Carbohydrates are our body’s favourite fuel source. If we’ve got carbs available, the body will prioritise the use of them for energy when we exercise. But if we’re trying to lose weight, the burning of carbohydrates alone isn’t going to help with fat loss.
So, is there a way to teach your body to burn more fat than carbohydrates when we’re exercising? Dr. Jacob Wilson, an expert in the building of muscle and body composition; and IFBB pro-bodybuilder Ben Pakulski discuss how you can burn more fat for fuel by approaching your diet intelligently.
Ben and Dr. Wilson explain how strategic carbohydrate cycling is going to increase your insulin sensitivity and therefore assist you in optimising how your body burns fat for fuel.
“As soon as I spike my insulin levels (by eating carbohydrates) my body is going to stop burning fat as fuel”.
Ben discusses how he often chooses a high-protein, high-fat breakfast to optimise fat burning, instead of eating carbohydrates. This is down to the fact that eating carbohydrates would trigger an insulin response and limit the burning of fat for fuel throughout the day.
The pair also discuss how someone who relies more on carbs for energy may be at risk of losing muscle mass a lot easier than someone who is adapted to utilising fat for energy when carb sources are low.
If your body hasn’t developed the ability to use fat for fuel efficiently, and you don’t have the stored carbs available that you usually do, your body will simply turn to proteins from your muscles as a source of energy.
How to burn more body fat for fuel:
Eat carbs accordingly. If you don’t have a hard day of training ahead of you, allow your body to go without for the day. This will help your body deplete glycogen stores (from carbohydrates) and return to a state of fat-burning. The increase in insulin sensitivity will result in more efficient use of stored fat, and limit the chances of your body using muscle for energy.
Related article: How to build muscle and burn fat at the same time