Let’s keep this short and sweet. At Shaping Change we like to coach you to become a fat burning machine, teaching your body to use fat as a fuel instead of carbs. However encouraging your body to do this requires a process, the stages of which I am going to simplify and share with you below.
Stage 1: Take sugar and refined carbohydrates out of your diet. This will lower your insulin levels.
Get prepared. To set yourself up for the greatest chance of success, start when you have a clear a 30-day period with no parties and only very low risk events where you can still make smart choices. Essentially high insulin levels block fat burning, so we always start with reducing sugars and carbs to stabilise your insulin. For this period we advocate eating real food, and cutting out all the quick stuff. We take away the stress of decision making in this period, by offering our clients simple recipes that literally only take a few minutes to knock up.
Stage 2: Sort out your blood sugar.
A good way to do this is to monitor your blood sugar levels using a blood glucose meter. They are only £12.99 from Amazon.
Next, start by checking your fasted morning level. That should be less than 85 mg/dl. Reduce your carb intake and add more fat. (We offer a few supporting lists on our programmes that give lists of how to increase your fat intake, including 8 different ways to make an avocado into a meal!) You can test your levels 30 minutes before and 60 minutes after eating, you want it to stay stable, about 80-90mg/dl. The objective it to see if you body is working efficiently to break down the carbs you do eat, and stabilise your bloody sugar quickly. If it’s boosting over 100, you are taking on board too much carbohydrate, and need to increase your fats. Use coconut oil, grass fed butter and MCT Oil.
Stage 3: No more sports drinks for training.
Putting in sugar gels prior to exercise will shut down the fat burning systems, not useful if you want to lose fat! Use electrolytes and amino acids if needed. Wean yourselves off sports drinks asap.
Stage 4: Train Fasted to become fat adapted.
Guess what, your sugar levels will be low and you’ll be set up to use fat as a fuel and I am sure if you are reading this you want to lose fat, so here you go. Some studies show that on a low carbohydrate diet, high in fats you can almost double the amount of fat you use as a fuel when training in a fasted state.
Step 5: Use Amino Acids
To prevent the breakdown of protein as a fuel when training fasted, you can take Amino Acids to ensure the building blocks are readily available to build lean muscle mass, rather than break it down. I would use some amino acids prior to exercising fasted. I like Phil Richards’ Amino Work Capacity Advanced.
Step 6: Ketosis
You may already be close to your goals at this stage. So it could be worth experimenting with the macro balances in your diet. Try a diet with 65%-70% from fat, 20% protein and 10% Carbs. You can test if you are there via bloods. Or via urine.
What I have shared is obviously a very simplified version of how to become fat adaptive. Everyone is different, and will need to spend different lengths of time in each stage. But if it something you want to work with us on, or if you just want further information please don’t hesitate to get in touch via our ‘Contact Us’ page.