Training The Body To Burn Fat As A Fuel Supply

How to keep from bonking or hitting the wall? Robert Forster, PT, speaks to cyclists in Santa Monica about the importance of knowing and using the proper fuel source when racing and training. Specifically, Bob explains how carbohydrates only last so long and we must train to utilize the fat stores our body keeps because it is a much more sustainable fuel source and will get us to the finish line.

Why have we shifted as a culture towards a carbohydrate metabolism when fat is preferred?

With the great abundance of sugar and carbohydrates in the average diet, it is no wonder that we have trained our bodies to burn and rely on sugar. Although biologically our bodies favor a fat metabolism, through our environment we have trained our bodies to favour and crave carbohydrates. Because of the little storage we have for glycogen, we constantly crave more and more carbohydrate. While they give us a quick boost of energy, any excess carbohydrate taken in becomes stored as fat—fat that we cannot burn off efficiently because our bodies favour the carbohydrate.

The average person can only store about 1300-2000 calories of glycogen. As glycogen becomes depleted, fatigue sets in and you head to the vending machine trying to replenish your diminished supplies!

How do you know if you’re using fat?

If you suspect you may be a carbohydrate-burner instead of a fat burner, here are some ways you might be able to tell:

1. You feel starved and cranky after not eating for a few hours
2. You are unable to produce sustained bursts of energy during exercise
3. You need food after exercising a short period of time at any intensity
4. You have accumulated body weight that you cannot seem to get rid of

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24Fit – How to train your body to burn fat?