Monthly Archives: October 2011

How to Become a Fat Burner

I was reminded of why it is important for Sugaraholics to avoid alcohol by a poster at who asked a question about alcohol and low carbohydrate diets. While this blog,, is not specifically about low carb dieting I venture that most people who have struggles with carbs would be best served by a low carbohydrate way of eating. I have been a low-carber on and off for a few years, and as I have mentioned before, one of the reasons I would go off my low carb diet was the notion I could have “a little” of something carby, or by using too many artificially sweetened products, and finally by eating too much protein which in insulin resistant people like me can interfere with fat burning. Alcohol can also lead to eating too many carbs, since alcohol lowers your resistance; but, the main reason to avoid alcohol is that it has a huge impact on the liver, and prevents fat burning.
Fat burning is ultimately the vehicle for losing weight. We become fat burners by taking in fewer calories than our bodies need for energy, which in a healthy metabolism quickly results in fat burning. I was one of the lucky fit, fat-burners for most of my life, but the accumulated damage of the passing years eventually led me to insulin resistance which is the first step towards becoming a diabetic. As I became insulin resistant, my old tried and true methods for weight loss ceased to work.
In the simplest terms, insulin resistance means that what you eat gets immediately stored as fat, and to add insult to injury the cells won’t give up their fat stores, so the person steadily gets fatter while feeling exhausted from being deprived of the energy stored in his/her fat cells. So my daily four mile walks went from invigorating to making me exhausted and even hungrier. Add to this peri-menopause, major back surgery, along with severe insomnia (all related to increasing the insulin resistance), and I was becoming a fat making machine with no hope of losing the weight. I was trapped in a vicious self-perpetuating problem. Eating the Standard American Diet (SAD), just made be crave carbs more and more. It got really ugly before I finally was able to fit all the pieces of the puzzle together.
So that’s how I became a low carb convert, to which I added the clean source, higher fat paleo/primal diet. Finally I was able to start shedding some of the unwanted fat by becoming a fat burner instead of a carb burner. Gary Taubes explains in great detail how this is what we evolved to be, so I recommend you to his books Why We Get Fat and Good Calories, Bad Calories is heavy on the science behind the processes, and perhaps an easier read for the science minded.

Celebrating being a fat burner, not a sugar burner,
Nan aka Sugarbaby

Gary Taubes on Artificial Sweeteners

Gary Taubes wrote an article* for the New York Time Sunday Magazine, 10/2/11, on artificial sweeteners, though he did not address the most prevalent in soft drinks, aspartame, and concludes he prefers stevia as the one natural alternative. I don’t disagree as to their safety, but like many others, the super sweet nature of the artificial sweeteners can be a trigger for those of us who are extremely insulin resistant, hypoglycemic, or hyperinsulinemic. I know my own cravings markedly reduced when I gave up the artificial sweeteners. As mentioned in previous posts, with sweeteners at 200 to 600 times sweeter than sugar, our brain is getting the message that loads of calories will be forthcoming, and when they don’t come, then cravings only increase. If I ever use artificially sweetened foods or drinks, I make sure there are plenty of fats and protein to give the satiation the sweet is promising.
Again, each of us has different tolerances, and if you can use artificial sweets without cravings developing, then that’s great for you. Same for sugars, all but high fructose corn syrup which is one sweetener no one should consume who has weight issues, or wants to avoid them.