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This is Part 2 of a 3-part series on how to lose weight fast:
Part 1 – Discover The Weight Loss Secret
Part 2 – [You Are Here] What Everybody Ought to Know About How to Lose Weight Fast
Part 3 – Coming Soon
Have you ever wondered what is meant by burning fat?
Seriously, take a second and think about it.
My goal for this article is to leave you with a simplified version of how this process works.
Before reading any further: if you haven’t already, read part one of this series now; it will make this a bit easier to digest.
Also, it wouldn’t hurt to check out our Definitive Guide for How to Lose Weight article while you’re at it.
We ended off Part 1 of this series with this basic summary:
In order to lose weight fast you need to…
- Burn as many calories as possible by raising your Resting Metabolic Rate
- Burn more calories through the Thermic Effect of Food (increasing meal frequency and protein intake)
- Burn even more calories with a well-thought-out resistance-training program (or trust Fitness Professionals like us to do that for you)
If you follow those steps you should essentially start to lose weight fast.
Now if it were that simple you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog post.
So let’s take a deep dive and investigate what actually happens when we are burning fat.
Burning Fat is a 3 step process.
STEP 1 – Mobilization
Fat exists in fat cells. (I know, rocket science.)
In order to lose fat fast, we need to get the fat out of the cell and into muscle where it can be burned off as energy (oxidation).
How can we accomplish this?
First of all – you’ll need to be in a caloric deficit (burning more energy than you are taking in).
Your body needs to recognize that there is a shortage of fuel and will then respond by drawing on some of its energy stores.
The body has 3 energy stores:
- Carbohydrate: glycogen levels
- Protein: lean muscle
Assuming you want to lose weight fast your basic strategy will be to keep the bodies’ glycogen levels low (from diet and intense exercise) so that the body can’t draw from there.
To protect your lean muscle you’ll want to stick to an intense resistance-training program geared towards building muscle. This type of resistance exercise will quickly deplete muscle glycogen leaving your body no choice but to draw from fat.
with a reduced carbohydrate diet…
…and a solid weight-training program,
when under the conditions of a caloric deficit…
…we will shift the body towards using fat from its energy stores.
Still with me?
Remember the body only has 3 energy stores:
Carbohydrate: glycogen levelsa carb reduced diet keeps glycogen levels low Protein: lean muscleSmart weight-training and eating enough protein will help maintain while under caloric deficit
- Fat – Guess who’s left to be used as energy!
So how do we get the fat out of those fat cells so that we can actually use it as a fuel source?
Mobilizing fat requires that we first break down the chemical compound within the fat cell so that it can enter the bloodstream.
When blood sugar is low a hormone called glucagon signals the fat cells to activate hormone sensitive lipase (HSL) to break down fat cells and to transport them to the muscle and liver where they can be burned.
This breakdown is limited by levels of hormone sensitive lipase (HSL)
If HSL levels are low – then fat mobilization slows down.
If we ramp up HSL we get more fat mobilization.
So obviously a good goal is to increase or ramp up HSL levels…
…so how do we do that?
By increasing catecholamine levels in the blood (obviously)
So the next obvious question is how do we do that?
The higher the intensity the better.
Exercise intensity is directly related to increased catecholamine release.
High Intensity Exercise will elevate catecholamine levels which will elevate HSL levels and therefore mobilize fat.
But of course there are other bottlenecks that stand in the way.
One of them is your insulin levels. The body secretes insulin to remove glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream.
HSL levels can also be limited by high insulin levels.
Fat mobilization is limited by HSL levels, which is activated by catecholamine and limited by insulin.
(Stay with me it gets better)
So the basic strategy for mobilizing fat is to keep insulin levels low, and keep catecholamine high.
We can lower insulin through diet by keeping blood sugar under control – particularly by following a reduced carb diet – and through exercise.
Exercise also just happens to elevate catecholamine levels.
Step 2 and 3 – Transport and Oxidation
If HSL is high, fat cells then break down and are transported into our bloodstream and then to our muscle where they can be used.
The transport of fat into muscle where it is used is controlled by carnitine levels.
This means the higher the carnitine levels the higher the rate of fat transport.
Increasing carnitine levels will increase how quickly fat is transported into muscle to be used.
With more carnitine we can shuttle more fat into muscle to be burned away.
So how do we ramp up carnitine levels?
Well – once again we run into another bottleneck – muscle glycogen levels.
So in order to have optimal fat oxidation (fat burn) – we need to deplete muscle glycogen through metabolic work (resistance training or interval training) and dieting (a reduced carbohydrate diet will reduce glycogen levels)
So when we put this all together we have this equation:
High Levels of Fat Mobilization + High Levels of Fat Oxidation = How to Lose Weight Fast!
Food for Thought: Hydration Levels
As a side note – there are waste products released during all these reactions that are filtered and excreted by the kidneys.
But the kidneys need water to do their job effectively.
If you are well-hydrated most of your body’s waste products can be eliminated through the kidneys.
When you are under-hydrated, much of the burden is assumed by the liver.
One of the liver’s main functions is the processing of stored body fat for use as energy.
If your kidney is backed up, the liver helps out (the liver will choose waste management for survival over fat mobilization) so while the liver is helping out it obviously will be a lot less efficient at mobilizing fat.
Proper Hydration is a key step for fat loss.
Don’t know how much water to drink?
[tweetthis]Divide your body weight by 2 to figure out how many ounces of water you need daily[/tweetthis]
When you develop a strategy to integrate all those steps and circumvent all the bottlenecks it is actually a pretty simple process.
Simple doesn’t mean easy though…
And as you can see – we can potentially lose weight fast with the one-two punch combination of reduced carbohydrate intake and intense exercise.
So what is the most effective strategy if you want to lose weight fast?
- Correct Nutrition
- See Number 1
- Activities that burn calories, maintain/promote muscle mass and elevate metabolism
- Activities that burn calories and elevate metabolism
- Activities that burn calories but don’t necessarily maintain muscle or elevate metabolism
In the last part of the series we’ll talk more specifically about exercise and what role it plays in this process.
We really want to help you hit your goals this year so if you have any questions post them below and we’ll be sure to get to them.