Imagine you could dip into your fat stomach or chunky thighs (or wherever you store fat) when you work out. Wouldn’t that be just awesome? Most people’s bodies are trained to access the stored glycogen levels in their muscles and glucose in their blood stream BEFORE they burn fat. According to the amazingly fit, healthy and happy Mark Sisson, a 68-year-old fitness guru, you can change this process. “We are born with this amazing ability to extract calories from stored body fat,” he says in a YouTube interview. The reason we don’t is because we have learned to depend on carbs–glucose–for our energy needs since early childhood. Candy or cookies anyone? To become a great fat burner–a lean, mean, strong human machine–all you need to do is deprogram your body to depend on carbs for energy. Simply cut out all bad carbs from your diet and focus on eating real, unprocessed foods, as well as healthy carbs and lots of healthy fats.
Bad carbs are things like pasta, rice, bread, cereal, crackers, cookies, candy, sweetened soda and juice. And not just carbs made out of white flour but also wheat. Of course, avoid processed foods like the plague. Most things that come in a bag/box with a long ingredient list on it is processed. (So apples in a bag isn’t considered processed.) Focus on eating fish, meat–yes, meat–eggs, nuts, all kinds of veggies, berries, and some fruit and root vegetables such as sweet potato, carrots and turnips. Always strive to get grass-fed meats and/or wild-caught fish/seafood. Last, but not least, ensure you get plenty of healthy fats such as olive oil, butter (preferably grass-fed) lard, coconut oil, avocado with your real foods. Mark Sisson even claims you can eat bacon on this diet if you so choose.
Eating this way will force your body to go to the stored fat sources on your body instead of to all the carbs you’ve been feeding it. It will naturally upregulate your enzyme systems to burn body fat instead of glucose/glycogen. To upregulate an enzyme is, in biology, “the process by which a cell increases its response to a substance or signal from outside the cell to carry out a specific function.”
When your body functions in this manner, you’ll notice that you won’t feel the need to snack all the time. In other words, you’ll end up eating fewer calories without suffering through hunger bouts. You will also have natural good energy levels and be ablate concentrate better. What’s not to love about that?
Of course, you may still crave bad carbs and sugar in the beginning once you start eating like this. After all, our bodies are hard-wired to crave processed carbs and/or unhealthy fats such as seed oils and hydrogenated fats (think fried foods and baked goods). Unfortunately, the more processed foods you eat, the more you’ll crave it, especially the sugary stuff. The two things you want to make sure you do to minimize these bad cravings is sleeping enough (around 8 hours) and staying hydrated (aim for one liter of water/tea before noon). According to Mark Sisson, it takes the body 21 days to turn your sugar-dependent body into an efficient fat burner. He even wrote a book about that.
The way you eat is more important than you getting lots of exercise to become a fat burner, though Mark does say it definitely helps to work out, especially lifting weights, if you want to be lean. Lift weights two or three times/week. He recommends that, if you’re an endurance athlete, you train slow to race fast. You don’t want to run/bike/row fast in general or you won’t access your fat deposits (which is better). To achieve this, keep you target heart rate low. Calculate your target heart rate (which should be much lower than you’re used to) by deducting your age from 180. So, if you’re 50 like me, your target HR is 130. See how far you can run without exceeding that number (130). It may be a 13 or 14-minute mile. Keep challenging yourself to run a longer distance staying under your target heart rate until you have become as fast as you want to while burning fat, not carbs. Eventually, you’ll find that you can run a 9-minute mile with your heart rate at 130 still, which means YOU HAVE NOW BECOME AN EFFICIENT FAT BURNER. The point is not whether you can run a 7-minute mile or not right now. It’s, can you do it without accessing your glycogen stores and/or all the carbs you keep eating.
Most of this post has been taken from the stuff Mark Sisson talks about in the LEWIS HOWES Youtube video below. I urge you to watch it and read more about this very interesting, dynamic, knowledgable man on his blog Mark’s Daily Apple. It’s chock-full of information how to stay young and healthy for the rest of your life!