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  1. #1
    Registered User Wogmeister's Avatar
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    Question about fat v carbs

    I have around 20% body fat and have a sedentary office job and dont really want to be eating a lot of carbs. So for repairing and building muscle, if protein intake is still high, can your body tap into existing body fat for energy instead of eating high amounts of carbs when weight training?

    I'm not talking about a Keto diet here but surely if you have body fat available to burn your body will use it if glycogen is low?

    For example instead of eating around 250g of carbs and protein a day, could I eat 250g protein and say 125g of carbs and my body use fat to fuel for energy?
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  2. #2
    Nameless King faithbrah's Avatar
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    calories in calories out is king

    you can eat high carb or low carb, whichever you prefer
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    Gaintaining Mrpb's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Wogmeister View Post
    I have around 20% body fat and have a sedentary office job and dont really want to be eating a lot of carbs. So for repairing and building muscle, if protein intake is still high, can your body tap into existing body fat for energy instead of eating high amounts of carbs when weight training?

    I'm not talking about a Keto diet here but surely if you have body fat available to burn your body will use it if glycogen is low?

    For example instead of eating around 250g of carbs and protein a day, could I eat 250g protein and say 125g of carbs and my body use fat to fuel for energy?
    In order to lose fat you need to eat less calories than your TDEE.

    This can be done while eating relatively high carb or lower carb.

    Please read the stickies.
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  4. #4
    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Wogmeister View Post
    I'm not talking about a Keto diet here but surely if you have body fat available to burn your body will use it if glycogen is low?
    You're talking about ketosis so you may as well be talking about the keto diet.
    I can tell time. Time cannot tell me.

    Formerly LactoseTolerant. I'm not very imaginative.
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    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    I agree with the others that you shouldn't automatically assume that carbs is the reason your BF% is higher that you might like. It wasn't that, it was net calorie balance. That is unless you have insulin resistance - in which case a low carb approach might help. But I wouldn't just jump to that diagnosis without confirmation

    To answer your question, yes your body can utilise some energy from stored fat for building muscle. However, in practical terms this means you must be in a net caloric deficit - and the higher the deficit, the less hypertrophy the body will perform.
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Your body burns fat if energy intake < energy output... not if carb intake < energy output
    The power of carbs compels me!
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    You're talking about ketosis so you may as well be talking about the keto diet.
    Why keto? Any diet can burn body fat for energy.
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    I would always cut the non essentials first. But yes either way works for fat loss. Just be cautious how low you take fat.
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    Originally Posted by Wogmeister View Post
    For example instead of eating around 250g of carbs and protein a day, could I eat 250g protein and say 125g of carbs and my body use fat to fuel for energy?
    no, you can't just eat no fat, be in a deficit and expect the stored fat to serve as dietary fat. Our bodies cannot produce the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) linoleic acid (LA) and alpha linolenic acid (ALA). Without these essential fatty acids some vital functions would be compromised so they must be provided by the diet. This is for starters. Good quality dietary fat is just as important as proper protein intake.
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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  10. #10
    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    Why keto? Any diet can burn body fat for energy.
    He talked about dieting in a manner to lower glycogen stores to preferentially use fat for energy... so he's talking about keto despite his protests to the contrary.
    I can tell time. Time cannot tell me.

    Formerly LactoseTolerant. I'm not very imaginative.
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    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Just to be clear fat will be converted to glycogen via gluconeogenesis. The only way to tap into stored fat is a calorie deficit. Not KETO, not using up all your carb induced glycogen, etc.
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    He talked about dieting in a manner to lower glycogen stores to preferentially use fat for energy... so he's talking about keto despite his protests to the contrary.
    I don't think so. His first question was "So for repairing and building muscle, if protein intake is still high, can your body tap into existing body fat for energy instead of eating high amounts of carbs when weight training?"

    The answer is yes, and you don't need keto for it.

    You don't even need low glycogen to use fat for energy. During low intensity exercise such as weight lifting fat is already the main fuel source. See table 2: https://www.researchgate.net/publica...tion_in_humans
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    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    I don't think so. His first question was "So for repairing and building muscle, if protein intake is still high, can your body tap into existing body fat for energy instead of eating high amounts of carbs when weight training?"

    The answer is yes, and you don't need keto for it.

    You don't even need low glycogen to use fat for energy. During low intensity exercise such as weight lifting fat is already the main fuel source. See table 2: https://www.researchgate.net/publica...tion_in_humans
    I wasn't talking about the science. I'm talking about his understanding of the science. His idea was to deplete glycogen to force fat burning (keto that is not keto).

    Originally Posted by Wogmeister View Post
    I'm not talking about a Keto diet here but surely if you have body fat available to burn your body will use it if glycogen is low?
    I can tell time. Time cannot tell me.

    Formerly LactoseTolerant. I'm not very imaginative.
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  14. #14
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Reduced glycogen is a natural consequence of being in a sustained calorie deficit.

    The body is always burning both glycogen and fat but will swing the balance in favour of fat if glycogen is low.

    However, lots of people make the mistake of assuming this means you have to have low carb intake. But comparing 2 diets with equivalent calories, that means that the lower carb diet must have a higher fat intake. So more fat is stored and the net loss of fat is not any higher

    (protein behaves similarly to carb in this context - in terms of insulin response and the throttling of fat burning)

    Circles back around to ... you guessed it

    calories in, calories out
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    I wasn't talking about the science. I'm talking about his understanding of the science. His idea was to deplete glycogen to force fat burning (keto that is not keto).
    I read that sentence but I don't agree on your interpretation. All good though. It seems OP has left the building already.
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