Accessing fat stores is key to having a leaner, trimmer you!
Most of us are aware that fat mobilization is the process in which we get our bodies to use fat for energy. Fat must be oxidized and enter the blood stream to be utilized by the body for energy. Since our bodies are fat storing machines by nature, expediting this process takes a little manipulation. However, the process is simple. First, I’d like to explain fat mobilization so everyone understands WHAT we are talking about:
The Skinny on FAT MOBILIZATION
Carbohydrates are one of the *macronutrients we eat as part of our daily food intake. These are the foods labeled as ‘energy’ foods. Quite often these are referred to as ‘carbs’. Carbs are utilized primarily by tissues such as: the brain, red blood cells, and active skeletal muscles. After a few hours of not eating (a.k.a. fasting) the body’s *glycogen stores are depleted. Next in line as energy source are the fatty acids stored in the body. These ”fatty acids” are essential in a diet and are stored as *triglycerides. The body will call on those fatty acids as energy when in a fasting state. These triglycerides and fatty acids are stored in the *adipose tissue. When called upon, the endocrine system (which is in control of releasing the hormones that act as messengers in our bodies) releases hormones directly into our bloodstream that assist in mobilizing the released fat into the bloodstream.
Now that we understand WHAT it is to access fat, Id like to share some of the secrets that I have found to be exceptionally useful to accessing my fat stores. Before reading my ‘secrets list’ I want to make sure everyone is aware that fat will never turn to muscle. This is a common misconception and I hear trainers and exercise enthusiasts use that phrase all the time! Another nugget of information for you to understand is that fat is lost from 2 areas. The first fat to go is the ‘visceral’ fat. This is the fat stored in your muscle (similar to a marbled steak you see at the grocery store). The second to go is the ‘subcutaneous’ fat. This is the layer of fat that is just under your skin. Take into account that each of these ‘secrets’ are useful for me, I am an athlete, they may not work for everyone.
Blythe’s TOP 6 TIPS
- Low sugar diet (this includes cutting out the refined carbohydrates, not just table sugar)
- Cardiovascular exercise done on an empty stomach or at least 3-4 hours after fasting. I suggest first thing in the morning
- Ensuring you get enough of the ESSENTIAL fatty acids in your diet
- Caffeine prior to exercise (approx two 8oz. cups of coffee)
- Eating frequently (using a higher protein diet)
- L-Carnitine, L-Glutamine taken in conjuction with creatine (this is not suggested for everyone)
These are my 6 TOP TIPS. As we commonly say, you MUST become an expert in fat loss to successfully lose the fat. So, for those of you who want to take that to heart and learn more I will give more details in the remainder of this blog post.
- Low sugar diet – this takes a little learning and effort on your part. You must read labels and become an expert on what a refined carbohydrate is. A good rule of thumb is if it is in mother-nature’s package, it’s safe to eat! Anything processed is REFINED. The LESS processed, the better the choice of food it is for you. Keep in mind, fruits can be high in sugar, make sure you balance your macronutrients!
- Cardiovascular Exercise – I recommend using the Karvonen heart rate calculator to find out what your personal heart rate target should be. Use this as a goal to reach each time you do cardio. If you are doing cardio as soon as you wake up, you must make sure you don’t go any longer than 40 minutes and since your glycogen levels are depleted your body is more apt to reach to fat stores for energy during this time.
- Essential Fatty Acids – it is imperative for your body to ingest healthy fats. Without getting any fat, your body will not let go of fat. Omega-3 fatty acids are most beneficial for fat loss, you can get these from fish and many nuts. Omega-9 fats can also help with fat loss, these fats come from olive oil, avocados and many nuts.
- Caffeine – 2 cups of coffee with no additives is superior to any other forms of caffeine since its absorbed directly into your blood stream. Otherwise, there are caffeine capsules available for purchase. I would not recommend caffeine for anyone who isn’t already using it. There are side effects to using caffeine, please be careful.
- Eating frequently – research has shown that confusing your body with food intake keeps it guessing. Don’t ever let your body get to the point of starvation. At this stage its too late and whatever you ingest will be stored ‘just in case’. You don’t want your body to wonder if it’s going to get food. Eat frequent small meals. Every 3-4 hours is what is recommended most often. Higher protein diets support muscle maintenance and muscle growth, this also helps reduce body fat!
- L-Glutamine,L-Carnitine and creatine – L-glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body and is responsible for improving muscle regeneration and growth hormone secretion. L-carnitine is an amino acid-like compound that is essential for carrying fat into the cell where it can be burned for energy. Creatine is helpful in the production of energy during burst exercises such as sprinting and weight lifting.
Some of you have read this and are wondering why there isn’t a fat burner or a branded product said to burn fat. All of these (as is caffeine) are central nervous stimulants. Caffeine is also a stimulant, but most people have some form of caffeine throughout the day, thus it is a widely used stimulant and not anything NEW to add to your diet.
Something to remember:
None of these tips will show noticeable results after the first time of trying it. Like anything diet/exercise related, you must allow adequate time to see results. With any diet or exercise change, you must allow 4 weeks of effort toward your new program.
You may try one or all of these tips together and GET MOTIVATED!
*Macronutrients: Carbohydrates/protein/fats. All of which are essential to maintain balance in the body.
*Glycogen Stores: Storage form of carbohydrates. Glycogen is stored in our lean muscle and liver for later use.
*Adipose Tissue: the fatty tissue found predominately around your abdomen and around your vital organs to protect them.
*Triglycerides are the chemical form in which most fat exists in food as well as in the body.