These simple tips will help you assess if you are burning more fat for fuel.
As fuels for daily activities —including physical exercise — humans burn both sugar and fat, along with small quantities of protein and varying amounts of ketone bodies. In general, those with better metabolisms rely more on fat for energy, leading to improved health and fitness, including athletic performance.
Many people focus on their weight, and thus look to the scale for guidance. However, a person’s percentage of body fat is more important than total weight. This is why the scale is misleading — fat doesn’t weigh much but takes up much more space than lean body mass, such as muscle, which weighs much more.
Even more important than determining a percentage of body fat is measuring the body’s ability to burn fat.
The best way to evaluate your metabolism, especially whether you are burning more body fat and less sugar, is to be tested. While it’s becoming easier than ever to find a facility that performs metabolic testing, where fat- and sugar-burning are measured at various heart rates, the fact is, most people will not be properly tested. This includes performing the test with some regularity to monitor progress.
However, various signs and symptoms can provide a very good idea of whether we’re burning sufficient body fat. Our bodies are always signaling us about many aspects of health and fitness, and fat-burning is one of them. Here are seven common indications:
- Clothes fitting more loosely, especially around the waist.
- People start asking you if you’re losing weight. They often notice it in your face first, and sometimes in other places. Likewise, people may ask if you’re lifting more weights — even a slight reduction in body fat leads to more muscle definition.
- Improved performance — increased physical energy leads to less fatigue, and more mental energy, improving creativity and reducing feelings of depression.
- Training and racing also improves. This can also be measured by the MAF Test.
- Increased exercise duration without the need for food intake.
- Reduced cravings for sweets and hunger. Freedom from sugar addiction.
- Improved health — a variety of factors related to reduced fat-burning can raise disease risk. These include increased blood fats (especially triglycerides and LDL cholesterol), blood pressure, inflammatory-related conditions, and a variety of other related conditions discussed in the white paper, Carbohydrate Intolerance.
The single common denominator that triggers the most fat-burning is the elimination of refined carbohydrates. But training in your individualized fat-burning zone as determined by the MAF 180 Formula also optimizes your fat-burning system. Other tips for increasing your body’s ability to use fat as fuel can be found elsewhere on this website.