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The past ten years, my program “The WHOLESTIC Method” 30-Day Program has evolved into a three phase program for individuals as well as groups.

The three phase program to “flip the switch” and become Metabolically Flexible with Coach Debbie Potts
  • Phase One:  5-day jumpstart
  • Phase Two:  21-day sugar detox and reset
  • Phase Three:  80%/20%… 5 days Low Carb plus Intermittent 16/8 fasting then 2 days real food but okay to have a little higher carb

Dr. Wahls, and Dr. Anna Cabeca talk about similar programs as the benefits are enless to improve fat loss, health, performance and longevity.

Dr. Wahls Protocol examples to increase metabolic switching:

  • Time-restricted feeding.
    • Extending the time period of consuming zero calories will increase time in ketosis.
    • Many individuals deplete glycogen stores after 12 hours of zero calorie consumption and begin switching to burning ketones.
  • Fasting patterns.
    • This could include alternate day fasting, a periodic fast, or periodic calorie restriction of 200 to 1000 kcal/day.
    • This also depletes glycogen, forcing the body to switch to burning ketones.
  • Endurance physical activity without additional calories.
    • This would need to be long enough and of sufficient intensity to deplete glycogen and switch to ketone burning (burn fat).
  • Cycling between ketogenic eating and a low glycemic index diet.
    • Switching to a diet slightly higher in protein and carbohydrates that excludes simple sugars or other foods that dump a lot of glucose into the bloodstream is preferable

Dr. Terry Wahls on Metabolic Flexibility or Metabolic Switching:

Metabolic Flexibility

Mitochondria alternate between burning fat for fuel and glucose/sugar for fuel

Our ancestors functioned in a fasting state or extended physical exercise/activity – fast and feast

Ancestors spent hours being active every day to get food to feed their family -which resulted in natural occurring ketosis (fat burning)

Human were naturally (unintentionally) in nutritional ketosis for hundreds of thousands of years – which resulted in depleting their glycogen stores via their exercise

Ancestral “exercise” sessions were typically brief periods of intense “exercise” followed by rest, recover, and refeed. 

Mitochondria switched between fat burning metabolism (ketones as by product) and glucose (sugar) burning – or “Metabolic Flexibility” or metabolic switching as Dr. Wahls explains the process.

We naturally cycled between fat burning and ketosis and glucose burning (back up fuel when needed at higher intensities) to improve our cellular adaptation (mitochondria fuel burning) and performance.

What is your metabolic type?

When we burn fat and produce ketones (via the liver with fat oxidation)-

  • Insulin levels are decreased
  • Increased nerve growth factors – brain derived neurotrophic factor or known as “BDNF”
  • Decreased inflammatory cytokines
  • Decreased protein synthesis (MTOR)
  • Increased cell autophagy (eliminate the old used and damaged cells-taking out the garbage)
  • Increased cellular repair throughout the body and central nervous system
  • Genes involved in increasing resistance to stress, improve neuroplasticity and repair are activated

Metabolic Switching to the CARB FUEL TANK

Improves cell growth and repair

Your Mighty Mitochondria

Our mighty mitochondria –

  • Increase in number and size
  • Increase in synapses
  • Increase repair neural and muscle tissue.

Being “flexible” and able to “flip the switch” from FAT burning to sugar/carb/glucoseburning then back to FAT burning –

  • Improves our resistance to STRESS
  • Speeds recovery from injury
  • Improves cognitive performance

Metabolic switching is what our ancestors more consistently experienced and is likely superior for increasing resistance to neurodegeneration and development of insulin resistance and decreasing inappropriate inflammation.”- Dr. Terry Wahls  

You can experience metabolic switching without a high fat diet, in two ways…

  •  Intermittently engage in an endurance physical activity that depletes your glycogen (usually 2 to 3 hours)
  • Extend the time you are consuming zero calories.


I talk about “The Goldilocks Effect” frequently as we don’t want too much or too little of anything… just the right amount or the right dose! We don’t want to do too much cardio, yoga, weight lifting or too much HIIT training but just the right dose of each as they all have benefits.

We don’t want to eat too low of carbohydrates each day or fast too long too frequently. How much is too much …or how little is too little?

The right amount DEPENDS on your body, your genetics, your gut biome, your lifestyle habits and your stressors!

Bowls of too hot, too cold and just right porridge.

Contact me if you would like to chat more!

Schedule a discovery call here to share your goals and “Areas of Opportunity” with me!

Debbie Potts

Health Coach, Author, Speaker & Podcaster

Host of ‘The Low Carb Athlete’ Health Building Podcast

Creator of ‘The WHOLESTIC Method’ Coaching Program



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