Most dieters only lose water weight because they do not tap into their fat reserve. You store two types of fuel in your body: fat storage and your glycogen (sugar) reserve.
Glycogen is stored sugar, glycogen as a series of glucose molecules or sugar molecules attached together. You have about 1,700 calories. It is used up pretty fast. You have a lot of fat storage. The average person who is not over weight has about 77,000 calories worth of energy in fat.
Your body cannot tap into fat if there are too many carbs or sugar in the system. Your body will always go first for sugar as fuel if it is present.
To get your body to consistently burn fat, you literally have to create cellular machines to burn it. This is called keto-adaptation, which takes two to six weeks consuming less than 20 grams of carbs per day. Ketones are the by-product of fat burning. Ketosis is the process of burning fat.
People often go partially low-carb for a few days before having a cheat day of high carbs. They drink alcohol, they eat carbs, or they have a whole weekend of a cheat day.
They never adapt to fat burning.
What happens is they are constantly using up the stored sugar as fuel. So when the sugar drop and the sugar is used up they crave carbs. Why, because they are not able to tap into fat. Instead, they constantly use up then replenish their glycogen stores with so-called healthy carbohydrates like fruit and grains. But they say they are eating “healthy carbs” like fruit, heart healthy grains, protein bars (with a lot of hidden sugar) and eating snacks in between meals.
They replenish glycogen reserves with these “healthy carbs” and then they start the whole cycle over again.
What gives them false hope is they will lose weight if they exercise. What is happening is when they are exercising they are burning up the calories – using up the glycogen. For every gram of glycogen there is 2 g of water that is bonded with it. Glycogen really is a fluid filled sponge with a lot of water contained in this glycogen. An average person is carrying around at least 11 pounds of water. So they burn of the glycogen reserve and they dump a lot of water, loose a couple pounds until they consume carbs again. So they think it is working but then it does not work. They are just loosing a lot of water weight.
Then as soon as you eat carbs and replenish your glycogen, back comes the water weight.
If you really want to get the weight off, focus on getting your body into fat-burning mode. Bite the bullet, and go consistently low-carb for at least two to six weeks. You have to consistently keep your carbs below 20 g per day until your body fully adapts to fat burning.
It is a combination of healthy ketosis and intermittent fasting that will really help you. You will burn fat and you will see results. Just using up glycogen is very frustrating because you are going to plateau but there is a lot of other problems to come with this: low blood sugars, irritability, fatigue, and brain fog.
Your body’s fat fuel is the superior fuel. You will have more endurance; you will be wake in the head. You will feel healthier.
This Post has been condensed from Dr. Berg’s video, Why Most Dieters ONLY Lose Water Weight https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPgB8hWtf3w
Dr. Berg is a chiropractor who specializes in Healthy Ketosis & Intermittent Fasting. He is the author of the best-selling book The Healthy Keto Plan, and is the Director of Dr. Berg Nutritionals. He no longer practices, but focuses on health education through social media. He has taught students nutrition as an adjunct professor at Howard University.
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