The Secret of Fat Burning

Unlocking the secret of fat burning and whole science behind it

[dropcap]F[/dropcap]at is a crucial energy source, helps maintain a healthy internal temperature, shields vital organs, and transports nutrients throughout the body. While some fat is required for optimal health, having too much might be dangerous. That is why doctors recommend burning extra fat in the body.

Understanding the mechanisms of fat burning might be helpful whether your goal is weight loss or you’re just interested in how your body works.
This article examines fat metabolism and recommends enhancing your body’s natural fat-burning capabilities.

Types of Body Fat.

Fat tissue, additionally known as adipose tissue, comprises various forms of fat cells known as adipocytes. There are many kinds of fat found in human bodies that have specific purposes. Some kinds of fat have been linked to health problems and even sickness. Some are harmful to your health, while others are essential.

The types of body fat are mentioned below as per many years of research,

White Fat.

White fat, commonly known as white adipose tissue (WAT), is the most common kind of fat in humans.

It consists of big, white cells tucked away in the subcutaneous tissue or around the internal organs of the abdomen, arms, buttocks, and thighs. The body uses fat cells to store excess calories for later use.

White fat secretes hormones such as estrogen, leptin, protein, cortisol, and growth hormone, along with proteins that influence the immune system, metabolism, and the feeling of hunger. It helps keep the body at the right temperature by storing energy and protecting it from the outside environment. However, white fat buildup is a common cause of obesity and weight gain.

Brown Fat

A metabolically active kind of brown fat, also known as brown adipose tissue (BAT).

The cell’s energy factories, the mitochondria, are more numerous in this variant. Although adults have far less brown fat than newborns or infants, some do exist, and it’s mainly found in the neck, upper back, and organ regions. Brown fat activation by cold exposure or targeted therapies may aid weight control, and ongoing research is ongoing.

Beige Fat

With white and brown fat features, beige fat, also known as Brite (brown-in-white) adipose tissue, is a transitional kind of fat. According to studies, beige adipose tissue is interspersed between white adipose tissue and can transform into beige adipose tissue in response to environmental factors like cold or activity.

Compared to white fat, the thermogenic capacity of beige fat is higher. mqe35e5Fat burning and types of fat

Image Source: various fat cell types are stored in various quantities and locations.

The major purpose of dietary fat is to supply energy for the body’s many processes and muscles. Subcutaneous and visceral fat develops when the body’s energy requirements exceed its intake.

Visceral Fat.

This kind of fat surrounds the abdominal organs and is dense in its nature. It accumulates in those who consume many processed foods, alcohol, trans fats, and saturated fats. Diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, dementia, and metabolic syndrome are all possible outcomes. Like many other types of research, high amounts of visceral fat were associated with increased calcification of the coronary arteries, according to a study conducted in 2014.

Subcutaneous Fat.

Subcutaneous fat, sometimes called “soft fat,” is the fat most commonly used to calculate a person’s body mass index. Subcutaneous fat is located outside the abdominal cavity and on the outer layer of the skin; this is the fat most people see around their waist, thighs, hips, and buttocks.

Unlike visceral fat, subcutaneous fat has positive health effects, with a lower risk of cholesterol and fat deposition inside artery walls and a lower risk of coronary calcium accumulation, as per research published in 2015 in Cardiovascular Diabetology.

fat burning

But that doesn’t mean you can put on this fat deliberately, as being at the outer layer of the body; it can cause damage to the body’s ligaments and tendons due to the additional weight it contributes to the body.

Fat Formation and Storage.

Let us now get to the detailed explanation of how fat is formed and stored in the body. Fat is a source of fuel for the body, just like any other food that provides energy for your body when you consume it in the shape of calories.

When you eat food, particularly those high in fats, carbs, or proteins, your body breaks down and absorbs the nutrients. Digestion of food beans in the stomach and intestines, and your body absorbs the nutrients it needs via the bloodstream. The body will use these calories daily to perform daily bodily functions.

Extra calories consumed above what the body can promptly use are stored as fat, usually in the liver and abdomen, in the shape of fat cells, also known as adipocytes. These fat cells can grow in size or quantity to accommodate more fat or when additional fat is stored.

