|November 17, 2023

Are You a Sugar Burner or a Fat Burner? Why Your Metabolism Can Do Both

By Bulletproof Staff
Reviewed by Theresa Greenwell for Scientific Accuracy on 10/12/2023

Are You a Sugar Burner or a Fat Burner? Why Your Metabolism Can Do Both

  • Do you get sugar cravings and energy crashes? You might be a sugar burner.
  • If you’re a fat burner, you have lasting energy and can go hours without thinking about food. This is a state called ketosis, and it happens when you follow a high fat, lower-carb diet.
  • The Bulletproof Diet shows you how to burn fat and get more energy. Keep reading for a free guide.

You always need a snack. You get mega sugar cravings. You’re constantly dealing with stubborn belly fat. Sound familiar? You might be a sugar burner, which means you primarily burn carbs (sugar) for energy.

No, that’s not a bad thing.

Lots of people burn carbs for fuel. The thing is, running on sugar isn’t always sustainable. It’s a quick-burning form of energy. That’s why you feel hungry again after eating a bagel for breakfast, or why you need a nap after a big pasta dinner. When your body uses up those carbs, you end up feeling distracted, tired and hangry until you eat again.

Compare that to a fat burner. When you burn fat for fuel, you can easily go hours without thinking about food, and you feel energized and focused all day long. Your body gets energy from your body fat and fat from your diet. This is a metabolic state called ketosis, aka what happens when you’re on a ketogenic diet.

Here’s what it means to be a sugar burner, what it means to be a fat burner and why you can be both.

Related: Download the FREE 30 Day Upgrade and start the Bulletproof Diet today

What you should know about your metabolism

Blue and white swirling lines

Your metabolism is pretty amazing. It’s how your body turns food into energy. That energy can come from carbs, fat or protein — aka the three macronutrients found in food.

  • Protein is the body’s building block. It’s used for energy, and it’s also used to repair tissue and support your immune system.
  • Carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of energy.
  • Fats also give you energy, and they help your body absorb vitamins.[1]

The human metabolism can burn carbs OR fat for energy. This trait was important when we were hunters and gatherers and didn’t always know when we’d get our next meal. If our bodies ran out of carbohydrates, we’d naturally switch to burning stored body fat for energy instead.

Switching between burning carbs or fat for fuel is called metabolic flexibility.

What is a sugar burner?

A sugar burner primarily burns carbs for fuel. Your body turns carbohydrates from foods like bread, potatoes and candy into glucose — a simple sugar that gets converted into energy. The problem is that eating too many carbohydrates can contribute to extra body fat and, over time, insulin resistance.[2] Plus, you’re more likely to experience energy crashes when you’re burning carbs all day long. Learn more about your brain on sugar.

It’s also really easy to eat too many carbs, especially the processed variety. Just think about how easy it is to get donuts, bagels, cookies and big bowls of pasta. Your body will faithfully turn those carbs into glucose, but if that energy isn’t used, it has to go somewhere — so it’s stored as body fat.

Here are some sources of energy for sugar burners:

  • Bread and grains
  • Starchy vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Dairy
  • Sweeteners like sugar, honey and syrup
  • Foods with added sugars like cookies and candy
  • Soft drinks

What is a fat burner?

A fat burner primarily burns fat for fuel. When you eat fewer carbs, your body eventually burns through its glycogen stores (another name for stored carbohydrates). Your metabolism still needs energy to power your body and brain, so it switches to burning fat for fuel. That fat comes from your body fat and fat in the food you eat.

This state is called ketosis, and it has a ton of benefits, like more brain power, fewer cravings, lasting energy and weight management.[3] [4] The Bulletproof Diet is a type of ketogenic diet that helps your body burn fat for energy, all while showing you how to eat more whole foods to help you perform at your peak.

Here are some sources of energy for fat burners:

You are what you eat: Why your body needs carbs

Pile of sweet potatoes

Being a fat burner sounds pretty amazing, but it’s not as simple as eating a bunch of bacon every day and ditching carbs altogether. Your body needs some carbohydrates to function. In fact, some people run into problems when they stay in ketosis (fat-burning mode) long-term, like dry eyes, hormonal imbalances and fatigue.

That’s why the Bulletproof Diet is a cyclical keto diet. That means you have a higher-carb day once a week, which gives your body the fuel it might need. You might dip out of ketosis on that day, but once you go back to a lower-carb diet, your body will switch back to fat-burning mode. Thanks, metabolic flexibility.

Related: How to Find Your Ideal Carb Intake

How to burn fat effectively

Ahi tuna sashimi on gray plate

If you’re a sugar burner, the last thing you want to do is stop eating carbs and sugar cold turkey. That’s simply not sustainable, and it’s a one-way ticket to massive sugar cravings and energy roller coasters. No thanks.

If you want to become a fat burner and switch to ketosis, there’s an easier way. The Bulletproof Diet is based on a few simple principles:

  • Eat nutrient-dense whole foods like grass-fed meat, organic vegetables and quality fats.
  • Eat mostly fats, moderate protein and few carbohydrates.
  • See how you feel when you avoid common inflammatory foods like dairy, gluten and legumes.
  • Drink Bulletproof Coffee for breakfast and feel satisfied and energized for hours.

Ready to start burning fat and feeling energized? Download the complete Bulletproof Diet Roadmap today.

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