You may be reading this post because you answered ‘Yes’ to more than three of the questions on my recent post Are You A Fat Burner Or A Sugar Burner? If you are a sugar burner then your metabolic efficiency is lower than desired so your metabolism is burning more sugar than we would like even at rest. This is one reason that you may experience frequent hunger, sugar/carbohydrate cravings, tiredness and other signs and symptoms.
I received a lot of questions following the aforementioned post so I’d like to help you on your way to being a better fat burner with these 6 simple steps.
Lower Your Carbohydrate Intake
Many of us over consume carbohydrates (sugars and starches). Have a look at your total carbohydrate consumption and consider reducing it. Replace the carb calories you cut out with healthy fat calories. Rebalancing your calorie distribution closer to 10% protein 30% carbs 60% good fats is the biggest thing you can do to be a better fat burner. If this sounds daunting, start by reducing your carbs on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday only. Add days as you get into the swing of it.
Increase Aerobic Exercise
Aerobic exercise is any activity that has you using oxygen and burning fat for fuel. If you can hold a conversation during exercise then you are working aerobically; this could be anything from walking to light/moderate running, cycling or gardening. The key is to increase the proportion of these kinds of workouts and activities in your training week. Make these sessions 20 minutes or longer. Aim for around 70% of your training to come from aerobic activity. You may find this link helpful.
Avoid Excessive Anaerobic/High Intensity Exercise
As fashionable as it is, an over emphasis on high intensity training and hard sessions such as heavy weight/resistance training, speed work and tough hill sessions can impede your fat burning. These kinds of activities are very good for your muscular strength, tone and for improving explosive performance in various sports. They are however the opposite of fat burning, aerobic exercise; these are sugar burning activities that can detract from the fat burning message you are trying to send to your body. I recommend not more than 30% anaerobic activity in your training week.
Stress hormone cortisol increases your sugar burning and suppresses your fat burning. Cortisol is part of the fight or fight mechanism and is designed to help you deal with a stressful encounter. In today’s world our stresses can go on for very long periods such as workplace pressure and personal problems. Make a list of the things that cause you stress; they may be physical, emotional or chemical (alcohol, caffeine, other drugs). Work on reducing them one at a time to improve your stress.
Everyone is different, but we should all be aiming for 7-9 hours a night on a regular basis. When you sleep your body makes repairs and reduces inflammation and stress. The quality of sleep is important too. Better sleep means less stress. Start by getting to bed before midnight and removing electronic devices from the bedroom. Read my recent post on sleep.
Watch Your Caffeine Intake
Limit your intake to 2-3 cups or espresso shots a day and avoid caffeine after noon. Your morning macchiato might be the world’s best pick-me-up, but over doing the caffeine and having it in your system late in the day will screw up your sleep plans. Caffeine can be an aid to physical activity and cognitive performance, but don’t over do it. Caffeine excites your nervous system much like stress and since we are aiming to reduce stress, this is a great place to start. Artificial fizzy caffeine drinks should be avoided entirely.
Give these a go and let me know how you get on by leaving your comments below.