Another mechanism by which fat can be stored in the body is by consuming carbohydrates or sugars, which convert them into glucose, which gives energy or calories later. Excessive consumption of carbohydrates or sugars can convert excess glucose into fatty acids, which are transported to fat cells and stored as triglycerides, another form of fat.

A number of variables influence the formation of fat.

If utilized properly, body fat percentage may be a useful indicator of progress toward weight loss goals. If an adult follows a good diet and exercise regimen, they may expect to lose between 1% and 3% of their body fat percentage every month. This range, however, is not static and can shift with factors including age, gender, weight, and hormones.

Fat Expenditure Or Burning

When the body uses its fat reserves for energy, it is known as fat expenditure or fat burning, which occurs all day. It usually involves many steps, but losing Vs. burning fat is a bit different in their work. To lose overall body fat, you need to create a calorie deficiency.

But it has been much of the debate as if we can breathe out the fat we have in the body.

In a literal sense, it is impossible to do so, and getting rid of excess fat involves more than just breathing it out.

Unfortunately, we can’t just exhale our excess fat. When we reduce our body fat percentage, our fat cells get smaller, but the fat molecules themselves aren’t burned up during weight loss or exhaled.

Fat metabolism is a complex process, but respiration does play a role. Through a series of metabolic reactions, most of the fat we lose is converted into carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O). The body releases carbon dioxide through respiration, water through urination and perspiration. Carbon dioxide is exhaled as a byproduct of metabolism. However, this accounts for just a negligible fraction of the total weight loss.

This is one method in which fat metabolism’s byproducts are indirectly expelled from the body. Fat loss happens when a caloric deficit is created by changes in food and activity and the body’s metabolic systems aid in the breakdown and disposal of fat.

Researched Based Mehods of Fat Burning

The common misconception about fat loss is that it entails walking to and from work daily while subsisting on a diet of carrots and three lettuce leaves. The good news is that you don’t need any of those. Scientifically-proven methods for fat loss that are now mentioned here,

1- Creating an Energy Deficit: The Key to Fat Burning

Consuming fewer calories than your body requires will set off your fat-burning mechanisms. In other words, you must go through a calorie deficit so your body can depend upon its fat reserves for energy.

A balanced diet is abundant in nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole carbohydrates, which can help you achieve this nutritional shortcoming while guaranteeing you receive essential vitamins and minerals.

While lowering calories to a certain extent is unavoidable, doing so excessively might have the opposite effect. Reducing caloric intake by 500 to 700 calories per day has been demonstrated to be an optimum goal for long-term, effective fat loss. (1)(2)

2- Hydration.

If you want to burn fat efficiently, you must ensure you stay hydrated. Water helps the body process food, deliver nutrients, and flush out waste. If you’re trying to lose weight, drinking water before meals might help you feel full and prevent you from eating more than you need helping you to eat less overall.

Aim for a minimum of 8 glasses of water daily. Learn more about the benefits of water in our dedicated article here.

3- Re-Evaluate the Diet.

Ensure you’re getting enough of each macronutrient—carbs, proteins, and fats—in your diet to boost the body’s fat burning.

  • Get Your Hands on Protein. Even if you’re trying to lose weight, keeping up a healthy protein intake is essential for keeping your muscles intact and repairing any damage. Scientific studies have also shown that high-quality protein sources aid in fat-burning mechanisms as it is more thermogenic in nature than any other nutrient and requires more energy to digest, absorb, and metabolize.

Health professionals recommend consuming between 1.2 to 2.2 grams per kilogram of body weight to reduce fat while maintaining muscle mass.   Eggs, beans, shellfish, lean meats, and dairy are all good sources of protein that you should eat regularly.

  • Add Soluble Fibre To Your Diet. 

The soluble fiber helps you feel fuller for longer since it absorbs water on its way through your digestive system.

One research of 1,114 people conducted in 2012 indicated that those who increased their soluble fibre intake by 10 grams per day lost 3.7% of their belly fat over 5 years without making any other changes to their diet or exercise routine.

  • Cut the Sugar. 

Sodas, juices, and alcoholic beverages may taste great, but the harmful sugars they contain are detrimental to health and weight reduction. To reduce “empty” calories, try drinking water or green tea instead of these sugary drinks.

