The Hidden Fat That Helps Wipe Out Your Belly Fat
Despite the bad press fat has received, there is a glimmer of hope for fat after all. You carry within you a very special kind of fat referred to as Brown Fat. We have two types of fat: the vilified white fat that we can see and the not-so-known hidden brown fat. Most of us are very familiar with white fat but not as acquainted with brown fat. This is because up until recently, researchers thought that adults (as opposed to babies), had no brown fat. How things have changed.
Lean people have more brown fat than overweight or obese individuals. In obese people, brown fat is either inactive or is completely gone. In fact, excess white fat tamps down on the effect of brown fat. Brown fat is said to produce around 300 times more heat than any other organ in the body.
What is the difference between white fat and brown fat?
- White fat is created as a result of storing excess calories as an energy store for future ‘lean times.” and we can plainly see where it is stored for future use and it is also a protective factor for our vital organs.
- Brown fat generates heat to keep us warm by burning calories. In fact, babies have an enormous amount of brown fat and do not shiver when cold because of this. Brown fat actually burns white fat. We adults do have the ever elusive brown fat and it is mostly located in our neck and upper shoulders, even if in teaspoonfuls.
Recent research has now shown that those with higher levels of brown fat in their bodies have better blood sugar control, higher insulin sensitivity and a higher metabolism which means more fat is burned. Just 50 grams of brown fat is thought to have the ability to boost a person’s metabolism by an extraordinary 20%.
In fact, Labros Sidossis, professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine stated: “…Brown adipose tissue may function as an anti-obesity and anti-diabetic tissue in humans.” This is big news for many who are overweight or obese as diabetes and weight gain are typically joined at the hip.
So how do we increase this type of fat?
Simply sleeping in a cool room, white fat cells can be converted to brown by means of exposure to mild cold. Shivering is another opportunity to increase your brown fat stores. Being cold is one key factor in creating more brown fat. To activate your brown fat: turn the heating off in your car, the office and at home. Years ago, homes were not centrally heated. An increase of brown fat occurs in winter months if consistently exposed to cold.
Moving your body is key to every aspect of your life – throughout your life. However, there are pluses and one is that it may boost our brown fat (as well as having multiple other benefits). The hormone Irisin is secreted during exercise to help the conversion of white fat to brown fat. So remember, it is not about the amount of calories burned, it’s about what happens after you exercise! If you increase your brown fat…then you automatically increase your metabolism 24/7.
What not to do?
Stop eating junky, processed foods laden with sugar and other refined carbs and unhealthy fats. Think donuts, candy, chips, drive-thru etc. The more we eat junk foods, the more weight we gain. As mentioned, those who are very overweight typically no longer have brown fat stores or they are not activated and thus it becomes a vicious cycle of weight gain unless stopped. If you want to increase your fat-burning brown fat, jump in the cold lake, take the cold shower, sleep with your window open when its chilly, exercise consistently and most importantly, stop eating unhealthy foods..sounds like a prescription for a lean and healthy you.
To Your Good Health,
© 2014 DLS HealthWorks, LLC.
Lori Shemek, PhD, CNC, Health and Weight Loss expert is the best-selling author of ‘Fire-Up Your Fat Burn!