You, your mother, brother, sister, friend, uncle, dog – everyone would love to be a fat burning machine!
Imagine if you could burn body fat all day long, getting leaner and more defined without having to spend more time in the gym???
Well I’m going to kick in the door and let the light shine in!
Did you know that roughly 80% of your body composition is determined by what you eat?
As a Strength Coach who obviously preaches the benefits of training, it’s a bit hard for even me to wrap my head around this sometimes. But, being a nutrition coach as well I get to witness real-life transformations one after the other of people who achieve incredible results by simply changing their nutrition. So let’s be clear, I’m not saying to stop working out! Although every now and then I coach someone who has such high stress levels that the first thing I prescribe is to stop working out for a few weeks.
Yes, they always look at me like I’m crazy… what do you mean stop working out? Shouldn’t I be doing more sets, more reps, more intervals, walking for longer at a higher incline on the treadmill???
At that point, if they actually trust me, we will get going on the journey of changing their body once and for all. If they think I’m out to lunch I never hear from them again and they will continue to do more of the same old crap and keep on expecting a different result – that’s the definition of insanity.
So how do you become a fat burning machine? The answer is actually quite simple: We need to retrain your physiology to use body fat instead of just dietary sugars as the primary energy source in your body.
Most people in North America are sugar burners, not fat burners meaning their body depends on the sugars (carbs) they eat for energy production. However, the body is actually an amazing machine, yes more amazing than the latest Apple device, and it can be reprogramed to burn unwanted fat as energy.
As great as all this sounds, I’m going to be straight up, you’re going to have to suck it up and grow a pair if you want to do this because the process is definitely an uncomfortable one for most
The way we make people into fat burning machines is a bit of a technical process so we don’t really advocate you taking this on 100% on your own. Working with an experienced nutrition coach who can help get you all set up and make you accountable for following through will be the key difference between success and failure long term.
Now that I covered that SUPER IMPORTANT POINT, let me give you some tips to help get started on becoming a fat burning machine.
1. Eat more healthy fats
In order to burn more fat you have to turn on your fat burning machinery because it’s been basically sitting in the corner collecting dust for that past 5, 10, 20, 30 years. As smart as your body is, it’s also incredible lazy… ahh I mean efficient (anyone who has ever coached with me knows I don’t like using the word efficient but it works here).
It’s gotten lazy because you have been feeding it too much simple sugars, which digest quickly, getting into your bloodstream and going directly to areas where energy is needed. And if no energy is needed where do think it goes??? Yep you guessed it, belly fat, muffin tops, bye-bye tris. All those places that we don’t want fat.
The more good fats you eat the more your body will start to kick on the fat burning hormones and enzymes to use fat as energy all day long. Good fats such as Omega 3s, raw nuts (not peanuts or cashews because they are legumes not nuts), avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, chia oil, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, grass-fed butter, MCT oil and the list goes on. And do I even need to say anymore that all these should be organic sources? I hope not!
Ok here’s where the challenge kicks in. If you start eating more healthy fats, which are extremely calorie dense, and don’t change anything else, chances are you will actually gain more weight, so something is going to have to give to balance things out.
2. Dramatically reduce all simple sugars
As your fat intake increases, your carbs (sugars) intake is going to have to decrease to balance out your caloric intake. Also, dramatically reducing the sugary carbs you eat will be the key to forcing your body to start burning fat as energy because it is no longer getting the quick sugar fix.
Are you still with me here?
Let me say that one more time so we’re clear. Eat more good fats and stop eating sugary, high-glycemic carbs completely and dramatically reduce the amount of complex carbs you eat during this transition. Doing this will force your body into becoming a fat burning machine.
One more time in detail, stop eating white bread, pasta (all pasta), whole wheat, sugar (of any kind), flour, white rice, gluten-free breads and pastas, sugary fruits (basically every fruit except berries), dairy (grass-fed butter being the exception). Temporarily reduce the amount of complex carbs you eat, gluten-free oatmeal, brown rice, and sweet potato, and replace the calories with the healthy fat options mentioned above. Just to be clear, I am not against carbohydrates at all!! This is just a process to help kick on your fat burning physiology. Once it is running at full steam you can start bringing back up the health carbs.
3. Eat lots of green fibrous vegetables
Do I even need to say this? Sadly I do, otherwise why would I even mention it. Most people just need to eat more vegetables in general regardless if they want to become a fat burning machine or not.
I recommend eating at least a pound of vegetables daily. Mixed greens, spinach, kale, broccoli, collard greens, cucumber, chards, romaine lettuce, Brussels sprouts, broccolini (had some for breakfast today roasted in the oven covered in olive oil and topped with nutritional yeast delicious!)
Every meal should have some green vegetable in it, got it? And if you can’t seem to get in that much veggies daily make sure you add a good quality greens powder to your nutrition plan like Ultimate Daily Greens made by North Coast Naturals.
4. Suck it up!
This is going to be super uncomfortable for you. If you make this transition you are going to feel like shit for a good 14-21 days. BUT once you get through 21 days you will start to experience the benefits more and more! Most people never actually get to the post 21-day benefit stage because they quit too early. What a shame. Personal growth in not for everyone (yes I just called you out if you are a notorious quitter what are you going to do about it??? Prove me wrong I hope).
Phew I feel like have been yelling for the past 60 minutes without even taking a breath. But I’m serious about this stuff! What I just gave you is really just the tip of the iceberg but I really wanted introducing you to the concept.
Of course it’s just not that simple and every person who we coach has different metabolic traits and different macronutrient needs depending on their lifestyle and/or sport. And to be clear again, we are not anti-carb coaches at Strong Athlete as I’m sure you have read in many of our newsletters, articles and presentations in the past. We are strategic and we know what to prescribe in different cases. Do we believe in low-carb nutrition? Yes. Do we believe in high-carb nutrition? Yes. Do we believe in carb cycling? Yes. It all depends on the application.
What we pride ourselves in at Strong Athlete is being open and knowledgeable to all different approaches to helping people achieve their goals because there’s never just one answer. I was actually going to say there’s usually more than one way to skin a cat but my cat is actually sitting in front of me right now so it felt kind of wrong to say that… 🙂
Good Luck Future Fat Burning Machine!