The term fat burning or generally weight loss is trending for more than 50 years. Historically, people who used to have a high amount of adipose tissue were linked to high levels of food consumption and they were considered really wealthy. Today, in the period before beach-season you can almost hear about fat burning and weight loss in every corner of the globe. People are whispering about fat burning over a cup of coffee! But what actually means to burn fat? The things are getting really complicated when it comes to science. A chain of chemical reactions and different atoms are getting involved in order to burn fat.
Those infamous fat cells
The main function of fat cells is the storage of energy in the form of fat. This is something that everybody knows. However, these cells have and secondary roles. One of them is a mechanical protection of the bones, joints and internal organs. Another role is the thermal insulation of the body. Of course, somebody who follows a high-carb diet, in most cases, develops a lot of adipose tissue. The reason is the enormous amount of glucose in the blood which then triggers a lot of insulin secretion. Insulin then helps store all this excess energy in a form of fat cells. The fat cells do not have another choice but to expand and multiply.
Fat will be stored, not only around the muscles but in internal organs as well! The excess fat concentration actually leads to the dysfunction of the adipocytes or fat cells.
I think this is another nail in the coffin of the high-carb diet.
Let’s talk about the science of fat burning
A research that has been made in 2014 by University of New South Wales, Australia explains the two processes occur when the fat breaks down. The fat is stored in fat cells of the body in the form of triglycerides. They consist of three kinds of atoms: carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. When the body starts breaking down fat for energy, which means starts the fat utilisation and we inhale oxygen, a series of chemical reactions occur. The energy which has been released, as a result, has the production of carbon dioxide and water. The 1/5 of it is converted into water and 4/5 into carbon dioxide. Now, water can be excreted with urine, sweat, stools, tears and other body fluids. However, carbon dioxide is excreted with exhalation.
Insulin is the fat-loss enemy
Triglycerides which are in the liquid state will break down only when the enzyme Hormone Sensitive Lipase (HSL) release them. In order to trigger HSL, we must not trigger insulin! This is de facto and extremely important detail about fat-loss!
Let’s take intermittent fasting as an example
If you are on a ketogenic diet for a long time and you implemented intermittent fasting, you most certainly know all the benefits. One of these benefits is the fat-burning during the fast. What would be more convenient? At this point, I would like to tell you what else takes place in the body at the same time.
The absence of insulin during fasting allows the production not only of Hormone Sensitive Lipase but secretes another hormone which is called Human Growth Hormone (HGH). HGH will be triggered by fasting, intense exercise and really quality sleep. In fact, fat will break down when the HGH will combine with oxygen. In order to burn 10 kilograms of adipose tissue, you need to inhale 29 kilos of oxygen.
Can other hormones help?
Of course, other hormones like glucagon will participate in this process. Glucagon is secreted from the pancreas. Just like insulin. When there is no insulin secretion there is glucagon which raises the concentration of fatty acids and glucose in the bloodstream.
When it comes to training and general physical activity the fat which we are burning gets converted into 84% carbon dioxide and has been exhaled. The rest 16% is converted into water. Here comes the fasted training protocol and why it’s great when you are experiencing all the benefits from the fat adaptation while on the ketogenic diet!
6 tips for better and healthier fat burning
- Intermittent fasting! Have an 8-hour feeding window and fast for the rest of 16 hours including your healthy 8-hour sleep
- Choose Keto Mediterranean lifestyle – everything organic, domestic, homemade and prepared with passion
- Try fasted training – an extremely good boost in fat burning quest
- Never snack in between meals, the less insulin you trigger, the less fat you store
- Try having 2 meals with great nutritional density a day! Eat a healthy Keto dessert, but make sure it’s less than 4g net carbs per portion and immediately after your meal
- Sleep as long as you can. If you work very early in the morning, go to bed at least one hour earlier than usual