Are you a Sugar Burner or a Fat Burner?

Hello all! Today we are going to talk about the difference between being a “sugar burner” and a “fat burner”. This also includes a quick self-quiz to determine what category you fall into!

First off, what do these categories even mean? A sugar burner is someone that runs off sugar (or glucose) for fuel. While this might not sound like a bad thing, this means that your body doesn’t go into your fat reserves when it needs energy because it already has a steady supply of carbohydrates. Being a fat burner is the opposite of this; your body shifts from using glucose as its primary fuel to using fat. This will allow you to go hours between meals, feel full and satiated, and your hormones will become balanced for you to lose weight and keep lean.

While humans were designed to be able to run off energy from both fats and glucose (sugar), fats are the preferred source of fuel because they provide the most stable, long lasting energy. Unfortunately, most of us are not living in this state and are instead living off the quick energy of sugar, or glucose. This ends up being problematic because if we are only using our sugar burning metabolism we actually turn off our fat burning metabolism.

To determine what kind of metabolism you have, take this simple quiz!

Question 1: How do you feel when you wake up in the morning?

  1. Arise with energy and feel rested
  2. Feel like it’s difficult to wake up
  3. Arise not feeling rested or recovered

Question 2: What is your morning appetite like?

  1. Have an appetite in the morning
  2. Wake up having no appetite but wanting to consume caffeine or sugar
  3. Wake up with sugar cravings and consume a high sugar/high starch breakfast

Question 3: How is your appetite throughout the day?

  1. Have some hunger between meals but not for sugar or refined carbs
  2. Feel greatly fatigued between meals and have an afternoon dip between 3-5pm with cravings for sugar, salt and/or caffeine
  3. Have sugar cravings throughout the day; feel energy drop after lunch and need to rely on stimulants after meals

Question 4: How is your sleep?

  1. Sleep soundly
  2. Difficult staying asleep throughout the night
  3. Have trouble falling asleep

Question 5: What is your energy like after meals?

  1. After meals don’t experience any energy change or fatigue
  2. Have energy after meals and a sense of relief after eating
  3. Feel fatigue after meals and crave a stimulant

Answer Key:

Mostly A’s- you are exhibiting a natural glucose response! You don’t have many sugar cravings and you are not relying on meals/ stimulants/ sugar to provide your energy- your body is naturally keeping regulating your blood sugar.

Mostly B’s- Hypoglycemic Response- you usually feel dips and peaks throughout the day depending on when you are having stimulants. For example, you might be fine in the morning once you get your coffee, but around 10am you experience a crash and need more coffee/ sugar to get you through to lunch. Your energy might fluctuate greatly throughout the day and you might crave sweets, feel irritable/ light headed if meals are missed and need to eat high glycemic snacks (such as candy or granola bars). Or you may be using caffeine or another stimulant to suppress your appetite and rely on these stimulants to get you through the dips.

Mostly C’s- Insulin Resistance- This refers to a state where your body starts becoming unresponsive to insulin (insulin is the hormone that tells your cells to store sugar). This usually occurs after your body has had excessive exposure to insulin usually through a diet high in refined carbohydrates. Some of the primary symptoms of this are fatigue, difficulty losing weight, joint issues, depression or mental health issues, endocrine imbalances,  fertility issues, memory problems and premature aging. You will feel fatigue after meals (especially if they are high carbohydrate), crave sweets, have difficult losing weight, and need/crave desserts after eating.

The good news is no matter where you ended up after this quiz (except if you got almost all A’s- which I’m guessing not many people did!), you can reverse these trends. Making sure that you are eating protein and fat with EVERY meal (including snacks!) is a great way to start. Eat more frequently and don’t let yourself get too hungry. Try to cut down on stimulants like caffeine and other sweets to get you through the day. Make sure you eat a balanced breakfast in order to stabilize your blood sugar and start your metabolism. Focus on sleep and getting some movement (walking, yoga, etc.) every day. And start replacing desserts with some fruit or a homemade treat using honey or maple syrup.

Switching yourself over to a fat burner rather than being a sugar burner will allow you to have:

  • Sustained energy throughout the day
  • Burn whatever dietary fat isn’t stored
  • Lose weight when you need to
  • Feel satisfied between meals

Thanks for reading! Leave a comment below for any future blog posts you may be interested

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2 Comments

  1. Loved this post! A few months ago I probably would have gotten mostly Bs and Cs, but your guidance and your blog have made me focus on consuming more fats and not being scared to do so ☺️. It’s amazing how different you can feel just from switching a breakfast of kashi cereal out for whole fat yogurt with fruit and almonds!

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