The first step is to change your metabolism from reliance on glucose (sugar) for energy to reliance on fat. The metabolic shift from sugar burning to fat burning can be achieved in 7 days.
This period is a one-time feature. Unlike the doctor or dentist who, before performing a procedure on you, tells you that you may experience “a bit of discomfort” only for you to discover that he really meant “a lot of agony,” I will be honest with you: the first 3 or 4 days of this 7-day period is likely to be difficult.
However, equally honestly, when you get past the initial period, you will be well on your way to achieving your fat loss goals. So please, commit yourself. Think of the rewards and remember that 7 days in the scope of a lifetime is like a grain of sand on the beach.
Getting Out of the Sugar-Burning Mode
In order to get out of the sugar-burning mode, you must see to it that glucose is unavailable to your metabolism. This means not only incoming glucose in the form of carbohydrate, but also glucose stored inside your body as glycogen.
Carbohydrate is broken down to glucose and stored as glycogen in the muscles and liver, or converted to fat when glycogen stores are filled.
After about three days of carb restriction liver and muscle glycogen will drop.
As glycogen levels decline, your body, being the adaptive mechanism that it is, readjusts by taking energy from a different source – and that would be – fat. Your body will begin to use the fat for energy in the it currently uses sugar.
Triglyceride is how fatty acids are stored and it is similar to the storage form of glucose. After making the metabolic shift, triglyceride will replace glycogen as the primary energy source in your physiology.
And, instead of “low-octane” glucose, your physiology will run on “high-octane” fatty acids.
The Metabolic U-Turn
Energy levels will increase after the first 4 days and cravings will disappear, as you make the metabolic shift.
However, during the first 4 days you will likely encounter “sugar-deprivation.” Energy levels will probably fall, and you will most likely experience carbohydrate craving, be prepared, it could be intense.
And then, you will experience the metabolic shift and these symptoms will go away.
hit the breaks and turn the wheel sharply. There’s a lot going on all at once. Then, before you know it, you will reestablish control and you are moving in the opposite direction.
In effect, your metabolism is going to make a similar about-face. The friction and tension may not be bad, everyone is different.
How Much Carbohydrate?
During the 7 -day metabolic shift period, you should aim for fewer than 20 grams of active carbohydrate each day. Along with initial cravings, it’ll be difficult because carbs are are everywhere. Also read the article about “eating to prevent hunger rather than eating in response to hunger” it will be particularly helpful.
By eating smaller meals more frequently, rather than larger meals less frequently, you will move towards stopping the cravings that will likely happen during the first few days of a metabolic shift.
What to Eat during the Seven Day Metabolic Shift
Basically, you should focus on protein sources: shrimp, fish, chicken, etc. Also, cheese, eggs, and cottage cheese are excellent choices during the first 7 days.
Don’t worry about fat consumption during this period – eat as much fat as you want. In fact, fat will facilitate the metabolic shift to fat burning and it will help quell cravings (see Chapter 18). The key factor here is the carbs. If you stay under 20 grams, you will make the metabolic shift; if you don’t, you won’t.
What about Vegetarians and Vegans?
If you’re vegetarian, soy-based products like tofu are a good choice during this period and will be important later. Making it through the first 7 days without meat (and especially, for vegans) will require a lot of effort and discipline.
Visit your local natural foods store and you will find a big selection of soy-based “like meat” products. Many are taste a lot like meat, however, take time to read the label. Many such products are laced with barbecue sauce or other sugar-based flavorings.
In order to stay under the 20-gram carbohydrate limit, it’s recommended you limit yourself to vegetables such as: garlic, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, celery, lettuce, spinach, onions, asparagus, radicchio, cucumbers, cauliflower, mushrooms, peppers, and radishes.
However it is not a requirement to eat vegetables in order to have a successful metabolic shift, you could eat at least one serving per day of fresh vegetables during the metabolic shift period. Otherwise, you may encounter constipation caused by the switch to a protein and fat-based diet.
If none of the vegetables listed above appeals to you, try melting some butter or cheese on them. It is amazing what melted butter or melted cheese can do to spruce-up the taste of an otherwise unappealing food. You could snack on fresh celery, broccoli, or cauliflower dipped in high-fat, low-carb dressing. Don’t use French dressing, however, most blue cheese dressings are fine. Check the label and be very careful to avoid “hidden carbs.”
What Not to Eat
Starch and sugar should be avoided.
Less obvious are fruits and nuts, while not nearly as high in carbohydrate as starches should be avoided during this period.
Remember, you’re trying to totally reverse your metabolism in 7 days which requires extracting most carbohydrates and depleting your sugar stores. To achieve this, you must be really strict and very disciplined about what you eat.
I cannot stress strongly enough how important these first 7 days are. It will reignite your metabolism, providing a fat-burning machine and also decrease your appetite making it a lot easier to keep it up.