The Metabolic Diet Works because it changes some of the basic metabolism in your body so it becomes a fat burning machine. Cellular metabolic flux (as we’ll illustrate) is dramatically altered when we change the dietary macronutrient content. Some pathways become more active than others and some processes dominate in the production of energy.
In all cases, the body will adapt to the macronutrient content of any diet as long as the diet provides certain essential nutrients.
- The body will adapt to the macronutrient content of the diet, no matter how extreme.
- Only stipulation is that the diet must provide certain essential macronutrients and micronutrients.
First of all it’s important to realize that there are no essential sugars or carbohydrates. Also the reasons given for why we need carbohydrates are faulty. For example one of the main reasons is that the brain depends on them to function properly. In fact lactate is the preferred substrate for neurons and these brain cells can also metabolize ketones effectively. As well, other cells in the central nervous system cater to the main brain cells and supply them with energy derived from other nutrients. For example it has been shown that astrocytes shuttle nutrients to neurons.1213
THERE ARE NO ESSENTIAL SUGARS OR CARBOHYDRATES
- There are essential and conditionally essential amino acids and essential fatty acids.
- But no essential carbs because like the non-essential amino acids and fats, the body can produce glucose and carbohydrates endogenously.
So Why Do We Need Carbohydrates?
- Most Common Argument is that they’re Necessary for the Brain. Not So!
- Brain can metabolize lactate and ketones as well. • Lactate (and other nutrients) also shuttle from astrocytes to neurons.
- Also, glucose can be produced as needed.
Also glucose can be produced as needed by a process called gluconeogenesis. In this process other nutrients, including amino acids and glycerol (the backbone that makes up much of our body fat) can be converted to glucose or used directly as energy.
Although somewhat complicated, the Figure below shows how the body produces glucose internally from other substances including the amino acids, glycerol (source can be from the breakdown of body fat or from the diet), lactate, and pyruvate.
Because there are common pathways for the metabolism of all three macronutrients, variations in the macronutrient content results in adaptations that will allow the efficient production of compounds and substrates for energy production and body maintenance.
Common Pathways for Macronutrient Metabolism
- Regardless of the macronutrient mix the end results and the final pathways are the same.
- Interconversion of macronutrients, usually at some energy cost (conversion of protein to fats), and with some exceptions (inability to produce glucose from free fatty acids –although you can, to a limited extent, with triglycerides and body fat), is ubiquitous.
These next two diagrams shows how glucose, free fatty acids, glycerol and amino acids are broken down to provide energy.
The Metabolic Diet controls the major muscle building and fat burning hormones in the body to maximize muscle mass and minimize body fat.
These hormones include testosterone, growth hormone, IGF-I, insulin, thyroid, and cortisol.
Regulating Lipolytic Activity Major hormones are:
- Catecholamines (epinephrine and norepinephrine)
- Insulin 3. Glucagon (more in forming ketones)
- Growth Hormone 5. Testosterone
The Metabolic Diet also increases the activity of hormone sensitive lipase (HSL), the enzyme that breaks down body fat (lipolysis).
Hormone Sensitive Lipase (HSL)
Adipose tissue lipolysis is stimulated through a cascade of cellular signals, resulting in activation of HSL.
But controlling the formation (lipogenesis) and breakdown (lipolysis) of body fat isn’t enough. We have to insure that the fat that is broken down is also used up by the body for energy (beta oxidation or fat oxidation) rather than used simply to reform body fat.
Beta Oxidation of Fatty Acids
The Other Side of the Fat Equation
Lipolysis is of no use if the fatty acids are not used up. A paradox.
Not only does the Metabolic Diet increase fat breakdown but it also increases the use of fat as fuel for the body’s energy needs. It does this in part by increasing GH, IGF-I and testosterone levels and partly by controlling the increase and sensitivity of insulin
Increase in both lipolysis and fat oxidation.
Must have both otherwise may be counter productive.
For example, a recent study shows that ephedrine like compounds increases lipolysis but decreases fat oxidation so that overall effect may be an increase in body fat.
Mora-Rodriguez R,HodgkinsonBJ, ByerleyLO, Coyle EF. Effects of betaadrenergic receptor stimulation and blockade on substrate metabolism during submaximal exercise. Am JPhysiol Endocrinol Metab. 2001 May;280(5):E75260.
The Metabolic Diet also increases the anabolic and anticatabolic hormones in the body including growth hormone, IGF-I and testosterone (including an increase in the androgen receptor and binding).
How It Works
The Metabolic Diet – Fat Burning and Muscle Sparing.
The Metabolic Diet works because it:
- Switches your metabolism to burn fat instead of carbs as its primary fuel. • Maintains the fat burning as you drop calories so that the energy needed is obtained mainly from body fat not glycogen or muscle protein.
- Spares protein and maintains or allows you to build muscle mass.
The first step in the Metabolic Diet is switching your metabolism to burning fat as its primary fuel. This is done by limiting dietary carbohydrates and providing ample dietary fat. During this adaptation stage you don’t really need to change your normal caloric intake. Simply substitute protein and fat for your former carbohydrate calories.
The second step, once you’re fat adapted, is to vary your calories to suit your goal.
To increase muscle mass you increase your daily caloric intake by increasing fat and protein in your diet.
To lose bodyfat while at the same time maintaining muscle mass, you slowly decrease your caloric intake and at the same time your fat intake. By providing less calories and dietary fat, your body will use its fat stores, not muscle, more and more to make up any energy deficits. In some circumstances, because of lower dietary fat levels, your diet may contain only moderate or even low levels of fat, mainly in the form of the essential and monosaturated fatty acids.
The Metabolic Diet Works Because
- Learn to burn fat instead of carbs.
- Body continues to prefer fats as you drop calories, mainly in dietary fat and some carbs. Always keeping protein high to spare muscle.
3.As calories drop, body fat becomes the main fuel even if you lower dietary fat dramatically.
- Cycling from low carbs, high fat to high carbs and lower fat manipulates the anabolic and fat burning hormones and processes in the body to maintain or increase muscle mass while at the same time decreasing body fat.
You teach the body to burn mainly body fat in preference to carbs and protein.
By shifting from a low carb diet on weekdays to a higher carb diet on weekends, you manipulate the muscle building and fat burning processes and hormones.