Debbie Potts Coaching

Which fuel are you burning?

Are you metabolically flexible?

Test and not guess if you are burning fat or carbs… but realize it is not a bad thing to burn carbs!

First of all, test and not guess your glucose and ketones with NutriSense and BioSense or Keto Mojo.

Listen or watch my interview on Biosense here… and see discount Save 20% with our discount code:  LOWCARB20

Check out Biosense with our podcast code here:

Carb Timing Experiment… N = 1

This small experiment is a demonstration of what research has already established for us.  You do not need to only depend on carbohydrates for fuel when you are training and competing in endurance related sports.

Following a low-carb diet can train your body to use fat for fuel and produce ketones, replacing the body’s demand for carbohydrates to fuel performance.  For some athletes, there may be little or no added benefit to consuming carbs at all before endurance activity; however, many athletes may find that on race day, relying on both fuel sources or rather the duel fuel approach, may have its advantages

The Fat-Adapted Approach to Endurance Exercise

Should you have carbs sometimes to keep being metabolically flexible?

If we were designed to use fats as our main fuel source… where do carbs fit in the program for an athlete?

What if you are strict keto for a long time?  What happens to your ability to your glucose -carb- metabolism?

I would suggest to test and not guess your glucose, ketones and insulin.

You can find your fasting glucose and insulin as well as A1C in blood chemistry markers.  Sadly, I haven’t heard of many, if any, doctors ordering insulin, if you just want to be preventative.  My doctor would only test my insulin if I had a high A1C (which was suprisingly higher in functional optimal ranges) – which would put me in as an Type II diabetic if I waited that long.  So, take your own health into your hands and order your own functional labs that your doctor or insurance will not cover – it is very affordable.  Check out ULTA labs (and see they always have a 20% sale!)

Here is a great article by the insulin resistance expert- Dr. Ben Bikman:

Metabolic flexibility is the sought-after metabolic state wherein the body shifts rapidly and easily between the two primary metabolic fuels: glucose and fat. Specifically, the body burns glucose after eating carbohydrate and shifts to burning fat during periods of fasting. This fuel use is dictated largely by the hormone insulin—when insulin is high, the body is predominantly utilizing glucose; when insulin is low, the body is shifts to rely more heavily on fat as a fuel.

“Long-term adherence to a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet  can cause a sort of “reverse metabolic inflexibility”. In this state, rather than being stuck in “glucose burning”, the body shifts to be almost exclusively in “fat burning mode” as a result of low insulin levels.

What should I expect to see on my continuous glucose monitor if I’m on a keto diet or in ketogenesis?

Test and not guess your glucose levels…

Should we be in nutritional ketosis most of the day when training and get out of ketosis once a week?

Train low, race high.  

The idea behind ‘train low race high’ is that when you train with low muscle glycogen by refraining from consuming carbohydrate, certain adaptations take place in muscle cells, notably an increase in the number of mitochondria that burn fuel to produce energy, a process which is known as mitochondrial biogenesis. Studies have shown that over time, this may produce increased endurance capacity and performance.

Training ‘low’ also improves your body’s fat burning capacity as your mitochondria are forced to use body fat as fuel instead of carbohydrate.

This may have benefits for body composition and also – over time – increase the intensity at which you can exercise using predominantly fat as fuel, preserving glycogen stores which means that you need to take on less sugar during your long training sessions and races. This may have benefits if you are prone to gastro-intestinal issues when you consume a high amount of sports nutrition product.

When do you train low?

How do you time your higher carb intake?

Here are some suggestions on carb timing:

