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Carb burner vs. fat burner

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  • Carb burner vs. fat burner

    How do I know when my body has moved from using carbs as fuel to using fats as fuel. Someone mentioned (in another thread of mine) that I'm not a fat burner yet so my question is how do I know when I am? I've been eating primal for about 20 days or so and I still don't feel 100%, although I do get insane energy most days, but some days I still wake up feeling like I should have slept 8 more hours.

  • #2
    The easiest way to tell is by how many carbs you consume. But it's more of a fader than a switch.
    Lifting Journal

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    • #3
      When you are able to skip a meal without affecting your energy levels much, you'll know you're in fat-burning-beast territory.

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      • #4
        I guess I'll have to wait until my energy levels are actually stable and more constant. Right now I'm dealing with major ups and downs when it comes to energy.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ErinF View Post
          I guess I'll have to wait until my energy levels are actually stable and more constant. Right now I'm dealing with major ups and downs when it comes to energy.
          That's just part of being a woman.

          Just kidding.

          Or am I?

          No seriously, Tim is right. I find I can go back and forth, I can skip meals if I need to and I often have zero-carb days, but at the same time I greatly enjoy starches (potatoes, mostly) so I eat those and it doesn't seem to negatively affect my fat-burning abilities. I like to give my body a break from gluconeogenesis, and well, potatoes are just delicious.
          I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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          • #6
            Also, remember it isn't black and white. Just because your body is learning how to burn fat doesn't mean it can't still use carbs for energy.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Timothy View Post
              When you are able to skip a meal without affecting your energy levels much, you'll know you're in fat-burning-beast territory.
              Very true. I would ask this. How does it feel when you do get hungry? Is it a shakey, light-headed, I'm going to DIE if I don't eat in the next five minutes kind of feeling? Or is it more just like your body sending you a reminder memo that it would appreciate some food when you get around to it?

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              • #8
                If you are eating enough food and you still feel you have to eat more after a couple of hours, you are still pretty much a sugar-burner. If you "need" mini-meals (even if they are zero carb meals), you are still a sugar-burner. When you are a fat-burner and you have eaten enough fat, you might "forget" to eat if you are out and about. Sugar-burners never forget to eat. They'll grab a granola bar, some fruit, or something even worse like stopping at a fast-food place on the way home.

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                • #9
                  When I feel hungry it's just a light hunger pang feeling, not shakey or ravenous like I used to feel. Some days I feel that hunger feeling all day regardless of how much I've eaten and it seems like maybe I'm just getting used to feeling that way so it doesn't bother me or affect me at all. I've gone some days where I've eaten breakfast and come dinner time I realize I totally forgot to eat lunch. I'm dealing with food all day since I have to feed my toddler several times as well as the baby, but I'm never really in the mood to eat nor do I have an appetite for anything lately. I may still be in sugar burner mode and not eating enough, but it's hard to eat more when nothing appeals to me. I'm still trying to figure out how much protein to eat and how to fit the amount of protein I need into meals for each day. I used to eat little to no meat at all so eating all of this protein has been somewhat challenging for me!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ErinF View Post
                    When I feel hungry it's just a light hunger pang feeling, not shakey or ravenous like I used to feel. Some days I feel that hunger feeling all day regardless of how much I've eaten and it seems like maybe I'm just getting used to feeling that way so it doesn't bother me or affect me at all. I've gone some days where I've eaten breakfast and come dinner time I realize I totally forgot to eat lunch. I'm dealing with food all day since I have to feed my toddler several times as well as the baby, but I'm never really in the mood to eat nor do I have an appetite for anything lately. I may still be in sugar burner mode and not eating enough, but it's hard to eat more when nothing appeals to me. I'm still trying to figure out how much protein to eat and how to fit the amount of protein I need into meals for each day. I used to eat little to no meat at all so eating all of this protein has been somewhat challenging for me!
                    I would say that you are well on your way to fat burning, but as pointed out up-thread, it is a fade not a flip switch. I'm glad you are really making an effort to get your protein. That made all the difference for me in turning things around from a stall into losing again.

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                    • #11
                      Took me 3 weeks to get there. I remember how I generally felt less hungry, never faint with hunger.

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                      • #12
                        This is an interesting question/thread. It seems to be a very individual thing. I found that, even when I was a wheat/sugar/carb-chowing machine, I never felt shaky or light-headed or horrible when hungry - just got a bit of a growling stomach sensation which I could ignore for some time. And I often missed/delayed meals without any trouble. But I doubt I was ever in fat-burner mode. Lucky, I guess - I'd find it freaky to get weak or faint with hunger!
                        I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.

                        Oscar Wilde

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Timothy View Post
                          When you are able to skip a meal without affecting your energy levels much, you'll know you're in fat-burning-beast territory.
                          This.

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                          • #14
                            You will do good, stay strong.

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                            • #15
                              I think my body is slowly adjusting because most days I don't really feel hungry. Some days, however, are not that way and I wonder if things are improving for me at all. I'm the type that likes instant results and I know that's impossible so any small improvements along the way help me calm down and stay positive. My weight is dropping and more importantly my body fat % (which is embarassingly high) is slowly going down also. It's nice to get everyones input on this stuff so I don't start freaking out over something insignificant and give up. Thanks everyone!

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