Fat burning is the process by which calories from dietary fat are burned to provide energy for your body. Fat burning is the result of both exercise and diet, and you can help burn more fat by eating fewer calories. Fats contain more calories per gram than carbohydrates or proteins, but when eaten in excess can lead to weight gain and obesity.
There are a number of different ways to burn fat, but the best way is by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Consuming a variety of protein, fats and carbohydrates helps keep the metabolism balanced and prevents fat storage. Aim for lean meats, fish, poultry and low-fat dairy products. Avoid foods containing trans fats and processed sugar, and limit intake of saturated fats.
It is also important to drink plenty of water and take a good quality multi-vitamin supplement during the day. This will help the body flush away toxins and burn more calories. It is also a good idea to avoid stimulant-based fat burner supplements as they can be counterproductive and make you feel jittery and anxious.
When you exercise, the amount of energy that your muscles use is a function of the intensity of the workout and its duration. Your heart rate increases during workouts and as a result the oxygen supply to your body’s cells is increased. Oxygen is required to oxidise glycogen (a carbohydrate) and fat to fuel the muscles.
Your body’s natural storage for fuel is in the form of triglycerides stored in the adipose tissue, with men generally storing more visceral fat around their internal organs and women storing more subcutaneous fat on their buttocks and thighs. These fat stores act as a buffer against starvation and can be released to provide the body with energy during times when food is scarce.
The adipose tissue is now understood to be an active endocrine organ that secretes a range of hormones including leptin, adiponectin and ghrelin which influence appetite, satiety and metabolism. In addition, adipocytes have been shown to release cytokines such as TNF-a and IL-6 which are involved in sending signals between the body’s cells (Coelho et al 2013).
When you consume too many calories, your body will store them in the form of fat. Historically, this was beneficial as it provided extra energy when food was scarce or when predators were chasing us. However, if the calories are not used, they will be converted back into fat and can become a health hazard (Jeukendrup et al, 2016). The key to breaking this cycle is controlling carbohydrates and making sure the body’s fat stores are being utilised. Fettförbränning