  1. Fuel up with higher carbs in the evening (3 hours before bed time!) if you are doing higher intensity training sessions
  2. Training too much high intensity sessions in a fasted or low glycogen state -could become an additional chronic stressor.
  3. If you are looking for performance gains – experiment with your fueling and macro ratios as well as carb timing.  Performance check- are you stronger and faster when you add in some fuel before workout and if you add in strategic carbs to improve performance gains?
  4. Determine what type of fuel source you are burning in your workout session via heart rate, metabolic efficiency testing and measuring ketones as with BIOSENSE (code LOWCARB20)
  5. Find a metabolic testing cart for a resting test as well as exercise (bike and run- different results) as PNOE (stay tuned for a podcast) to find your fat burning and metabolic cross over point where you switch to 100% carbs for fuel.
  6. If you train for events less than three hours- it is suggested to have your carb storage tanks topped off IF racing at race pace (above MAF)
  7. Training low, racing high – and also cycling in carbs will help your fat metabolism and carb/glucose metabolism be efficient = metabolic flexibility.  We need to be able to convert fat for fuel and still be able to convert carbohydrates to fuel (listen to Jay Feldmen’s podcast and blogs).
  8. If you are racing higher heart rate = burning more carbs = strategic carb timing for training high heart rates as well as racing high heart rates.
  9. Off season is when we want to work on improving our MAF training = max aerobic function heart rate as per Phil Maffetone ( or doing more zone two training 80% of the time.
  10. When to add in some fuel before a workout vs. fasted exercise?  It depends on the intensity level and fasting window- when was your last meal?  Eating dinner, 3 hours before bed, with a little more of “nature’s carbs” is a good N = 1 experiment.  Sometimes, I experiment with a little carbs, fat and protein in my coffee as with Lairds Coffee Creamer before my morning speed run workout.
  11. How many carbs do you need when racing or training higher intensities?  EndureIQ program founder, Dr. Dan Plews, suggests racing high with 20g of carbs to 60g of carbs max per hour.  Again- it depends on the individual, race duration, type and intensity.  Start low carb to keep in fat adapted/fat burning metabolism then add in carbs as Vespa, UCAN or SFuels Race+ mid way in your workout or race.
  12.  Strategic Carb Timing -learn more on my podcast series with Peter Defty of Vespa and Leighton Phillips of SFuels.

Ben Greenfield on Exercise and Nutrition for Optimum Body Composition and Performance

Dr. R’s Fast Facts:  Written by  on March 22, 2016

  • Ben and Dr. R’s preferred exercise and nutrition plan:
    • Low intensity exercise in the morning and low carb during day, paired with;
    • Weight training/HIT in the afternoon and carbs with dinner.
  • Training and nutrition for:
    • Size:
      • Training – compound/multi-joint lifts 8-12 reps., careful not to over-train. Gene test available for this. Tracks nervous system recovery via heart rate variability.
      • Nutrition: eat as much as you can.
      • Supplements: colostrum and creatine
    • Strength:
      • Time under tension: 1 set per body part to complete failure with a weight you can lift 3-8 times
    • Body comp/fat loss:
      • Training: Morning fasted cardio, low intensity.
      • High intensity interval training afternoon.
      • Nutrition: limit carbs until evening
    • Endurance:
      • Training: Morning fasted cardio, low intensity.
      • High intensity interval training or weight training – oscillated.
      • Nutrition: limit carbs until evening
      • Periodically (once a month to once a quarter) have a very hard session where you go all out.
    • Get as much low level activity during the day as possible:
      • Standing desk, air squats, frequent small and frequent activity breaks.
    • For those who are ill or burnt out:
      • Saunas a few times a week
      • Yoga, tai chi, morning walks
      • Slow movement weight training
      • Mobility work; foam rolling, stretching, etc.
      • Tracking this with heart rate variability

How do you train low?

  • Train before breakfast on an empty stomach, ie fasted.
  • Do your first workout of the day after consuming some carbohydrate and then do not eat any carbs afterwards. Perform your second daily session on low carb stores.
  • Train for more than 90 minutes without taking on any carbohydrate during the session.
  • Don’t have any carbohydrate for 2-4 hours after training instead of your usual recovery meal.
  • Train after an evening meal, then again the next morning without consuming any carbohydrate until after the second workout.
  • Training low does carry some potential downsides, particularly in terms of an increased risk of overtraining and suppressing the immune system. To help prevent this, it’s a good idea to have some protein such as eggs or a protein drink before a long low carb session 6, to have a cup of coffee before fasted workouts and to consider using a sports drink as a mouthwash during your workout.1 Both the latter strategies have an effect on the nervous system which appears to reduce the stress of training. It’s also important to stay hydrated with water and to add electrolyte tablets on long workouts or if you have a high sweat rate.

Have you tried taking exogenous ketones before, during and after a workout session?  

HVMN Ketone IQ

How do I use Ketone-IQ™ for Athletic Performance?

Ketone-IQ™️ is a drinkable ketone designed to be taken daily to support mental clarity, athletic performance, and metabolic health. This drinkable ketone contains no caffeine, no sugar—just clean, natural energy to power your brain and body.

