This is an article originally written by Alwyn Cosgrove. I wanted to post it as today's blog since it gives good information on how to lose fat. You'll see that many of the points he makes go along with previous blogs I've written about effective ways to lose fat through a proper diet (lower carb) and exercise (higher intensity).
How do we actually lose fat? What do we mean by fat "burning?" Here's a very simple explanation of what actually goes on to create a fat-loss effect.
The key concept that trainers and physiologists have shoved down our throat for years is that it's all about calories in vs. calories out. This is true – for weight loss – but it's not the whole truth for fat loss. There are a number of protective mechanisms that the body has in place – called rate-limiting steps – to prevent fat from being lost or burned.
On a very basic level, Fat "burning" is essentially a two-step process.
The first step is mobilization.
How do we actually get fat out of the fat cells so that we can subsequently use it as a fuel source? Fat mobilization is governed essentially by levels of a hormone known as hormone-sensitive lipase or HSL (you can forget the name as there won't be a test). It's an oversimplification but basically the higher the HSL levels, the higher the fat mobilization.
How do we get higher HSL? Increase catecholamine levels (specifically adrenaline). How do we do that? Exercise. Particularly, high-intensity exercise.
But HSL is also limited by insulin.
High insulin levels = Low HSL levels = Low fat mobilization.
A great strategy for part one is low insulin levels (from diet and training), plus high catecholamines (through intense training).
Part two of the process is transport and oxidation.
If HSL levels are high, fat cells break down into free fatty acids (FFA) which circulate in the blood and eventually end up in a muscle (which needs energy) where they can be burned off in the mitochondria (this is the "powerhouse" of the cell that your high school biology teacher kept going on about).
But there's another rate-limiting step here: Transporting the FFA into the mitochondria where it can be burned off. That transport is controlled by carnitine levels.
If carnitine levels are high, fat transport is high. Think of carnitine like passport control officials.
If you get off a plane with 500 other passengers and there is one official at passport control, it'll take a long time to get through. If there are 500 officials, then you go through quickly and can leave the airport (leaving the airport is the equivalent of fat being burned off). The more officials (carnitine), the easier the process.
How do we ramp up carnitine levels? Well, again, we have a rate-limiting step. If muscle glycogen is high, then carnitine levels are low.
If we reduce muscle glycogen through metabolic work, we have the optimal fat-oxidation state. Therefore, high-intensity glycogen depleting exercise is the tool of choice here.
High levels of fat mobilization + High levels of fat oxidation = Accelerated fat loss.
If you figure out how to integrate all those steps, and circumvent each rate-limiting step, you’ll find that fat loss is simple.
So how do you put all of those steps into effect so that fat loss becomes simple? One way is to follow a proper training and nutrition program like Warp Speed Fat Loss.
About the Author/More Info
Warp Speed Fat Loss is a complete 28-day diet and training system crafted to help you lose 10, 15 or 20lbs of body fat in just 28 days. To start losing weight fast visit Warp Speed Fat Loss.
Alwyn Cosgrove, M.S., C.S.C.S., is a nationally-renown fat loss expert whose work has appeared in magazines such as Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Muscle & Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Men's Journal, Self, Oxygen, Muscle & Fitness HERS and Testosterone Nation. His Warp Speed Fat Loss system is a complete Done-for-You A-Z Fat Loss Blueprint that gives you exactly everything you need to eat and exactly what to do for exercise to lose weight in record time.