[We are the Foolish Couple, Andy and Minna, founders of the Foco Academy. We focus on mentoring and teaching the Success Principles and how to apply the principles to the 3 areas of life that money can’t buy: Health, Time, and Love Relationship.]
If you have ever owned or driven a car, a motorcycle, or any kind of motor vehicle, you probably know what type of fuel that car is burning, right? If you own a Ferrari, you’d have to put gas in that Ferrari for the car to move. If you own a Tesla, then you’d have to put electricity into the car for it to move. If you own a hybrid, well, then it could run on both gas and electricity.
Gas cars run on gas, EV’s run on electricity. Buses, trains, airplanes, motorcycles, any type of motor vehicle would require some type of energy source to power it up, to make it move.
What about your body? Your body moves, all the time. Your heart pumps all day long, without stopping. What’s powering your heart? Your brain? Your senses? Your internal organs? What kind of fuel do you burn so that your arms and legs could move?
I would say, probably up until about 2 years ago, I have no idea what my body burns. I don’t know what fuels up my body. You can say it is food. But what kind of food?
Solar powered electrical energy is clean, gas is dirty. Are our bodies burning clean fuel or dirty fuel? What does it even mean? And why do you care? How does your energy source affect your body and your health? And does burning dirty fuel makes our bodies dirty too?
Our bodies are mysterious machines, and it’s only the recent couple of years that we are starting to see some research around what kind of fuel our bodies burn. And if we go back into the pre-historic ages, our ancestors, they were hunter-gatherers. They go out hunting, and if they got lucky, they’d get a buffalo, wild boar, or some other wild animal. And then everybody feast on that piece of meat.
However, if you think skipping a meal is hard, our ancestor’s lives were a lot harder. There may be days where they have nothing to eat. There’s no such thing as eating 3 meals a day, or any type of regular meals, for that matter. Snacking is when they pick a piece of fruit off a tree. When there is nothing to eat, our ancestors depend on burning their own body fat as energy to keep them moving, until the next time they have a feast.
As it turns out, our ancestors naturally have the ability to burn two types of fuel. Fuel from the foods, and fuel from their own body fat.
Our ancestors have the same biology as us. We have the same bodies. Our bodies, just like our ancestors, also have the innate ability to burn our own fat as energy.
But nowadays, we are spoiled. We don’t have a shortage of food. In fact, we are constantly stuffing our faces throughout the day with food and something that looks like food. Overtime, our bodies forget how to burn our own body fat. We have essentially taken away our body’s innate ability to burn fat or more specifically ketones, as fuel.
Now how does that sound? Burning our own body fat for energy sounds good doesn’t it? And what exactly are ketones and what does it has to do with fuel?
Here’s how it works. When your body is making energy, it’s like building a fire inside to fuel your body. Your body has two main ways to build this fire, you can burn carbohydrates or you can burn fats. Technically, you can burn proteins also, I will explain a little more on that later.
With the abundance of food nowadays, most of us have lost the ability to burn fat as fuel and we rely on carbohydrates, or more specifically, glucose, for fuel. But the problem with burning carbohydrates as fuel is that it is not sustainable and you constantly need to refeed to replenish the energy.
When your body burns carbs for fuel, it’s like you are building a fire with twigs. Twigs light up very easily, builds a fire really fast but also burns out really fast. So when you rely on carbohydrates for energy, yes you get that burst of energy for the 1/2hr to 1 hour, but then you get the crash, when the fires goes out per se. So to keep the fire burning you have to continue to throw twigs into the fire to keep it burning, or continuously refeed your body to have energy throughout the day.
What about protein? You may have heard that protein is great for building muscle and making you feel fuller longer, right? Well, eating protein is like throwing a log into the fire after you start the fire with the twigs. The log will help the fire burn a little longer, as your body takes longer to break down the protein into glucose for fuel, but it will still burn out and you lose your energy. To keep the fire burning, you need to continuously either throw more twigs (carbohydrates) or more logs (protein) into the fire.
This is how metabolism works for most of the people. They really on carbs or protein for energy to power them through the day.
