Metabolic Flexibility: Are you a Sugar Burner or Fat Burner?

Metabolic flexibility is your body’s ability to use whatever fuel source is available – dietary or stored fat, and glucose (sugar), or glycogen (sugar stores). Glycogen or stored glucose is the body’s preferred source of energy.

When you deplete glycogen and glucose, your body begins to favor fat for energy via a process called lipolysis (the breakdown of stored fat into free fatty acids). You also begin generating an alternative energy substrate called ketones. Ketones generate more energy than glucose with fewer by-products (e.g. free radicals).

Once this happens, you will notice that you are not hungry because your body is using its own fat for energy. But let’s face it, most of us are sugar burners and get hangry after a few hours. So, how do we get there?

The best way is Intermittent Fasting (IF) and a low carbohydrate diet. IF allows us to utilize both our metabolic engines – fat burning and glucose burning. As you toggle between the two engines, you become metabolically flexible.

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