How many times have you asked: “why can’t I lose body fat?”
At any given time, our body burns a mix of fuel sources … fats, carbs, protein, and for those eating low carb, ketones. Ketones are a byproduct of being an efficient fat burner and can be used by lots of cells in the body … muscle, nerves, cardiac, and even the brain. What the body chooses for fuel depends on how a person eats and how they move.
Body fat is stored energy which is supposed to be accessible when food is unavailable. But for those eating a typical American diet high in sugars and starches, it’s inaccessible for a number of reasons:
- One reason is due to constant grazing. The body has a continual food source all day long. People can’t or don’t go long enough between meals for their body to need to tap into fat stores.
- A second reason is tied to insulin. When people eat foods containing sugar or starch, the body releases insulin to carry the glucose into muscle cells, and when the muscle cells are full, any excess is carried to the liver to be converted into and stored as fat. Once in the liver, insulin “locks” the fat into the cell. When food is unavailable, the body will burn the small stored supply of muscle and liver glycogen, but it can’t tap into fat stores. They are “locked” tight and the body then has to resort to breaking down muscle for energy.
- A third reason involves exercise. When a person exercises too intensely (heart rate is greater than “180 minus your age”), the body quickly burns through stored glucose instead of using fat energy to sustain the exercise. If exercising for an extended period of time, the body again resorts to breaking down muscle for energy due to fat stores being “locked” tight.
Fortunately, there are ways to become a fat-burning machine. Learn them, and you will give yourself a significant advantage to living a healthier life at a healthier weight!