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  • Writer's picturePam P

Fat Burn 101

The truth about Fat Burn and how to achieve it!


Do you find yourself starting a new diet or program and experiencing cravings, hunger, plateaus, that seem to just continue on and on making it a struggle to stay on track?

I wanted to share a few things about fat burn and how to WIN during the weight-loss of our program. Rarely will someone plateau or have cravings on our program - it usually is something we are tweaking in our nutrition plan that is preventing us from getting into a strong fat burn.

Here is a great explanation and that you might super helpful for your weight-loss phase of your journey.

  • FAT BURN refers to a metabolic state where your body is burning fat instead of its preferred fuel of carbohydrates.

  • Carbohydrates exist in two forms when you are eating normally - "free" or accessible carbs, and stored carbs called glycogen. When your body needs fuel, it will burn the free carbs first (like when you drink a glass of OJ full of carbs). When all the free carbs are gone, your body will burn the stored carbs (glycogen). In humans, glycogen is made and stored primarily in the cells of the liver and the muscles, and contains carbs and water stored together. Once the glycogen and stored water is gone, your body begins to burn fat!

  • In the first week of program, you will lose a lot of weight. Most of that will be as a result of using up the glycogen, because every gram of stored carbs ALSO stores 3 grams of water. If the glycogen is used, the water is released. Result? Large weight loss.

  • This is ALSO why, if you have a high carb meal at some point, your weight goes UP UP UP. Every extra gram of carbs will be stored with an extra 3 grams of water. This is why if you eat 1 lb of chocolate, your weight goes up by 4 lbs (at least! 1 lb carbs + 3 lbs water).

  • When your body burns fat as fuel, ketone bodies are produced and are released in your urine, sweat, and saliva - hence the bad breath and BO that some people report. The more fat that is burned, the higher the concentration of ketone bodies, and the greater the odor.

  • This program produces a MILD "fat-burning" state. For diets that invoke a SERIOUS ketosis, like the Atkins diet, your carbs are limited to less than 20g per day. On this program, we are eating between 80 and 100g of carbs daily - JUST enough to keep your brain functioning well, and JUST enough to put you into mild "fat-burning" state.

  • You will KNOW that you are in "fat-burning" IF you have been 100% ON PLAN for 3 days. This is because your body only stores enough glycogen to provide fuel for 3 days. Once the glycogen is GONE, after 3 days, you will be in "fat-burning" state.


Bottom line? To be in fat-burning, you need to be 100% on plan. If you aren't, you will still lose weight (because you'll be eating fewer calories than normal) - but it will be much more slowly, and you will be hungry.

The more CARBS you eat over 100g, the less BODY FAT your body will metabolize as fuel. Happily, once you're in fat-burning, your hunger dissipates, and you get the best of both worlds: faster weight loss AND reduced hunger.

Ultimately, the choice is yours. How fast do you want to get to your target weight? How willing are you to stay on plan in order to support that goal of a healthy BMI?
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