Weight Loss
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What exactly happens during a hungry process?


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If am hungry....and if I wait for say 30 min and then eat..
would that make my body fat burn a little bit during that 30 min period?
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Not necessarily. Frequently the feeling of hunger is not physiological hunger (i.e. your body has run out of fuel in the bloodstream). It may be thirst, it may be an empty stomach (which does not necessarily mean that there's no carbs/triglycerides etc. to burn in the body). It may be psychological.
Assuming that you are hungry because you haven't eaten in hours, it is far more likely your body will break down muscle during those 30 minutes, rather than burn fat, or in order to get the fat burning started.

I've used this analogy before: it's like starting a fire in a fireplace. Your body fat is like the logs in the fireplace. Logs will not light without kindling and some air. Your body's kindling is circulating glucose from food you've eaten recently. If your body is on emtpy with no circulating glucose because you havent eaten in a long time (like, for example, first thing in the morning), then it will have no "kindling" to ignite the "logs." So it turns to your muscles to convert glycogen to glucose so that the logs can then be lit.

Also your brain - the organ in your body that is the number one calorie consumer -  needs to have a constant supply of glucose, it's preferred energy source. When there is no glucose in your body, it breaks down muscle glycogen to convert it to glucose. 

On the plus side, if you are a regular exerciser and you usually keep your tanks close to full, the body will probably restore the muscle mass and glycogen it uses. So you don't have to be too paranoid about occasionally going on empty and burning muscle. You just want to avoid making this a habit every single day, for example, always skipping meals or severely restricting your calories.  
jenmcc , I really liked your analogy! Thanks for taking time to explain it..

So, it means that for burning fat, body needs glycogen in the first place...hmm..

I've always had this question in my head..Not sure..if I can explain in better terms..Let me try anyway..

I assume, body's first energy resource is glycogen..and if no glycogen found then it attacks the muscle mass for it..so,..then When exactly the body uses the fat?

is it like, body utilizes glycogen and fat together in some 70-30 ratio?

am all confused..
Your body prefers to utilize more fats while at rest.  Other tissues are usually not able to use muscle glycogen.  Muscle glycogen is for...MUSCLE.  Organs like your brain use glycogen stored in the liver (which is first taken by the blood stream).

Depending on when your last meal was, waiting longer may slow your metabolism a bit.  So you're doing yourself a disservice anyway.

Think about the log analogy again: circulating glucose or muscle glycogen is like kindling, it lights quickly but burns out quickly too.  But if you light the kindling, stack a log on top of it, and then add in some air to fan the flames, the log will eventually catch fire. And then the log burns a long time, long after the kindling has turned to ashes.

So perhaps I wrote that wrong and misled: yes, your body does use body fat as an energy source. It's just that you can't get the body fat burning if you don't have a ready source of glyocgen or glucose, and this is what your body is always going to light and burn first.

So to answer your question: the body uses *both* glycogen AND body fat for energy. But it has to light the glycogen/glucose FIRST (and will attack your muscles if necessary), because it can't get the fat burning without it.

I mentioned that you need not just kindling but also air: this is what they mean by "aerobic" - with air - exercise vs "anerobic" - without air exercise. Anerobic exercise is going to rely on glycogen and not fat. Aerobic will use both.

Cardio conditioning increases the number of capillaries within your muscles. Why? To better carry oxygen (air) for speedier ignition of glycogen (kindling). The fitter you are, the faster you can get the whole process started, and quicker you can start burning fat to fuel your exercise. So fit people's bodies have the equivalent of a super-duper lighter, and one of those fireplace bellows things, to get the fire started extra quick and efficiently! Whereas unfit people's bodies are not so efficient: it's more like they are rubbing two sticks together for hours, trying to get a spark.
That makes a lot of sense to me now. I appreciate it.. !
If you are hungry but wait to eat...

and if this means you end up eating less food by the end of the day, that's probably a good thing. Also a good thing because you are learning that you don't have to eat every time you start to "feel hungry" (which is a very subjective state). Instead you can eat based on deliberate and healthy choices.
Okay, this is probably a stupid question, but do you need to give your body this glyocgen or glucose or does your body already have it?
your body makes glycogen out of the food you eat.
#11  
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This discussion is really interesting to me. I am 5' 9", 125 pounds, but i reached my middle 40s and suddenly i've got fat accumulating round my middle! ACK! I don't want to be one of those old ladies in the gym with stick-like arms and legs and a tubular trunk!!!!

So I'm modifying my diet but I don't want to lose weight; I want to build muscle in the arms, back and chest and and lose fat around the abdomen and back hip area.

I have been cutting fat from my diet ruthlessly, adding nonfat dairy protein, and exercising more with weights to build muscle. My trainer once told me NOT to do more cardio cuz it would just make me skinnier and not build muscle.

but this discussion was really clear that I DO need more cardio -  I need to do that to increase the capillaries bringing oxygen to the muscle. I need to ignite the fat burners with more oxygen.

Also, I have low blood sugar and I have to eat, like, every 2 or 3 hours. I find that sticking to low-fat protein and staying away from too much fruit REALLY helps even out my blood sugar. No fruit snacks for me - I just burn 'em up and never burn any fat, it seems.
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