Do you want to burn fat in a healthy, effective way? Many Americans want to eliminate excess fat, but they're unsure how to go about it. With all of the conflicting information out there, how do you know what will work for your body? Thankfully, a new study conducted by Ben Greenfield lays out the facts about carbohydrates, exercise, and burning fat at maximum level. When you learn the truth about carbs and fat intake, your body can become an instant, fat-burning machine, increasing energy, burning fat quickly, and reducing your risk of a wide range of diseases. Here are the facts on carbs and fat burning:
How is Exercise Impacted by Diet?
As a keto dieter, you're already aware of the benefits of a high-fat, low-carb diet. Energy levels increase, and you're going to use that energy in multiple ways, including exercise. How does this diet impact your body during exercise? Athlete Ben Greenfield was determined to find out the real-life benefits of a high-fat, low-carb diet in motion. He wanted to learn how to turn your body into a fat-burning machine, maximizing performance, so he participated in the FASTER study at the UCONN Human Performance Laboratory. The study's results reveal valuable information that may change your perception about how a high-fat diet truly works, and how you can transform your body in a keto-friendly fashion.
The FASTER Study
Greenfield, along with several other athletes, followed one of two diets strictly for six months before participating in the study. The first (in which Greenfield followed) was a strict, high-fat diet, low-carb diet (less than 20% carbs). The second diet was the opposite—high-carb (more than 55% carbs). Aimed at answering vital questions about how the diet truly impacts exercise, the study included a variety of tests. Athletes' feces were examined to determine how fat and carb intake affects bacteria and microbes within the gut. Athletes ran on treadmills at high inclines, visualizing how their diets affected fatigue during movement. Each athlete even had a full X-ray scan completed for a detailed view of body fat and skeletal structure, among other tests. The final test included three hours of high-pressure endurance testing on a treadmill, all while salivating onto swabs, breathing into gas masks, and bleeding into test tubes. Click the title link above to learn more details about Greenfield's participation in this intense, yet revealing study, directly from the athlete himself!
How to Turn Yourself into a Fat-Burning Machine
These were all parts of the study that Greenfield participated in, including detailed, high-endurance tests. Here's a basic summary of his results and how you can use them yourself at home. The results reveal how a high-fat, low-carb diet can truly transform your body into a fat-burning machine, one step at a time.
Follow a High-Fat Diet
Decadent meals such as stuffed avocados, omelets, olive oil, and bone marrow are high-fat, and help with high-functioning exercise. You don't need carbs to assemble a mouthwatering meal plan, which is exactly what Greenfield ate for the six months prior to this study.
Lower Lactic Acid Levels
Blood lactate is pivotal to any exercise machine, determining when the muscles produce more lactic acid than they can remove. This analyzes levels of blood lactate in high-endurance, fat-adapted athletes. If your diet is adapted to fat, the results simplify your exercise routine. Fat-adapted dieters will naturally produce less lactic acid, which makes exercise less uncomfortable, reducing post-workout muscle pain significantly.
Monitor Your Macronutrients
While many keto dieters are already knowledgeable about their individual macros (carb/fat/protein) ratios, monitoring them with routine tracking, using a handy keto calculator, or creating a detailed meal plan is key. Macronutrient levels affect gut bacteria, which influences a lot more than you think. Bacteria levels not only affect exercise performance, but neurotransmitter production as well, boosting your brain power. Ideally, when you monitor your macros regularly, bacteria levels should be lower, leading to increased health in both brain and body.
Find Out Your Body Fat Levels
During this study, Greenfield completes a DEXA scan, a highly accurate, radiographic scan that measures your body composition in detail, including fat and muscle percentage, bone weight, and bone density. The study takes about five minutes, passing over your body from head-to-toe. The results in this study were incredible; a high-fat diet actually lowered fat levels in the body, and Greenfield's body was much leaner than it had been previously to following a high-fat diet. For skeptical beginners, these findings bring incredible news. Keep in mind that you can visit a radiologist and complete your own DEXA scan to discover your individual results.
Complete a Muscle & Fat Biopsy
Greenfield completed a pre-workout biopsy that studied his muscles and fat, measuring carbohydrate storage. The biopsy's goal was to find out if his high-fat diet had left his body "carb drained." The biopsy also aimed to find out if his fat-adapted muscles could support more fat than usual, with low carb intake a part of the plan. This type of biopsy measured fiber type, glycogen, and triglycerides in detail, all which determine levels of inflammation during both rest and exercise, along with immunity levels. The results were no surprise: Greenfield didn't need carbs to keep his muscles and fat healthy.
Do a Blood Test
Blood tests determine vital levels related to health and diet, including cholesterol, glucose, insulin, triglycerides, and inflammatory markers. Levels vary from person to person. A high red cell distribution width, for example, indicated a quick, nearly constant, red blood cell turnover. For an athlete, this is incredibly normal. Your results may differ, so speak with a specialist about which levels are best for you, your body size, and your exercise levels.
Learn Your Resting Metabolic Rate
Whether you are resting or completing a high-impact workout, your body is constantly burning calories. Automatic functioning of the heart, lungs, and brain are just some natural body functions that burn calories all day long. It takes energy to complete these activities, and your resting metabolic rate measures the amount of calories burned completing them, without taking physical activity into account. Respiratory Exchange Ratio is a part of the resting metabolic rate, measuring your carb and fat oxidation. Ideally, your level should measure at or below 0.7, the number for pure fat oxidation. The closer to that number you are, the more fat you are burning. Metabolic testing is available at health clubs across the country, so it's easy to try it yourself.
Greenfield's Transformative, 3-Hour Treadmill Run: the incredible results
Greenfield completed a cheek swab and gulped down a pre-run smoothie before jumping on the treadmill for the last, most difficult part of the test: an intensive, three-hour treadmill run. This would test how much fat Greenfield was oxidizing as a fat-adapted athlete consuming a high-fat diet, followed a high-fat meal pre-run. The results? He was consistently burning 1g/min of fat throughout the run, which is nearly unheard of. He was burning so much fat, in fact, that his carb count was negative. Basically, on a high-fat diet, Greenfield was burning 100% fat and 0% carbohydrates, even hours after the run. By greatly reducing his carb intake and relying on fat for energy, he was burning it at incredibly high levels, even while resting! Greenfield had truly transformed his body into a fat-burning machine.
While this study involved a lot of intense, detailed testing, its results are applicable to anyone. They prove that you don't need carbs to burn fat, and can burn fat completely carb-free. On a keto diet, you don't just improve your overall health and well-being, but you turn yourself into a fat-burning machine that's capable of burning increased levels of fat, whether you're exercising or at rest. This is incredible news for beginning and experienced keto dieters alike. Finally, results that reveal the truth about carbs—and how it's possible for anyone to transform their body into a machine that optimizes its full potential.
For more on Ben Greenfield and this astounding study, visit his website, BenGreenfieldFitness.