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How to Burn off Carbs More Quickly (3 Simple Ways)

Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: June 22, 2022

While working as a fitness trainer for many years, I've encountered many clients who can't resist eating foods high in carbohydrates despite wanting to lose weight.

Knowing that consuming more carbohydrates than the body can utilize and store will result in fat conversion, I consulted an old friend who is a certified nutrition specialist to see if there were ways to burn off carbs more quickly and efficiently.

Aside from that, I spent a few weeks looking into the pros and cons of burning off carbohydrates faster to maintain a healthy weight, so here's all the data that I've gathered.

Quick Summary

  • Performing more extended cardio activities and consuming balanced meals are some ways to help people burn off carbs faster.
  • Using available glucose in the blood and depleting glucose stores in the body usually lead to burning fat.
  • The use of fat burners, along with a healthy diet and regular exercise, can make it easier for individuals to lose fat faster.

Three Natural Ways to Burn Carbs Fast

A person choosing which food to eat

The carbs in our food are naturally burned off by the activities we do each day.

When we don't use all of the glucose from our diet due to lack of exercise, we store excess glucose in our liver and muscles as glycogen [1].

As we eat more carbohydrates and fail to burn them, glycogen storage can reach a threshold, and any extra glucose that can't be stored as glycogen is turned into body fat.

This process is called de novo lipogenesis (DNL), and if uncontrolled, it can lead to obesity, as well as heart and liver problems [2].

Therefore, it's critical to utilize carbohydrates quickly, and here are three ways I found to do it:

Maintain a Balanced Nutrition

A high-carbohydrate diet can train the body to use carbs as its primary fuel source, but consuming enough proteins and healthy fats can further provide energy for quick and effective carbohydrate utilization.

According to research, getting enough carbs from whole-food meals, particularly those high in fiber like whole grains, whole fruits, and sweet potatoes, can boost carbohydrate metabolism [3].

Also, getting the recommended amount of lean protein every day helps build muscles, which lets you do intense exercise that makes it easier for your body to burn stored carbs [4]. Higher protein intake also provides satiety for longer, which is another benefit for weight management.

Finally, healthy fats in your diet can hasten the process of carb utilization by providing you with more energy and assisting your body in absorbing essential nutrients needed for high-intensity exercise and overall health [5].

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Perform High-Intensity Exercise

A group performing HIIT outdoors

These exercises can help the body use up glucose in the blood because it is the first preferred source of fuel the body exhausts during energy expenditure.

However, if you want to get rid of stored carbs or glycogen stores in the body, you will need a more intense form of aerobic workout, like prolonged cardio or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) [6].

Furthermore, increasing the difficulty of your muscle lifting by performing more reps and sets with heavier weights can help deplete your glycogen stores even quicker [7].

The American Council on Exercise recommends doing high-intensity workouts for about 90 minutes at 80–95 percent of your maximum heart rate [8].

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Take Sugar-Free Protein Powders before Working Out

Since our bodies use blood glucose as a source of energy when we exercise, taking high-sugar pre-workouts can prevent the body from using that sugar instead of burning stored glycogen to fuel your exercise.

It may, however, reduce your ability to perform if you avoid these performance enhancers altogether.

Fortunately, there are unsweetened protein powders available for use as pre-exercise supplements.

Pre-workout supplements are also beneficial because they increase your energy, strength, and endurance, ultimately boosting your energy expenditure during workouts  [9].

Fat burners can also assist you in getting more out of your exercise by increasing your metabolic rate.

What Are the Benefits of Burning Carbs?

An intense workout and a healthy person

Some of the benefits we get from burning off carbs through exercise include lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, reduced risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, and last but not least - weight loss.

“Movement is medicine.” Colleen Louw, PT, American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)

Researchers found that glucose metabolism and cholesterol levels change at the same time when people lose weight [10].

This means that lowering the amount of glucose in the blood could also lower cholesterol levels and the risk of heart problems.

Furthermore, you can also free up fatty acids in the cells by burning up carbs in the body.

This lets the body break down extra fats quickly and use them as a source of energy, ultimately leading to weight loss.

Does It Have Any Adverse Effects?

Burning off carbs can have adverse effects on people with medical conditions such as diabetes and hypoglycemia because these conditions can affect how your body uses and breaks down carbohydrates.

People with these conditions should talk to a professional nutritionist or a registered dietitian for assistance with meal planning and balancing the amount of carbs they eat with how much energy they use.

FAQs

Do You Burn Carbs When You Sleep?

Yes, you burn off carbs when you sleep because glucose metabolism increases as energy is expended to allow the body's vital organs to function properly.

This also occurs during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which occurs typically 90 minutes after falling asleep, where brain activity, blood pressure, and respiration increase [11]

Does Running Burn Fat or Carbs?

Running can burn fat or carbs because it is considered one of the aerobic exercises that effectively uses but also creates energy, as many people feel more energized after a short jog.

Furthermore, 30 minutes of slow, low-intensity running has been found to be more effective in encouraging your body to burn more calories from body fat [12].

How to Burn Carbs More Quickly?

If you constantly eat more carbs than you use for energy, you will inevitably increase your risk of having a fatty liver, heart disease, and gaining too much weight.

Working out and eating whole fruits and vegetables can help burn carbs faster, but I always advise my clients to consider adding fat-burning supplements to reduce calorie intake, boost metabolism, and improve performance.

Our team has tested the effects of nighttime fat burners on increasing glucose and fat metabolism while we sleep, which provided us with some surprisingly good results, so make sure to check out our guide.


References:

  1. https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/nmp/sonet/rlos/bioproc/liverphysiology/page_three.html
  2. https://news.berkeley.edu/2012/12/06/gene-converts-carbs-to-fat/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257631/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6566799/
  5. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171009124026.htm
  6. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/metabolism/art-20046508
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6019055/
  8. https://www.acefitness.org/resources/everyone/blog/6752/high-intensity-interval-training/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4190923/
  10. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/01.atv.0000087145.71160.15
  11. https://www.livescience.com/does-sleeping-burn-calories
  12. https://www.runnersworld.com/uk/health/a769973/burn-fat-fast/

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