These are the notes from last night’s video in the 28 Day Challenge. You can join us in the 28 Day Challenge FaceBook Group here, get our FREE 28 Day Ketogenic Meal Plan here, and pick up our recipe and instructional books here.
The 2 Compartment Theory of Weight Loss
Yesterday we looked at why calorie restriction doesn’t work, now let’s look at a different way of thinking about your fat stores.
The reason calorie restriction doesn’t work is because it is based on a flawed view of how your body stores energy. Most people think that all your extra fat is in one giant compartment and all you have to do is use more than you take in and weight loss happens. But actually, your body stores energy in 2 different “compartments”. It stores glycogen in muscles and around the liver for quick access to energy and fat in the long term storage of your fat cells. If you are a sugar burner and your glycogen stores get depleted, rather than going into that long term storage of the fat cell for energy, it just releases the hormones that trigger hunger. You then eat, filling up those sugar stores and your body uses that for fuel without ever touching the long term storage of your fat cells.
You can think of you sugar stores as a refrigerator and the fat cells as a deep freezer down in the basement. It is far more convenient to get food in and out of the fridge than to trundle down to the basement to get something out of the freezer. In order to force our body to use the fat in the “freezer” of your fat cells, you have to empty the fridge and keep it empty.
This is an important idea because most people think that both fat and sugar are burned for fuel simultaneously but the fact is that they are burned sequentially and fat is only burned AFTER all the blood sugar is used. So again, if your blood sugar levels are always kept high because you are constantly eating carbs, you will never get into that long term storage of your fat cells.
So what controls which energy source your body uses? You’ve probably already figured this you but it is insulin. When insulin levels are high, your body is only using sugar for fuel and is impeded from using any fat for fuel. As insulin levels fall, your body will regain the ability to use fat for fuel but would prefer to just make you hungry so you eat more food and more carbs that will fill your “fridge” back up with sugar.
Again the key to long term weight loss is to eat foods that suppress your insulin response, which is exactly what a ketogenic diet does.