Burning Energy and Losing Weight

Filed Under: Weight Loss
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Let’s quickly take a look at how the body burns energy. 

The preferred high-octane fuel of the body is carbohydrate in the form of glucose. Between meals, when there’s no fresh supply of glucose in your blood, energy is derived from your glycogen stores. Once these limited stores are exhausted, the burning of fat starts in full force.

You wake up in the morning burning fat because the eight to 12 hours between dinner and breakfast is ample time for your body to have depleted its carbohydrate stores. When you replenish those stores at breakfast, you again begin to burn primarily carbohydrates. If you do not replenish them, however, you will continue to burn fat.

This is one reason the very low-carbohydrate weight loss diet popularized by Dr. Atkins works for so many people. By not replenishing carbohydrate stores, the body stays in the fat-burning mode. 

It also works because it reduces insulin production. Insulin is a storage hormone. It not only lets glucose into the cells, but it also helps fat get in. People who eat a lot of fat and carbohydrates together often produce excessive amounts of insulin. 

The foods that stimulate the highest production of insulin are carbohydrates, particularly rapidly digested refined carbohydrates like white flour and sugar. Protein foods provoke some insulin response, but it is far less than that of carbohydrates, and fat doesn’t stimulate the release of insulin at all. Therefore, eating a low-carb diet dramatically decreases insulin production. This is of particular importance to people dealing with diabetes.

Burning up those fat stores is essential if you want to lose weight and keep it off. To really kick things into high gear, consider taking my Diabesity Challenge.

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