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howswelegant

What does it take to lose fat-burning status?

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I've now finished two Whole30s...the first was very successful, the second was a bit anticlimactic. Now I'm doing some soul searching about what I eat when I'm not on a Whole30 and why. I found myself wondering...

 

If it takes a Whole30 (or 20+ days) to convert to a fat burning metabolism...what does it take to transition back? I assume it's not one non-compliant meal. And I assume a week of eating candy and cookies would do it. But I'm guessing most people fall somewhere in the middle, post Whole30...I'm just wondering if there's any criteria around losing fat burner status?

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I do not know the formula that would answer your question, but I do have some thoughts that I think are relevant...

 

Success after a Whole30 involves eating better than you did before permanently. To me, eating better means I almost always eat meat, fish, veggies, and fruit and almost never eat dairy, grains, alcohol, or added sugars. When you eat like this, your body burns fat naturally because fast-burning carbs like bread or pizza and fast-burning sugar/alcohol like wine are too rare for your body to adjust. 

 

I am afraid you are asking, how much junk food can I eat in a day or a week before it impairs my body's ability to burn fat. Once I know what that amount is, I will make sure I eat just a little bit less so my body continues to burn fat. I get the logic, but I am afraid that knowing how many slices of bread you can eat in a day or week and "get away with it," is not a new, healthy relationship with food. It would be the same torture as being on a diet all the time, counting calories, and figuring out how many points you've already consumed.

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Wondering why you want to know.... If its to do with weight loss, staying fat adapted does not necessarily mean you will lose weight.

If its to do with hunger management then I expect its when you can no longer go three to four hours without n.e.e.d.i.n.g to eat! It would be unlikely anyone is 100% fat adapted either unless they ate virtually no carbs at all.

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Your body preferentially uses glucose when it can. If you eat something sugary or with a high enough glycemic load, you will immediately switch to using glucose instead of fat until its gone. That being said, if it was a one off, you wouldn't need to go through the whole business of up-regulating certain hormones and enzymes to switch back to fat burning so you probably wouldn't have to deal with carb flu etc. I don't know the answer, but I think it's much much easier to switch to carb burning than back again.

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IMO for this only n=1 applies, it's too variable.... When you can no longer go 4-5 hours (or more) with out feeling uncomfortably hungry, and start wanting to eat every three hours, then your body has switched back to wanting to burn carbs and has become inefficient at burning fat I believe. It takes most people 2-3 weeks following the template to become efficient at burning fat, it makes sense that a similar timeframe is what it might take to lose that efficiency when you increase carbs and reduce fat although I think it is also dependent on how much protein you eat and therefore how much insulin release is triggered

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