2

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Fat adapted on low carb versus no carb?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 23, 2013 at 6:39 PM

My question is: is the only way to be a fat burner to eliminate all carbs over a period of time, thus giving your metabolism no choice in the matter, or can you sort of gradually become fat adapted by eating some low amount of carbs but more fat over a longer period?

In other words, do we burn carbs until we have only fat left to burn, or can our bodies burn both/more fat even while some carbs are available?

Sorry I'm not able to put this question into jargon.

I'm speaking from the perspective of a paleo runner who does eat a fair amount (150-200 grams) of fruit carbs and "safe starches" per day and who is fairly noob.

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on March 24, 2013
at 12:20 PM

So you're saying that even when I'm fuelling my runs on fruit, dates etc., that is not necessarily stopping me from also converting fat to energy, as I had feared? btw I am also lifting heavy so a lot of the carbs probably go to the muscles.

Medium avatar

(2338)

on March 24, 2013
at 12:10 AM

it has more to do with calories than carbs

Medium avatar

(2338)

on March 24, 2013
at 12:09 AM

it has more to do with calories than carbs.

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1 Answers

5
Medium avatar

on March 23, 2013
at 07:09 PM

It has a lot to do with mitochondrial dysfunction. In anyone though, it's going to be a matter of whether you have a place to put the glucose. If the liver and muscle glycogen depots are topped up, it has to be burned off. In a healthy person, there are a lot of robust mitochondria that will uncouple and burn excess carbohydrates as heat in such a way that overall lipid oxidation isn't completely halted. As such, the elevations in blood sugar are transient and unimportant. In a sedentary individual or one who has an insufficient intake of nutrients required for proper mitochondrial function (like magnesium) the blood glucose AUC will be much more substantial and will interfere with lipid oxidation for a greater period of time.

So anyway, for a runner like yourself, assuming you have adequate nutrition, you ought to choose your level of carbohydrate intake based on performance metrics, since it's highly unlikely that you would suffer from muscle mitochondria atrophy.

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on March 24, 2013
at 12:20 PM

So you're saying that even when I'm fuelling my runs on fruit, dates etc., that is not necessarily stopping me from also converting fat to energy, as I had feared? btw I am also lifting heavy so a lot of the carbs probably go to the muscles.

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