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Ask Gale: What Is a High-Fat Diet?

In 2014 and early 2015 when we were working on refining what would become the book “Become a Fat-Burning Machine,” the medical community defined a “high-fat diet” as a diet that contains over 30 percent of the calories as fat. (See reference below.) Even when the book was published in late 2015, people were still on the bandwagon that touted low-carb and low-calorie diets as the optimal solution for weight loss and good health.

Wow, a lot has changed in the last two years!

Now, it is mainstream knowledge that diets high in sugar and refined carbohydrates are contributors to obesity, poor health, and many diseases. Fat in our diets is no longer the enemy. What remains a topic of discussion is what defines a high-fat diet?

Is Fat-Burning Machine a high-fat diet?

The Fat-Burning Machine students that follow the program and track what they eat find that daily healthy fat intake ranges from 40- to 60-percent of total calories. By the old definition, the Fat-Burning Machine diet is a high-fat diet.

Healthy fats are not those found in highly processed foods. (Fast foods and packaged, processed foods.) More on this in another post.

How is the Fat-Burning Machine Program Different Than a Keto-Diet?

There are many different definitions for a keto-diet. The goal of a keto-adapted-diet is to be in ketosis 100 percent of the time. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, and an important survival mechanism since your brain can only function on glucose (sugar) or ketones. When your body is low on glycogen (stored glucose) availability, it burns fat instead. A by-product of the fat-burning process is the production of ketones in your bloodstream. Ketones can then be used as fuel not only by your brain, but by other body cells as well.

When people are following the Fat-Burning Machine guidelines, one of the strategies is to restrict easily available sugars and carbohydrates in order to force the body to burn fat for fuel. You are trying to teach or train your body to burn fat. This is a training process because, for example, the body needs to time to change and build the enzymes necessary for efficient fat metabolism – while reducing the enzymes needed for sugar and carbohydrate metabolism. This is just one example of the many fantastic changes that happen when you follow Fat-Burning Machine strategies.

One definition for a standard ketogenic, keto-adapted diet is one where fat is very high – somewhere around 70 percent, or more, of daily calories. Protein is around 20 percent of calories and carbohydrates are very low at only 5 percent of total calories. There are many variations around this, but you get the idea – carbohydrates are extremely restricted.

The Fat-Burning Machine program is successful because participants do cycle into and out of producing ketones, but it is not so restrictive that it becomes unsustainable for our followers. We have found that the Fat-Burning Machine program is much easier for people to implement and enjoy – while still getting weight loss results as well as health benefits.

Do I Need to Use Urine Strips or Test my Blood?

Many keto-diets require constant monitoring of blood or urine. Yuck.

Don’t worry, as a Fat-Burning Machine, we don’t ask you to use urine strips, test your blood daily or go for frequent metabolic testing at a laboratory.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Fat-Burning Machine?

When participants follow the Fat-Burning Machine program guidelines, they report noticing changes in as little as one week and typical is about three weeks. If you dabble in the program, implementing a few of the guidelines at a time or do it haphazardly, it will take longer – several months.

Do I Have to Follow the Program a 100% to See Results?

The short answer is no. We’ve had numerous reports from people that follow the program most of the time – estimates at around 80-percent of the time – and they are achieving steady weight loss as well as improved health and wellness. Isn’t that your goal anyway? You want steady weight loss, improved health markers and feeling great. Who cares what your ketone number is if these three things are happening?

Join us and become a Fat-Burning Machine – change your eating habits and achieve weight loss and improved health results that last.


Definition of a “high-fat diet:”

“One which provides more than 30% of energy as fat. Research into effects on performance indicates that at 3-5 days on a high-fat diet leads to deterioration of endurance performance when compared to a carbohydrate (CHO) rich diet. However, when adaptation to diets is combined with training for a period of 1-4 weeks, a high-fat diet does not attenuate endurance performance compared to a high-CHO diet. When such regimes are continued and compared for longer than 4 weeks, endurance performance is markedly better on the CHO-rich diet. There is no performance benefit in switching to a high-CHO after long-term adaptation to high-fat, compared to having a high-CHO diet all along.”

Citation: Dictionary of Sport and Exercise Science and Medicine by Churchill Livingstone © 2008 Elsevier Limited.