.
Unfortunately, sugar is often hiding under many “names” such as dextrose, maltodextrin, glucose and maltose. If you really want to keep yourself from being fooled avoid any packaged foods, period.
Also avoid the secret-sugar-bombs such as fruit juices, foods high in carbohydrates and light products.
2. BRING DOWN YOUR MEAL FREQUENCY
If you’re pretty much eating throughout the whole day, try bringing down the amount of meals you eat to avoid your blood sugar levels from spiking to often and too much, and your pancreas from having to produce too much insulin.
By doing so, you’ll regain your normal hungry-feeling and you can say goodbye to those sugar cravings once and for all!
3. EAT MORE HEALTHY FATS
Of course your body does need to have enough of it’s “new” fuel source: healthy fats. You might think that by eating more fat you’ll actually gain weight, but the opposite is true! Healthy fats are transformed into much more useful energy which will help your body to make the switch to fat burning more easily.
Include plenty of “fatty” fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines and go for that oh-so-healthy coconut oil when preparing it. Sprinkle your salads with cold-pressed olive oil and enjoy your avocado.
4. EXERCISE ON AN EMPTY STOMACH
By doing your workouts in the morning before you’ve eaten anything: your body will have to turn to stored energy in your fat cells for energy.
However, make sure you do this when you’re ready for it. If you’ve been a sugar burner for a while it might be quite heavy on your systems. Too low blood sugar levels (because your body isn’t used to not-eating) combined with heavy exercising can be too much for your body to handle and spike your stress hormones, which cause sugar cravings again.
Only start doing this when you’re sure you can skip a meal without getting that low-blood-sugar-feeling.
Hi There, Fat Burner!
There you go! You’re all set to make the switch from sugar to fat burner. Say goodbye to sugar cravings, energy lows and that “I’m always hungry”-feeling and say hello to steady energy levels, feeling truly satisfied after a meal and a healthy body.
Well, that was quite some heavy info! I hope you feel better after reading this and are ready to make the switch and become a fat burner. I’d love to hear your ideas about reducing your sugar intake and how you’re implementing this in daily life. Who knows, you might help someone else too!
Photo Credit © Unsplash
You can now join our 28 day-program THE BIG RESET over at healthcoachFX.com packed with personalised healthy recipes and everyday lifestyle changes that will transform your body and life for good!
Thanks for your input love and keep on shining <3
Andreas et al. (2000). Chronic Subclinical Inflammation as Part of the Insulin Resistance Syndrome, The Insulin Resistance Atherosclerosis Study (IRAS). American Heart Association, 102(1).
Avena, N. M., Rada, P & Hoebel, B. G. (2008). Evidence for sugar addiction: Behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 32(1), 20–39.
Cordain, L. (2005). Origins and evolution of the Western diet: health implications for the 21st century. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 81(2), 341-354.
Lieberman, D. (2013). The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease. (1st ed.) Pantheon.
Reaven, G. M. (1988). Role of Insulin Resistance in Human Disease. Diabetes, 37(12), 1595-1607.
Shulman, G. I. (2000). Cellular mechanisms of insulin resistance. The Journal of Clinical Investigation, 106(2), 171-176.
Spector, D. (2014, 25th April). An Evolutionary Explanation For Why We Crave Sugar. [Weblog]. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/evolutionary-reason-we-love-sugar-2014-4
Sugarscience. (2013, 17 November 2013). SugerScience The Unsweetened Truth. [Website].
Thank you for the post! It’s a clear and scientific explanation to low carb high fat diets.
I’ve switched to low carbohydrate (approx 150 grams a day) instead of the usual 250-300 grams that is usually found in our diets, by tracking intake with an app. It’s really easy to enter your food intake and see how many carbs one is actually eating. It was a real wake up call. I started a month ago and I’ve even lost 2 kgs without any extra effort by cutting out completely on empty calories of white flour, white sugar, white rice, and processed foods. I still eat healthy doses of millets, brown rice, and whole oats from time to time. I have a very active lifestyle and used to be exhausted by 9pm and now I’m able to keep going for another few hours and no more sugar cravings! Make the change today