The fasted state is when your body switches from fat storage mode to fat burning mode. We all have a metabolic switch that happens after a period of time without eating, usually 12 or more hours after your last meal.
But what is the metabolic switch and how is it flipped?
Quite simply it is the very natural process of switching our body’s energy source from glucose to fatty-acids and ketones from our own body fat. This shift actually happens in our bodies while we sleep. And that is a very good place to be from a fat loss and muscle gain perspective. The result is that instead of storing body fat, the body switches to using its own body fat as an energy source, which naturally leads to fat loss.
When we fast for 12 or more hours or exercise for a prolonged period of time, our metabolism shifts from using glucose as its energy source to using ketones, which are super-charged energy molecules made from our own body fat. And the type of fuel that are cells use makes a big difference in how our cells and mitochondria function and this can make a big difference in how well we feel.
When we flip our metabolic switch and shift our body’s energy source from glucose to ketones, this has a very positive effect on the function of our mitochondria. This is because when your cells are fed ketones, they produce approximately 25% more energy than when they are fed glucose.
At the same time, your cells produce less metabolic waste products and lower inflammation signals when they run off of ketones. These are just a few of the reasons it’s great to run your body off of this high-quality energy source.
We can also increase our body’s production of ketones by following a ketogenic diet, a calorie restricted diet, or by exercising for long periods of time. Last but not least, we can also increase the availability of ketones as an energy source by taking exogenous ketones. All of these strategies have benefits and the good news is that you can pick the strategies that work best for you!