4- Exercise

Cardiovascular exercise, often known as aerobic exercise, includes activities like walking, running, dancing, and kickboxing. According to the available evidence, the optimal amount of exercise for burning visceral fat and achieving other fat-burning and metabolism-boosting goals is 20 to 40 minutes per day of moderate to intense cardio.

The health advantages of both cardio and weight training have been demonstrated to increase when combined.

Combining weight training with cardiovascular exercise for 20-60 minutes three or four times per week is efficient. Workouts can range from low to moderate effort for extended periods of time (consider walking or cycling) to high intensity for brief periods of time (consider sprints).

5- Fidgeting Can Help.

Logic dictates that even passive motion benefits the heart and should be considered exercise and can greatly increase fat burn, such as simply moving around a lot, bouncing a knee, or even any subtle movements. Then that is when fidgeting comes in, which is nothing to do with exercise and traditional forms of fat burning.

Several studies have shown that fidgeting all day can burn as many as 350 calories, or enough to drop 30–40 pounds in a year. This is 10 times more than you’d burn by sitting still the entire day.

It works due to smaller and continuous movements in the musculature being involved and thus increasing the amount of epinephrine. This increased level of epinephrine can stimulate the mobilization of fat, which is then oxidized at a higher rate.

6- Take a Cold Shower or Bath.

Many studies have proven that a cold environment of any type, either a shower, a cold bath, or just snowy weather, can cause a release of all molecules called succinate. This succinate molecule causes the thermogenesis of brown fat and increases the fat burning overall. (1) (2) Brown fat increase is done via more conversion of the beige fat into brown fat. How much cold exposure is necessary for it is discussed in detail in this article here.

Common Myths About Fat Burning

fat burning
Obesity problem. Overweight man medical consultation and diagnostics. Negative impact of obesity on humans health and internal organs. Vector isolated concept metaphor illustration

Burning fat requires a dedicated, regular fitness regimen and careful dietary planning. But a few myths circulating around the internet and magazines are totally misleading. Some of those fat-burning myths are listed below.

- Spot reduction 

It is a total misconception that one can aim for a spot reduction in fat loss. Multiple research has demonstrated that exercise (1) (2)(3)or any other method alone is insufficient for localized fat loss.

- Fad diets and supplements

Although some foods and supplements may have little effect on metabolism or fat oxidation, there is no such thing as a “magic bullet” when it comes to losing fat. Maintaining your weight loss over time requires a combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise.

– Starvation and crash diets

Another myth buster is that doing crash diets can help you lose weight. Skipping meals has been demonstrated to be harmful to metabolism, muscular mass, and general health in a number of studies(1)(2).  Again, It’s important to eat well-balanced meals on a regular basis to keep your body healthy and help you lose weight.

– Cheat Meal is Okay

The much-hyped “cheat meal” consists of foods you “aren’t supposed” to consume on a fat-burning journey.

Cheat meals have long been believed to aid in weight loss, but recent research indicates that they make us less likely to adhere to our diet and more likely to make unhelpful food choices. (1)(2)

– Cardio vs. strength training

Both physical exercise and strength training can help you lose fat. Strength training raises your resting metabolic rate and burns more calories over time, while cardio workouts only burn calories while you’re doing them.

– Fat is converted into muscles

Fat and muscle are distinct forms of tissue that cannot be converted directly into one another (1)(2).  That said, one can simultaneously reduce fat and increase muscle mass by engaging in strength training and adhering to a calorie-restricted diet. To learn more about how to build muscles, please refer to our article here.

Keep in mind that losing weight is a procedure, not a quick fix. Eating healthily, exercising often (especially high-intensity interval training [HIIT]), getting enough sleep, managing stress, and drinking enough water can all increase your body’s fat-burning potential. Although humans can’t literally exhale fat, the byproducts of fat metabolism, such carbon dioxide and water, are eliminated through breathing and other mechanisms.
If you want individualized advice and help with weight control and fat reduction, it is best to talk to a doctor or a qualified dietitian.

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Dr Aimen

Being a Doctor by profession, Aimen is passionate about helping people get better health in their lives. Aimen enjoys her research on Prime With Time subjects and strives to create better awareness of the problems and changes related to women's health.
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