Tips to Help You Get Your Body Burning Fat
Unfortunately, much of the advice you will see online when researching how to get your body to burn fat is outdated or incorrect. The less-than-inspiring statistic that only 2% of the population successfully uses fat-burning principles to manage their weight is evidence enough that many people are working off flawed information. This article will discuss body fat-burning methods that work that you can start using today.
Main Fuel Sources for Energy
The body draws on two main fuel sources for energy: stored fat and stored sugar. Muscle protein is a third fuel source, but if your body is using your muscles as an energy source, it means you are very ill.
Your body stores sugar as glycogen in your liver and muscles, which it releases in between meals. It can also convert sugars into fats, which is a mechanism your body uses to ensure energy is available for leaner times. Fortunately, most Americans don't have to worry about food shortages, but it’s also part of the reason many of us are too heavy.
The body can also use stored fat as an energy source under certain circumstances. Which one it will use will depend on what you are doing and eating. As you will soon learn, eating a certain way can trigger the release of hormones that tell the body to burn fat for energy rather than sugar.
The enzymes responsible for fat burning are referred to as lipases. These hormones break the fat down into ketones, the byproducts of fat metabolism that the body can use very efficiently for energy. Fat is a much cleaner fuel source than sugar and can even keep the brain powered up.
The majority of Americans are only burning sugar for energy. We consume much more than we need, so a lot of it is converted into fat. The body will use the most readily available fuel source for energy first. As sugar is always available and the excess is converted to fat, the weight just keeps piling on.
Many fad diets on the market today will result in weight loss, but it's usually a temporary result due to water loss. Eventually, weight loss plateaus because fat remains while carbohydrates are consumed in abundance. Here's what you can do to turn your body into a fat-burning machine.
Lower Your Insulin
The biggest factor determining whether you are burning fat or sugar is your insulin level. Even a small volume of insulin can block your body from burning fat.
A lot of nutrition advice will tell you everything is fine in moderation, but this doesn't work when you are trying to encourage fat loss. You need to have zero insulin before the body will resort to using ketones for energy.
Ketosis is the state the body needs to be in to replace sugar with fats as its primary energy source. You've likely heard about the keto diet, which is designed to trigger this condition.
It's easy to get the body into sugar-burning mode because all you need to do is eat some carbs. However, getting into ketosis is more challenging as it doesn't happen overnight. Ketosis can take days, weeks, or a month or more before your body achieves full fat-burning mode.
This is because your body is used to using sugar for energy, so there may be some lingering resistance, a condition known as "keto adaptation."
The point is, you can't be sure exactly when your body will enter ketosis. You must stick with it because you won't see results for a few weeks, but you will be better for it when it does.
How Saunas Help Ketosis
Saunas and ketosis seem like an unlikely combination, but some studies indicate sauna use can help with fat loss, especially when you factor in ketosis. This study in 2003 showed that men and women lost 4 and 3 pounds, respectively, when using a sauna for 20 minutes over three sauna sessions in a day. The weight loss remained ever after the participants rehydrated.
A 1986 study explored more potential benefits of saunas by getting participants to use a sauna twice a day for seven days. Heart rates increased by 31-36 beats per minute. Compare that to walking, which only increases pulse rates by 13–26 beats a minute. The same study also revealed a metabolic increase of 25–33%.
As you can see, saunas provide additional benefits for increasing fat burning. The great thing is you can use portable saunas at home, so you don't need to head to the gym to take advantage of them.
Saunas for the home are available in a couple of different formats. Steam saunas use a steam generator to heat the interior of a small personal-sized sauna. Sauna blankets are excellent for those who prefer dry heat using far-infrared lamps.
Foods That Burn Fat
The food you eat is critical to triggering ketosis, and the number one food group to cut down on is carbohydrates.
You will need to keep your carbs within 5–10% of your total calorie intake to trigger ketosis. Plus, the carbohydrates you consume should come from vegetables. Even though most vegetables contain small amounts of carbohydrates, they deliver a lot of nutrition you can't get from protein or fat.
Protein should make up 25% of your calorie intake, and 65-80% should come from fats. Most people learning about ketosis start to get concerned at this point because we are told we should be avoiding fats. However, fats from wholesome food that isn't deep fried are good for you.
Each meal should have about six ounces of protein. Protein-rich foods will also supply you with a lot of fat, so you want to minimize the amount of lean protein you eat.
Don't worry too much about how much cholesterol you will be consuming. The body naturally makes a lot of cholesterol every day (about 40 eggs' worth), so if you get a lot of cholesterol in your diet, it will adapt by making less.
When you follow the above formula for a few days or weeks, your body will enter ketosis and start burning fat. It may be an adjustment, but the weight loss will be worth it. Don't forget to add exercise and regular sauna sessions every week to ramp up your metabolism for even more fat-burning potential.