For many people, trying to lose weight becomes a Catch-22: I’m eating fewer calories, but I have less energy, feel tired and cranky all the time, and I think my metabolism has slowed down as a result! How can I get my body to burn calories?
Sure enough, for many people reducing the calories they consume just translates into a slower metabolism, and their bodies hang onto the extra weight. This is because they have less energy to exercise, and their bodies think they’re starving so they hold onto fat stores even more tightly. The trick is to get your body into a fat-burning state.
All calories are not created equally. Our bodies react differently to protein than they do to carbohydrates. So simply reducing the overall amount of calories you eat isn’t enough to stimulate weight loss. We have to make changes in the types of energy we consume.
To enter the fat-burning state, reduce your overall calories which come from carbohydrates while also increasing the protein you consume. This will cause you to enter what we call “dietary ketosis”, which means your body will release fatty acids from its fat stores. These fatty acids travel to the liver, where they are converted into an energy source called ketones. Your appetite will be reduced, but you’ll still have the energy you need to get through the day, exercise, and ward off cravings for starchy carbs.
After altering your diet this way, it takes about 3 to 5 days for your body to enter dietary ketosis. You’ll know you’ve reached your optimal fat-burning state because you’ll feel more energized and less hungry. And, of course, the best way to know you’ve reached dietary ketosis is when you see the number on your scale going down!