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The Process of becoming a Fat Burning Machine

Switching Fuel Tanks: The Key to Fat Loss and the Ketosis Question

The body essentially has 3 fuel sources or “fuel tanks” that it can draw from to support our daily energy requirements. These fuel sources are sugar, protein and fat.

Ideal Protein Energy Tanks
3 Fuel Sources

Because sugar is the quickest and easiest source of the three, the body will always draw from this tank first. And because the average person consumes a daily diet that’s comprised mostly of sugar (in the form of carbohydrates), this is often the only fuel tank that is ever used.

So What is Ketosis?

Nutritional ketosis is a natural metabolic state in which the body’s primary fuel source is coming from ketone bodies—energy molecules produced from “burning fat.”

The Ideal Protein protocol safely guides you into this natural metabolic state through which you can achieve safe, effective and sustainable* weight loss.

*Ideal Protein is a 3-Phase protocol that includes a mandatory weight stabilization phase.

Before Ketosis

The primary fuel that our bodies are accustomed to using is glucose (or “sugar”)—the main source of which comes from our daily dietary intake of carbohydrates.

Unlike our “fat tank,” our “sugar tank” has limited storage capacity and therefore relies on the constant replenishment from our diets. Our intake of carbohydrates—from fruits and vegetables to breads, pasta, cookies, soda, candy and alcohol—provides more than enough sugar to keep this fuel tank filled. And if by chance it starts to run low, our body will send out “prompts” and “reminders” in the form of hunger and cravings in an attempt to refill the tank!

This will pass in a matter of days! Stay the course—you will be amazed.


DAYS 1-2: No Supply, Just Demand

What is Happening During these First Days?

For many, the first few days on the protocol may be the most challenging as the body adjusts to a low carbohydrate diet. This sudden withdrawal of sugar, the body’s preferred energy source, may prompt uncomfortable side effects such as hunger, cravings, headaches or more. The good news is that by week’s end, many—if not all—of these side effects will subside as the body transitions into fat burning.

DAYS 2-3: Draining the Glycogen (Sugar) Tank

What is Happening During this Time?

Our bodies store a small amount of sugar, in the form of glycogen, in our liver and muscles. When dietary sugar consumption starts to dwindle, our bodies turn to this stored glycogen for fuel. But unlike our fat stores, glycogen stores are very limited. Depending on one’s body size, gender and genetics, glycogen can fuel the body for 1 to 3 days.

DAYS 3-4: Making NEW Glycogen (Sugar)

What is Happening During this Time?

Because certain tissues in the body and brain are dependent on glucose as its only fuel source, our bodies evolved with a backup “glucose generator” that kicks in during times when our glycogen tank is running low. This “glucose generator” converts amino acids (broken down from dietary protein and/or muscle) into glucose. This process is called gluconeogenesis—which aptly means “making (genesis) new (neo) glucose.” This is another one of our “evolutionary safety nets” designed for our survival, but keep in mind that gluconeogenesis is meant only to fuel those certain glucose-dependent tissues—not the whole body—so this fuel tank is not sustainable for long-term use. That is a job that requires a far greater surplus of fuel—your own fat stores! So we want to limit the use of this tank through the quick transition to fat burning.

DAYS 4-5: Taping the FAT Tank

What is Happening During this Time?

With continued carbohydrate restriction, at or around days 4 or 5, the body may already begin mobilizing stored fat for fuel. During these early days of “tapping the fat tank,” you may not feel much different. Keep in mind that up until now, every cell in your body (and we have approximately 37 trillion of them) has been running mostly on sugar (glucose)! It can take days, possibly weeks, before the body becomes proficient at using ketones for energy. This is called becoming “keto adapted.”

DAYS 5-7 (And Beyond): FAT BURNING Machine

What is Happening During this Time?

In the days and months to come, your body will become accustomed to running mostly on fat, making you, essentially, a fat-burning machine. But keep in mind that ALL of this can stop in an instant if you do not follow the protocol 100%! Even the slightest deviation, whether it’s that “one” glass of wine, a piece of bread from the bread basket or even “bites and tastes” here and there, can stop this process in its tracks and send you back to the sugar tank! Once there, you will have to “drain the tank” all over again.

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