Many people go into a diet/exercise program with big hopes that burning the fat off can be extremely simple if they only follow the simple rule of burning off more calories than they ingest.
And while this rule is certainly one to follow, the results can make it seem a little misleading.
Have you ever heard about that dreaded diet “peak”? This is when you body adjusts to the dietary changes and your weight-loss is slowed down – sometimes only a little and sometimes to almost a complete stop.
Your diet is still technically working; it’s just not working as well. You are still burning fat; your body’s just not burning a lot of it.
Why does this happen? It all has to do with the types of fuel your body uses to drive it. Your body needs energy, and it may not always take it from those fat stores you’re hoping to burn off. Instead, it might be taking it from another source and thus leaving you having to put in the extra work to get rid of that accumulated fat.
Fuel the Body Uses
Your body takes its energy from three key nutrients – protein, fat and carbohydrates. Carbs are broken down into sugars, fats are broken down into fatty acids and glycerol, and protein is broken down into amino acids.
First and foremost, your body is looking to burn glucose as energy. While you have ample sugar in your system, your body is not going to dip into those fat reserves. And even cutting sugars out of your diet by a significant amount will not ensure a long-term fat-burning result. That dreaded “peak” is coming and your body may start using more proteins for fuel, especially on high-protein plans.
How to Get Over the Hump
So, since the body is able to use a few different fuels, how do you get over that hump and start burning off fat reserves? Well, it might sound a little cliché, but the trick is to stick with a balanced diet and an exercise regimen.
You will have to expend more energy than what your body is taking in, end of discussion, if you want to start busting open those fat stores for energy. This means: when the process slows down, you exercise more; you pay more attention to what you’re eating so that your body doesn’t have enough new energy to run itself.
By knowing how your body creates energy, you can stay in front of your diet and make sure you’re burning fat stores. It might not be as quick as you wanted, but it will happen.