What to expect when changing your fuel from Carbs to Fat

There is no doubt that carbohydrates provide a lot of energy but it is important we understand the metabolic problems they can cause to find the ‘BALANCE’.

One example comes to mind when I was talking to a triathlon coach about an athlete of his who claimed she had chronic fatigue syndrome.  This coach did not believe the athlete, but when I explained the eventual problems carbs cause at the mitochondrial level - he then began to understand the issues that athletes end up facing when their diet and fueling is based around carbohydrates.

It comes down to this: It is not a matter of IF you will have problems from a high carb diet, it is a matter of WHEN & WHAT FORM (weight gain, GI issues, Energy Swings/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, T2 Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, Hormonal/Adrenal Stress & Imbalances, even Cancer & Heart Disease).

Why are concentrated carbohydrates so “bad”?

It is not so much that concentrated forms of carbohydrates are ‘BAD’ per se but more so the chronic overconsumption. Our original ancestors consumed concentrated forms of carbohydrates 3-5 times per year, when fruit/berries were ripe or they found honey.  They were not consuming these 3-5 times per day for decades the way many athletes do today!

So our biology is not meant to consume concentrated carbohydrates daily on a chronic basis. This chronic consumption forces the body to adapt in ways we are not meant to to meet the immediate demand to bring Blood Sugar down creating hormonal imbalances.  

What to know when considering switching from carbs to fat for fuel

First get educated. This is work. This requires you to think 

When you do start making the transition you will notice some major changes in your body.

For example, the first stage of changing your fat metabolism is called the “Hard Reset”, and in this stage you are taking away the energy source your body has gotten used to - that is glucose/sugar.  So when you take this away, your body will take time to change back to it’s natural state of burning fat for it’s aerobic energy. 

During this timeframe you will most likely feel tired and irritatable.

How long will it take for my body to become fat adapted?

In an aerobically fit athlete, it could be 2-3 days of feeling off, but to someone who is particularly addicted to carbs this could be 2-3 weeks.  Every person is different.

Remember change is hard initially, but it gets easier and worthwhile as your body shifts to accessing fat as fuel.

The one key thing you need to succeed at fat adaptation

The key is your mindset.  As an athlete & professional you understand how mindset is essential to your achievements and breaking through your barriers whether physical or mental. It is no different when transitioning your physiology back to it’s natural state. 

Again, educate yourself (and you can through our blog and podcast), to change your thought paradigm from thinking and ‘believing’ you ‘need’ your carbs all the time to realizing fat really is your principle aerobic energy source and essential for long term health & performance. Once your mind has realized this then you can easily ‘will’ yourself through the transition.

Here are some great resources to help you understand the benefits and data behind the OFM metholody:

What is fat adaptation

Emerging Data

Mitochondria article

Also check out how Vespa can help you get fat adapted here - https://vespapower.com/

Fat Burning Success Stories

Mike Willard kicks arthritis and gout to run Ultra Marathons with Vespa and OFM

See how Sarah beat adrenal dysfunction to recover and resume competing with the help of OFM & Vespa

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