The FatBurn Fix
Boost Energy, End Hunger, and Lose Weight by Using Body Fat for Fuel
by Dr Cate Shanahan
In this New York Times bestselling book, Dr. Cate Shanahan lays out a proven plan to optimize your health by reclaiming your natural ability to burn body fat for fuel
The ability to use body fat for energy is essential to health, but over decades of practice renowned family physician Dr. Cate observed that many of her patients could not burn their body fat between meals, trapping them in a downward spiral of hunger, fatigue, and weight gain.
In The Fatburn Fix, she shows how industrially produced vegetable oils accumulate in body fat and disrupt the body’s energy-producing systems, driving food addictions that hijack a person’s moods and habits while making it nearly impossible to control weight. To reclaim health, the book shows how to detoxify body fat and help repair “fatburn” capabilities.
Dr. Cate gives you a tool to understand this key feature of your metabolic health. It’s her FATBURN Factor Quiz. You’ll use the results of your quiz to pace yourself through the program. This is the ONLY weight loss book that tailors your solution to your metabolic state. And you can retake the quiz to continuously monitor your metabolic recovery.
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Frequently asked questions about the book FatBurn Fix
How is The FatBurn Fix different from Deep Nutrition?
Deep Nutrition promises “This book describes the diet to end all diets.” If you have read Deep Nutrition, you know that Luke (my co-author) and I describe the ultimate, gold standard, global, you’d-see-it-everywhere-you-go Human Diet, the diet that sustained human health until the modern era and that, from the moment you adapt it, starts fixing nearly every chronic medical condition–including overweight.
Deep Nutrition focuses on gaining health more than on losing weight and it does not address the special problems that a person who struggles with weight must overcome.
Deep Nutrition was intended to help readers free themselves of medications and look and feel better about being overweight. It teaches that too much sugar and unhealthy PUFA-rich seed oils (PUFA=Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids) sets us up for serious chronic health problems. And it teaches the four pillars of the Human Diet, the essential food categories that support optimal health at every age.
Deep Nutrition also was inspired in part by my personal history as an athlete prone to injuries that I didn’t know came from a poor diet as a child, devoid of ‘meat on the bone’ (one of the Four Pillars of the Human Diet).
One chapter, called “Beyond Calories,” discusses how the standard advice to “eat less and exercise more” never worked for my patients, and how focusing instead on the information in our food helped revitalize people’s health. But for the most part, weight loss took a back seat because not all of my patients had weight trouble, and those who did experienced many health improvements before they lost much weight.
How does The FatBurn Fix extend the conversation about diet and calories?
The FatBurn Fix extends the “beyond calories” conversation. The book takes you along for a deep dive into the unexamined relationship between the ridiculous amount of PUFA now in our diets, and what that does to our metabolism. It explores how your metabolism affects your mood, your energy, and your risk of diseases. It talks about when calories matter and when they don’t. And most of all, it talks about how PUFA in our body fat interferes with our ability to burn body fat, thus turning your body fat from a source of energy on demand to an inflammation-prone burden.
Does The FatBurn Fix help you burn your body fat?
Most people intuitively feel their weight has something to do with their medical problems. And that losing weight will help.
The assumption is that losing weight is the first goal; that weight loss alone helps people’s health. But that’s exactly backward.
It’s true that weight gain and diabetes and conditions like gout, arthritis, fatty liver and auto-immune diseases all run together. But we’ve got our cause and effect reversed. The reality is the process of developing diabetes starts before you gain weight. It starts the minute you begin to lose your natural ability to burn body fat. When you can’t burn your body fat, you gain weight. Inability to burn body fat makes you feel like eating more and exercising less. And that makes you gain even more weight.
It’s not you that wants to overeat. It’s not you that doesn’t have the energy to exercise. It’s your metabolism. If you’ve gained and been unable to lose or lost multiple times and regained, it’s your metabolism that’s the problem. Not YOU. Not your willpower.