Optimal Ketone Levels for 4 Hours

Did you know that ketones provide the most benefits at a certain range? With Ketone-IQ™, you can stay at these levels for up to 4 hours — much longer than other drinkable ketones.


01 Taking Ketone-IQ™ can help you unlock key benefits for athletic performance. Its Ketone-IQ™ technology elevates levels of ketone in the blood, which acts as a fuel and alters the way that the body uses other fuel sources.

 02 Ketones are 28% more efficient as a fuel than glucose alone (1) and doesn’t contribute to sugar crashes or insulin spikes—enabling athletes to sustain peak mental clarity during competitions, which may also improve performance (2).

 Target Blood Ketone Level: ~1.5-2.5 mmol

Endurance Athlete Protocol:

Drink 30-60 minutes before exercise with usual pre-workout fuel. For extended exercise, take an additional serving every ~2 hours.*

Save with my podcast code at HVMN on their Ketone IQ wiith  LOWCARBATHLETE and try it out for yourself

Are you ready to get a personalized coaching program and protocol to feel, look and perform your best in life?

Just let me know which package works best for you to get the desired results – and we can talk on a discovery call!

  1. New Client Special
  2. The Accelerator Package
  3. The VIP Comprehensive Concierge Service Package


Get started on testing an not guessing with some of my favorite devices – but I am happy to share my coaching services with you and discuss in a discovery call here

You can order NUTRISENSE here for 30-60 days if you want to learn more about cyclical keto and Keto Mojo here to track ketones (not chase them but learn) –Keto Mojo Blood Glucose and Ketone Measuring Kit plus great supplements to help are BiOptimizers and kAPex digestive supplements

  1. Blood Chemistry as here with ULTA Labs 
  2. Keto Mojo here to test glucose and ketones
  3. NutriSense here for a continious glucose monitor (14-day per device)
  4. BioSense breathe sensor to measure ketones (ACEs)

Blood Chemistry Markers to ask your doctor to test include:

    • Glucose
    • Uric Acid [Male]
    • Uric Acid [Female]
    • BUN
    • Creatinine
    • eGFR
    • BUN/Creatinine Ratio
    • Sodium
    • Potassium
    • Chloride
    • Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
    • Calcium
    • Phosphorous
    • Protein (Total)
    • Albumin
    • Globulin
    • A/G Ratio
    • Bilirubin (Total)
    • Alk Phosphatase
    • LDH
    • AST (SGOT) [Male]
    • AST (SGOT) [Female]
    • ALT (SGPT) [Male]
    • ALT (SGPT) [Female]
    • GGT (GGPT)
  • Lipid Panel
    • Cholesterol
    • Triglycerides
    • HDL Cholesterol
    • LDL Cholesterol
    • Triglycerides/HDL Ratio
    • Total Cholesterol/HDL Ratio
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC)
    • WBC
    • RBC [Male]
    • RBC [Female]
    • Hemoglobin [Male]
    • Hemoglobin [Female]
    • Hematocrit [Male]
    • Hematocrit [Female]
    • MCV
    • MCH
    • MCHC
    • RDW
    • Platelets
    • Neutrophils
    • Lymphocytes
    • Monocytes
    • Eosinophils
    • Basophils
  • Iron Panel
    • Iron (Serum)
    • TIBC
    • Iron Saturation
    • Ferritin
  • Thyroid Panel
    • TSH
    • Total T4
    • Free T4
    • Total T3
    • Free T3
    • T3 Uptake
    • Reverse T3
    • TPO Antibody (Thyroid Peroxidase Ab)
    • TBG Antibody (Thyroglobulin Ab)
    • TT3/RT3 Ratio
    • Free T3/RT3 Ratio
  • Additional Markers
    • Vitamin D
    • Insulin
    • Hemoglobin A1C
    • Homocysteine
    • Histamine (Whole Blood)
    • Hs-CRP [Male]
    • Hs-CRP [Female]
    • PSA [Male]
    • Fibrinogen
    • Anion Gap
    • Magnesium (RBC)
    • Vitamin B12 (serum)

Chat soon!

Coach Debbie Potts

Health & Fitness Coach, Author, & Speaker

The WHOLESTIC Method’ Coaching Program

Host of ‘The Low Carb Athlete’ Podcast

PNOE Metabolic Efficiency Testing

FNTP, FDNP, NASM CPT, CHEK HLC, Ben Greenfield Coach


Learn more on

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Podcast Youtube Channel

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