Metabolic flexibility is the ability for one’s body to switch between burning fat and burning sugar.
What metabolic flexibility means is if you eat a low carb, high fat meal, your body goes into fat burning mode. And if you eat a meal high in carbs, like a cheeseburger on a bun with french fries and a vanilla shake, your body goes into sugar burning mode to burn that glucose! Its the best of both worlds! But how do you get there?
Its in our genes!
We are actually born with this ability! Our caveman ancestors didn’t have many different carb options to choose from. They may have come across a beehive every now and then and had some honey, but what else was loaded with sugar back then? Not much. Even fruits back then were not as sugary as they are now. Years of hybridizing fruits have made them sugary sweet to satisfy today’s sweet tooth! Even vegetables are sweeter than they were back in the day.
So if you eat the Standard American Diet for 50 years, guess what? You’ve eaten a lot of sugar and you’ve trained your body to burn sugar. So if you’re a sugar burner and you eat some fat, you’ll store that fat. And the real kicker is if you eat too much sugar, you’re going to store the excess sugar as fat too! That’s right, excess sugar gets stored as fat. So you’ve got the worst of both worlds!
Reprogram your Genes
How do you fix that? You’ll have to retrain your body to burn fat. If you’ve been eating the Standard American Diet for a while, you probably are a little bit overweight. Am I right? If you cut down on the carbs and exercise a little bit, you can retrain your body to start burning fat. Alright, so you cut down on the carbs, raise the amount of fat you’re eating and exercise (walking is the best) and guess what? Your body has no choice but to start burning fat for energy because there is simply not enough carbs to power the whole system. So now your body has been reminded about its ability to burn fat.
Does that mean you now have metabolic flexibility? No. Because if you eat a meal heavy in carbs, your body goes back to sugar burning mode and forgets all about burning fat. What you have to do is stay in fat burning mode for a while to retrain your body to stay in fat burning mode. How long? It depends on you! A fully committed person that doesn’t cheat should be able to do this in about 21 days. That doesn’t mean you’re fixed in 21 days! If you start to eat lots of carbs again, the effort will be wasted.
Become a Fat Burning Beast!
What you should do after 21 days of strict LCHF eating is to keep eating low carb high fat for a while to keep you in fat burning mode. If you’re truly Primal by eating the right LCHF foods you will also be less hungry overall and not have to eat as much as when you were eating carbs. The higher fat foods are more satisfying, so you will eat less. Sometimes you may even skip a meal! Skip a meal and go for a walk and guess what? You’ll start burning the fat that’s on your body!
Now we’re talking! So do this for a while and get your body deep into fat burning mode. So eat low carb high fat for a while, exercise a little, lose some weight (you have to lose some weight to signify fat burning mode) and then you can have some carbs. But then go back to LCHF for a while.
Carbs in Moderation
So you see what I’m saying? You will not truly be able to go back to eating boxes of donuts, fast food, quarts of ice cream, putting sugar on top of your Captain Crunch, etc, etc. But having the metabolic flexibility to eat a burger with fries and a shake every now and then, without it all being stored on your hips is a good thing! Don’t get me wrong. Your blood sugar will go up, but your system will take care of it in a more normal fashion. Just don’t keep eating these kinds of meals one after another for a long time. Of course, your personal success will be dependent on how damaged you are. If you’ve been a Type II Diabetic for a long time and extremely overweight, your timeline may be a lot longer.
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