We all know that part of what drives the weight loss that is common for low-carbers and paleos is that we switch from being sugar burners to being primarily fat burners (more accurately, we become better able to burn either as needed, and end up burning the latter to the extent that our carb intake remains low).
Recently, on this thread,
Sunshine made an interesting comment. She said that she started on a fat-based diet, became fat adapted, then no longer had to each much fat because she didn't require external sources.
Does this make sense? Is this plausible?
To me everything makes sense in the context of low-cost, low-risk self experimentation, but, theoretically or conceptually, does it make sense for those of who are fat adapted but still want to lose body fat to go low fat, based on the expectation that we'll burn internal sources?
This question is general, but as it pertains to Sunshine, she says she eat high protein, high carb - should we expect her to switch back to being a sugar-burner? Or will her metabolic flexibility remain intact?
Final caveat: I know that due to individual variation the answer is invariable something like, Yes for some folks, No for others. That said, I wanna know if these ideas - obvious simplifications, which I'm completely fine with - make sense to people with some expertise in these matters.
I am not sure about the science, but I can tell you anecdotally, that I no longer require a high amount of fat not to feel hungry on low-carb. I am considering a lower fat diet with the low-carb, as suggested on this forum, to assist with the last few pounds of weight loss.
The term "Fat adapted" is generally used to indicate that someone is no longer metabolically dependent on exogenous glucose (i.e. high carb intake) brought on by a low/no-carbohydrate diet that forces the body to synthesize glucose from alternate sources (fat & protein).
In this sense, if you become "fat adapted" eating low/no carb and then go back to eating a high carbohydrate diet, you will then return to being "carb-adapted" as free glucose is always burned preferentially. (Interesting side note, alcohol is actually burned preferentially to glucose.)
However, this doesn't rule out that one may have changed their overall metabolic environment (changes in insulin sensitivity, reduced bodyfat, etc.) that makes shifting back to a higher carbohydrate intake more amenable to continued progress in terms of bodycomposition, weight, etc.
I haven't tried eating a high-carb, moderate-to-high protein menu without fat so I can't speak to that.
I recently had some whole milk yogurt in the morning, then had a schedule that wound up causing me to opt out of eating any more that day. I can report that I never felt tired or hungry that day, woke up strong and normal-energy the next day and wound up not eating until mid-afternoon (other than the morning yogurt.)
That tells me I am indeed burning my fat reserves (which are ample) as required so Sunshine's opinion is plausible EXCEPT I assume you'd then need to have a food-to-energy deficit or you'd just burn the carbs you ate.
I think it's completely plausible. Our body's ability to store excess carbs is limited, so if we are eating lots of extra calories (both fat and carbs) via SAD, it makes sense that we preferentially burn the carbs and over time, down-regulate fat burning enzymes etc.
Once we get our metabolic flexibility back, as long as we don't overswing the pendulum (eat too few carbs), our body should be able to burn both fat and carbs equally (unless we're talking serious anaerobic activity).
From my lay perspective, it just has never made lots of sense to me to eat boatloads of dietary fat as long as I'm carrying around sufficient fat stores (like Nance, mine are ample). Instead, I eat dietary fat prescriptively: I make sure to eat fat that carries a healthy nutrient load (like pastured egg yolks) or some healthy fat (like coconut butter) for satiety's sake.
It is a difficult question to answer. What I think that it is actually related to our hormonal activities. In one word it depends highly on our metabolism process. It may happen that she has a diet including foods that increase metabolism. That is why she was able to do what she said.
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