Goal 10: Switch your body into a fat metabolism
Why do this?
Eliminating gut harming foods should have made you feel stronger, more energetic, and healthier and by now, if you have completed all the steps, you are officially eating Paleo! The health benefits to a Paleo diet are numerous and even a bit overwhelming when you look at how many positive mental, emotional and physical effects have been linked to it.
However, Paleo doesn’t work for everyone for (at least) two reasons:
(1) They were born with a super healthy gut and eating this way doesn’t necessarily change their lives for the better since their gut of iron just doesn’t need it.
If that’s the case then I would still recommend to be aware of what you are eating to avoid health issues down the road. And the only other thing I would say to that (mythical) person is, “Lucky!
(2) There is still a lot of healing to be done.
If you are eating Paleo, and have been for at least 30 days, and you still don’t feel 100% then the final step of switching yourself to a fat metabolism is definitely for you. If you have been eating Paleo and feel absolutely fantastic, with energy to spare, clear thinking, good sleep, and no more health symptoms – then stop! Don’t worry about switching your body to a fat metabolism because you are likely metabolizing fat well if you feel that good.
If, however, you feel like there is still “more” to be had then keep going! This last step was the biggest difference maker for me – by far! I did not even have a grid for “fat metabolism,” “keto” or “carb counting” when I naturally slipped into a fat metabolism for the first time. I just focused on eating healthy, natural whole foods while cutting down on the carbs. And – WOW. I felt frickin’ amazing. I felt better than I had when I was 16 with more energy, better mood, better sleep, shed weight, clearer thinking, and stable calmness.
Another interesting side effect was that I lost my fear of aging! I had always had a slight fear of growing old. Just being even more tired, sick, and lacking mobility sounded stressful to say the least. After switching to a fat metabolism for the first time in my life that fear went away. I intuitively felt confident I would now age gracefully with strength and energy to spare. After further research I found out that when your body is on a fat metabolism it actually appears to slow down aging (if that fact is new to you, then read Benefits To A Fat Metabolism. Now.).
How Do I Do This?
After completing goals 1-9 I naturally slipped into a fat metabolism just by focusing on eating vegetables, protein, and healthy fats (in that order) while keeping high carb/sweet foods to a minimum. At this point those foods are going to mainly be fruit and potatoes. I believe doing those steps first, over time, allowed my body to heal and naturally rev up its fat burning capability. I was receiving good nutrition, my gut was healing, and I didn’t end up needing that big of a dietary adjustment. I think doing it this way created an optimum situation for my body to naturally adjust without overly stressing it.
I never counted carbs but if that approach works for you then try and keep your carbs between 20-30 grams every day for 2-3 weeks. If you’re unsure about a particular food, a quick google search or carb counting app can tell you all you need to know. Most of those 20-30 grams are going to be from vegetables so there is not much room left for high carb foods like potatoes and fruit. And just remember, when you’re trying to teach your body how to process energy in a new way, it’s going to be the most difficult JUST before your body makes that switch. Its worth it, I promise.
*If at any point you feel like you are stressing your body out too much, slow down the process or stop and consult a nutritionist.
However you want to go about it eat less and less carbs until your body makes that switch. Right before my body finally switched I felt like I was starving. Literally I’m-going-to-eat-my-napkin starving. But I felt that way while eating a bowl of meaty, hearty stew so I knew I couldn’t literally be starving. It was just what my body was telling me. I kept at it and ONE day later it happened. I entered the land of Nirvana.
My mood was calm and happy. My mind was clear and sharp. My body had energy to spare for the first time in my life. I could hardly believe I could actually live life this way!! And I haven’t looked back since.
The good news is that your body will be able to handle more and more carbs as you build up the capability to metabolize fat because it does get hard to be that restrictive after awhile. Every time your body burns fat the energy makers of your body, the mitochondria, actually start to regenerate themselves and even more mitochondria get produced – something that does not happen when burning carbs. If someone is constantly eating a lot of carbs their body is going to always burn the carbs first because it has the ability to store the fat. Eating a high carb diet will keep the body running on a carb metabolism AND storing the fat.
While my day to day eating is still a low carb Paleo I now eat potatoes and berries on a daily basis and even the (very) occasional dessert all while maintaining (or bouncing quickly back into) a fat metabolism. I believe I am able to do this because my body has had time to heal and produce more mitochondria – in the beginning it was much harder for my metabolism to switch back and forth. The exact ratios will be different for each individual so give yourself some time to adjust and try different scenarios. What works for me doesn’t work for my husband and vice versa. Eventually you will find what works for you and you will be rockin’ life like an energized-fat-crushing warrior!