Now imagine a more sustainable energy source, like using solar power to power up your home. An energy source that we have practically an endless supply in our bodies, FAT. Imagine that fire that you started with your twigs. Rather than continuously throwing more twigs or logs into it to keep it burning, what if you through in some coal, and start a real fire that can burn for hours like for a BBQ. Coals is harder to light and catch fire, but when they finally do, they provide both fire and heat for prolonged periods of time. Burning coal is like burning fat, when fat is thrown into this fire, your body makes ketones for energy. So, essentially, your body turns fat into ketones, which powers up our bodies. So there, if you’ve heard about ketosis, or ketogenic diets, this is what they are talking about.
Your goal should be to teach your body to use ketones as energy. Once your body learns to use ketones for energy, everything changes. Rather than the roller coaster of feeling up and down throughout the day, you will notice you have more energy throughout the day, your mind is clearer and sharper, and you lose the craving to constantly eat throughout the day. Your body will learn to burn your own body fat for energy, something that most of us has plenty of. It’s the answer you are looking for to not only lose weight but also to lose weight in the areas that you are carrying the most fat, around your hips and belly.
So if using ketones help burn fat, why aren’t more of us burning fat for energy? you may ask. Well, that’s because it is really really hard to do, intially. It’s like lighting coal, you can just put a match to a coal and hope that it lights up. How many of you have started a fire for a bbq party. Remember how long it takes to light the coal. You throw twigs or pieces of wood around the coal and light the wood. The twigs light up fast and builds a fire, but it takes awhile for the twigs to actually light the coal. Once the coals light up, it’s bbq time for hours without adding new twigs!
Like lighting the coal, our bodies normally take a long time to start burning fat, It will look for the easier burning sources of fuel first, glucose or sugars that come from your carbohydrates and proteins that you eat and the stored sources of glucose that is inside your body.
There are two common ways to get your body to burn ketones. The first is you would probably have to work out 10x harder than you currently do to burn all the carbs you are always refeeding with and what is in your body or two, go on a ketogenic diet. That’s why the keto diet is so popular now, it is meant to help your body burn ketones. But it’s like lighting coal, it can take weeks or even months before you light that coal.
And the biggest problem is that most people don’t know when they are in ketosis, meaning when their body is burning ketones for fuel. Most people just assume they are.
To really know if your body is burning ketones for fuel, you need to measure your metrics. I am very big in tracking your metrics for your health. There are three ways to measure ketones in your body, through your urine, your breath or through your blood. The most accurate way is through your blood.
If you are serious about using ketones for fuel, you need to constantly measure and track your ketones and blood sugar. The best way we recommend is using the Keto-Mojo meter which tracks both your ketone levels and your blood glucose levels. You want a reading of minimum .5 mmol/L to1.0 mmol/L to be in nutritional ketosis, meaning that your body can burn fat for fuel. But you want to work towards a reading of 1.0-3.0mmol/L to be in optimal Ketosis so that your body will burn fat as a preferred fuel.
In our next blog, I will go over how most people are doing the ketogenic diet wrong and tricks to hack your body to give it a quick start into nutritional Ketosis. Like lighting a match stick coal, you know the type of coal that you can light with just a match. You don’t want to miss it.
We believe that healthy relationships start with health. We help you achieve total success in health and in relationships through nutrition, exercise, mindset and lifestyle. If you know someone who can benefit from this blog, share with them. Let them know that you care about them. And of course, leave us any comments below. We love to hear from you.
We are not medical doctors. This blog is not intended to diagnose medical condition, or replace your health care provider. The contents of this blog are for informational purposes only. Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always consult your personal physician before starting any fitness or exercise program or changing dietary habits. The content of this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is not a substitute for a medical exam, nor does it replace the need for services or counsel provided by medical professionals. However, we do hope to inspire you to become healthier, more self sufficient, and more aware of options.
Watch this webinar to learn how high toxicity in your body causes inflammation and lowers your immunity against viruses, making you sick and Tired. Learn about the three simple tests to measure how toxic your body is.