The FatBurn Fix also shows you that even aside from weight gain, even if you gain very little weight or none at all, once you’ve lost your ability to burn body fat, your metabolism begins a downward spiral of worsening health.
Or course, you can easily fix your metabolism. It’s a no-brainer.
Why did you write The FatBurn Fix?
Between 2010 and 2013 I traveled the USA to visit the top weight loss MDs in the country. What I saw was not good. Most people were only able to lose a portion of the weight they wanted to lose before dropping out of the program and eventually coming back even heavier. Every last person blamed themselves for their failures and although the doctors kindly told them that it’s not their fault, it didn’t really help the fact that they felt like failures. The philosophy of these practitioners was that obesity is a disease and, like asthma or gout or so many other diseases, you can have flare ups.
I became convinced those ‘flare ups’ occur because of something we’re overlooking.
I found my answer when I starting paying attention to how having all that PUFA in our body fat disrupts our ability to use it for fuel. If you can’t burn your body fat, you’re going to have a really hard time losing weight. In fact, you’re not ready to lose weight until you can burn your body fat between meals.
Essentially, your body fat becomes less and less visible to your cells.
So your brain thinks you’re starving and forces you to go eat.
When your body can’t ‘see’ your body fat, you feel tired and hungry and have a series of metabolic problems that set you up to develop not just morbid obesity but also serious metabolic diseases including heart attacks, cancer and degenerative neurologic diseases.
When you’re not good at burning body fat you can’t jump right into an exercise program and expect to start burning fat, nor can you cut your calories for long enough to lose much weight before you get overwhelming feelings of extreme hunger or fatigue–or other problems. Losing weight without a healthy metabolism is an ordeal filled with deprivation and fatigue. That’s why its best to focus on getting good at burning body fat first, then focus on cutting back your calories.
That probably sounds surprising.
But I don’t think it surprises anyone for long. After all, it’s intuitively obvious that you have to be able to burn body fat before you are ready to lose body fat. Most people assume they’ll be able to burn body fat by exercising. But exercise does not burn much fat when your metabolism is damaged.
What happens if you try to lose weight with exercising or low calorie diets when your body fat is still invisible to your cells?
If you can’t burn your body fat, calorie restriction and too much exercise can make you feel so bad that you give up. It may also worsen prediabetes.
What does the book say about exercise?
What’s happening is that your body resists burning body fat even during exercise because your body fat is loaded with pro-inflammatory PUFAs from a lifetime of eating seed oils. To get energy your body must burn more sugar than your bloodstream is designed to handle. When your body needs so much sugar, you feel hypoglycemia (brain fog, shaky, etc.) after certain meals or after you’ve been very active. What happens to you next is your body starts converting muscle protein to sugar. In fact, this can even further damage your ability to burn your body fat and turn a prediabetic into a diabetic.
If you’re healthy enough that you’re really good at burning your body fat, you can exercise and the weight will melt off. You can intermittent fast. You can also jump right into a low carb or keto diet. Losing weight is relatively quick and painless.
What does The FatBurn Fix say about burning body fat?
You can fix the problem of ‘invisible’ body fat very easily. You can eat foods that help your body ‘see’ the energy stored in your body fat. You’ll start by learning which foods sustain your energy between meals and that will very quickly revive your body’s ability to burn fat for fuel. The Fatburn Fix also teaches you what kinds of foods give you the feelings of satiety, so you can cut back on calories and never feel hungry. You’ll soon find that you actually get more energized the longer you go without eating.
The exact foods you need to eat to begin with are different from person to person. The tool I use to help identify what my patients need to eat is a quiz that give you a number between 0 and 100, something I call your FatBurn FACTOR. Knowing your FatBurn Factor is one of the tools you’ll get in the FatBurn Fix book that enable you to match your foods to the current state of your metabolic health.
In fact, you can take the FatBurn Factor quiz for free, here right now:
Whether you need to lose weight or just want to boost your energy and optimize your health, the FatBurn Fix will help. I hope you find it fun to read and useful.