Use Fat to Fuel your Body

Fat is a superior form of fuel, which can help you feel more energetic, active, gets you in better body composition, you age slower, keeps your hormones in balance (Insulin, Leptin, Ghrelin etc.) and gives many more additional benefits.

Use Fat to Fuel your Body

Any form of activity done in day to day life requires energy to be expended for that particular activity (activity here could be walking, sitting, playing, speaking or various forms of working out or any general activity). That energy is produced in our cells tiny organelle called as mitochondria which is the power house of our body. We have trillions of mitochondria’s working towards fulfilling the energy requirement of the task being performed day in day out. The food we eat gets converted into the smallest unit of energy called as ATP i.e. Adenosine Tri-Phosphate inside our cells and is used to perform daily life activities. I will not go into the technicality of ATP production and would like to keep the article simple and to the point.

The food we eat gets converted into the usable form of energy; we eat various types of food in day to day life. Major types of foods can be classified into Carbohydrate, Fats and Proteins. Below could be few examples of such classifications:

  1. Carbohydrate – Rice, Chapatti, Vegetables such as Potatoes, Sugar Items etc.
  1. Fat – Desi Ghee or Clarified Butter, Butter, Olive Oil etc.
  1. Protein – Eggs, Chicken, Paneer, Mutton etc.

The food we eat is broken down, digested, passed through our digestive system (in the form of either glucose or ketones which are produced in liver i.e. Fat to be used as fuel)and is distributed to the entire body to fulfill the energy requirements of our day to day life activities.

Carbohydrate based foods when consumed gets converted into glucose, which raises our blood sugar levels. Hormone Insulin works to store that glucose in cells to be used in the form of energy, to carry our out day to day life activities. But as we age our ability to utilize glucose as a form of energy diminishes, this is moreover due to over-abundance of carbohydrate based foods in our diet. Due to which the energy production in the cells reduces (due to non-availability of energy producing component i.e. Glucose) giving us a feeling of fatigue, even though we have eaten enough in our designated timely meals.

Our body is very adaptive to various kinds of situations it is put into i.e. how we have been able to survive through lakhs of years through our bodies amazing capabilities to adapt to the stress it is exposed to. Apart from Glucose as a source of energy, Fat can be used as a source of energy as well if we create conducive environment inside our body. Listen to this, Fat has been our major source of energy for lakhs of years when agriculture was non-existent and food was scarce, without our ability to utilize fat as fuel we wouldn’t have survived this long. That’s how our ancestors survived and it is in our genome to use fat as fuel. I mentioned above of creating the conducive environment for fat to be used as fuel source, this happens when availability of glucose is minimized via reduction in intake of Carbohydrate sources in our diet. As long as there is continuous availability of glucose to our body, it is hard for our body to start using Fat as Fuel. Usage of glucose or rather stacking of glucose into the cells is governed by Insulin and other factors. If our Insulin hormone stays up working all the time to stash that glucose into the cells, it is hard for our body to utilize fat as fuel. So, in order to create conducive environment for usage of Fat as Fuel, reduction of carbohydrates is the first and foremost thing to do and giving yourself proper nutrition all throughout the day will help you to tap that stored fat which has no use lying there.

Fats are stored in the body; you see them around belly, thighs or arms etc. It is untapped or locked form of energy, e.g. a person with 10 kg extra fat around is carrying approximately 90,000 kcal in the stored form, waiting to be used one fine day but that day will never come unless you drop those insulin levels. Moreover, extra fat on the body is like an extra baggage you carry around which reduces performance. Have you ever seen a fat Tiger or Lion or a Deer, they stay the way Nature has made them because there is no disconnect with the nature they are made to thrive in. We as human beings have moved away from the nature or from our natural habitat and hence we bear its brunt.

Fat is a superior form of fuel, which can help you feel more energetic, active, gets you in better body composition, you age slower, keeps your hormones in balance (Insulin, Leptin, Ghrelin etc.) and gives many more additional benefits. Fats have many advantages or usage in the body, except for carbohydrates which can only be converted to glucose and used as a source of energy which Fats can do more efficiently, as Fat is called as a cleaner fuel with very less by products after being used for energy production as compared to glucose.

Fat can be efficiently utilized as a source of energy, once your body is adapted to usage of Fat as Fuel which may take 3-4 weeks approximately post cessation of carbohydrate intake and good intake of Fat as a source of food in your each meal whilst keeping the protein (refer to above list of few good sources of proteins) intake moderate. Some people may find this impractical or difficult due to various barriers ranging from likes, dislikes, food preferences, family, social life, culture etc. But trust me once you are on this and start seeing the benefits, you wouldn’t want to go back to your previous self and of course who’s stopping you from varying little bit here and there. Don’t do it as a compulsion, but make it as a part of your lifestyle and you will never regret your decision when you look back.

I would say start for a week from today and keep an initial target of 1 week, observe the benefits and then decide. Please note that above information is purely from informational stand point and doesn’t providecomprehensive information when it comes to designing a nutrition plan, you may get your plan designed by a certified nutritionist or educate yourself in this field. I recommend seeking approval from concerned personnel, for people with medical issues.

About The Author

Harsh Arya

Harsh Arya is a certified Master Trainer, Sports Nutritioinist, and trained to train Special Population. He is an IMT Ghaziabad and BITS Pilani Alumni. Having worked in Aviation.. Read More..


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