Eating fat to burn fat doesn't seem to make sense, but trust when we say it does. Even though the world is full of overweight people supposedly due to high-fat diets, there's a reason we should follow suit, and you can learn more in the Body Reboot Book.
We're not saying you should stuff your face full of candy, but rather follow a ketogenic diet. A high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb diet is designed to help the body burn fat for energy, and that's exactly what we need to lose the weight and stay healthy.
The same goes for athletes who wish to maintain a healthy lifestyle and get fit simultaneously. Eating the right diet can lead to excellent benefits for both athletes and other health-minded people alike.
Bodybuilders, fitness enthusiasts, and researchers alike have found that such diets are an effective fat-loss tool. In fact, studies have shown that ketogenic diets induce numerous favorable metabolic and physiological changes, including weight loss, less oxidative stress, improved body composition, reduced inflammation, and increased insulin sensitivity.
Ketogenic diets have become increasingly popular among athletes ranging from Olympic competitors to endurance runners, with good reason. Let's take a closer look at the science.
When it comes to energy, the body prefers to break down fats or carbohydrates for fuel and save protein for other processes, like building muscle. The body can only metabolize a certain amount of protein at one time, so when consumed in large quantities, excess protein has the possibility of being converted to energy, a process called gluconeogenesis. For example, protein can be converted to energy during periods of prolonged exercise, or while exercising in a fasted state. In a ketogenic diet, too much protein could blunt any fat-adaptive responses.
Bottom line: consuming too much protein on a higher-fat diet can prevent your body from using stored fat for energy. Protein levels on keto diets are high enough to maintain, and in some cases increase, lean body mass, but a common mistake is to over-consume protein rather than increasing fat intake.
Using Fats For Fuel
In a typical Western diet, such as the “Food Guide Pyramid” diet, carbohydrates constitute the majority of the diet. In these diets, glucose is used as the primary energy source for the body. However, when the body doesn't need that energy, such as during periods of inactivity, a small amount of glucose is converted to glycogen (stored energy) and stored in the muscle and liver, while the majority of glucose is converted to fat.
The average human can only store about 2,000 kcals of energy as glycogen, but can store well over 25,000 kcals as fat. For someone following a high-carbohydrate diet, the only way for them to access this wealth of stored fuel would during periods of increased energy demand, such as during prolonged exercise, calorie-restriction, or fasting.
However, a fat-adapted person is primed to efficiently access this enormous reservoir of energy, preferentially using fat for energy, and fat-adapted athletes are able to rely less heavily on glycogen during exercise.
Ketogenic diets have also been shown to improve body composition through both decreases in body fat and increases in lean body mass. Of interest from a resistance training perspective, body composition was found to improve even more so when a ketogenic diet was combined with a lifting program. Most notably, research has shown that these changes can even occur without an athlete having to sacrifice strength as well, in turn effectively favoring an athlete's power to weight ratio.
In order to aid your body in burning energy, it's important to find the right combination of fats and protein. Don't consume too much protein or your body won't make a much use of the fats you are consuming. In the same way, it's still important to consume fat, but just make sure it's the healthy fats and not a candy bar, for example.
At the time of writing this article there are a few free copies left of the the Body Reboot Book. Head on over to this page and see if there are any left now. If you're willing to cover the cost to ship it to you… the book is 100% free (we normally sell it for $29.95).
There are still questions as to how reducing carbs can affect different aspects related to sports performance and metabolism. When exercising on the ketogenic diet it's recommended to focus on high-intensity workouts, supplementation, and also allowing your body recover.
Research on all of these aspects is ongoing and further insight in the months to come will hopefully help us understand how beneficial the keto diet is for both athletes and health-minded people. Body Building adds to these thoughts on their blog.
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Hit Your Fat Burning Reboot Switch
Discover how to activate your body's “Reboot Switch” that flips on a fat burning inferno so you can finally achieve your weight loss goals!