Are you a sugar burner or a fat burner?
Well, honestly speaking, no one is purely a sugar burner or a fat burner. We all use some balance of carbs and fat for fuel.
However, most people today are way more dominant towards the sugar/carb burner side of things rather than fat. Unfortunately there are some major downsides to primarily being a carb/sugar burner:
-you feel like you need to eat every two hours
-you feel like you’re on an energy roller coaster throughout the day.
-you get hangry regularly (hungry+angry)
-it’s harder to wake up in the morning
-you wake up from sleep in the middle of the night more frequently
-you never get to burn fat because you’re constantly replenishing carbs with no chance to tap into your fat stores
So, being predominantly a carb/sugar burner is not so great from a health perspective. We want more of a balance between fat and carb burning for most people (hard charging athletes in power sports potentially being an exception).
Generally speaking you should think of carbs and sugar as rocket fuel for more explosive activities (rugby, football, wrestling, MMA, Crossfit, etc.) One of my favorite sayings from John Welbourne of Power Athlete is: earn your carbs. I think this is certainly true for most people and most people do not need a ton of carbs to fuel their daily activity.
So, what about being a fat burner? what are the upsides to that approach?
First, from purely rom a biological perspective we can only store a few thousand calories of carbs in our liver and muscle cells as glycogen, but even the leanest body can store HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of calories in fat. So, tapping into those fat stores taps into a major source of clean energy. Furthermore, fats are more clean-burning than carbs, meaning that fat produces fewer harmful metabolic byproducts when utilized for fuel. For pretty much any human activity that happens below 75% exertion (walking, cleaning, basic weight lifting, etc.) fat should be the primary fuel.
Also, from a biological and evolutionary perspective, we’re supposed to be able to go a few hours at a time and sometimes a few days at a time without eating. The only way to do that metabolically is to tap into our fat stores.
Being a more of a fat burner has the following upsides.
-you have more energy throughout the day
-you sleep better
-you don’t constantly crave food (no more hanger)
-you are able to burn excess body fat more easily
So, generally speaking having a proper balance of fat and carb burning is very important for overall health. Most of us are predominantly carb/sugar burners, and switching our fuel source over to fat a bit more is generally beneficial.