Ten Steps To Greater Fat Burning For A Hot Physique
Do you want to lose fat and keep it off without starving yourself and spending endless hours exercising? Would you like to sleep better and have steady, crystal clear brain function? How about banishing food cravings forever?
The key to achieving all of these is to make your body metabolically flexible so that you can easily burn body fat. You might think that everyone can readily burn body fat, but this is not so. Anyone who eats a high-carb diet will be fairly metabolically inflexible. Here’s how it works:
There are two fuel sources in the body—fat and carbs. Fat is a very important source of fuel because it is long lasting, allowing for steady cognition and a calm, even mood.
When you eat a high-carb diet, you raise the hormone insulin. Insulin is like a fuel selector switch. Anytime it is elevated, you burn glucose for energy, which is the form of carbs in the blood stream. When insulin is low, your body burns more fat.
One of the problems with living off a high-carb diet is that it creates an imbalance in the kinds of fuel that you’re ingesting and therefore burning. It never gives the body a chance to switch over and burn fat stores.
How do you know if you’re a good fat burner?
Are you able to sleep through the night without waking up frequently?
Can you go from meal to meal without getting cranky, feeling low energy, or experiencing food cravings?
If you say no to either of these, chances are you need to improve your fat burning abilities. What follows are some of the best tricks for getting metabolically flexible and becoming a good fat burner.
1: Go High-Fat, Low-Carb
By limiting carbohydrates in your diet in favor of fat and protein, you can force your body to burn fat for energy. In one study, in as little as 3 days, lean subjects were able to increase fat burning by about 27 percent from a high-fat diet that was 70 percent fat, 15 percent protein, and 15 percent carbs.
Obese subjects who ate the same diet were termed “metabolically inflexible” because fat burning didn’t increase in response to the high-fat diet. Researchers think that over the longer term, obese people would respond to the shift in macronutrients by increasing fat oxidation rates, but the process is “uncomfortable” because energy levels are compromised.
Exercise is a catalyst to increase fat burning in overweight or sedentary individuals. In the study mentioned in #1, when the obese subjects did 10 days of aerobic exercise (1 hour a day at 70 percent of maximal), fat burning increased a significant amount, making them more metabolically flexible.
3: Do High-Intensity Training—Sprints or Weights.
High-intensity intermittent training such as sprints or weight lifting increases levels of enzymes necessary for fat burning, enhancing metabolic flexibility. In one study, doing four 30-second sprints on a cycle ergometer increased fat burning by 75 percent. A second study found that a 32-minute high-intensity weight-training workout resulted in a significant increase in the use of fat for fuel after the workout.
4: Choose a time-restricted eating model.
Eating only within an 8- to 12-hour window daily can improve fat burning and lead to reductions in body fat. This method requires the body to burn fat outside of the “eating window” when you are fasting.
Additionally, avoid eating frequent small meals containing carbs because this will keep the body out of fat burning mode. If you do prefer a high meal frequency, opt for high-protein, high-fat meals during the day.
5: Use Coconut Oil & MCTs
Being a good fat burner allows you to sleep deeply through the night. But if you are metabolically inflexible, it’s common to wake up frequently due to blood sugar fluctuations. The medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil are a great tool that can help because they bypass the cholesterol cycle and are metabolized directly by the liver, providing an alternative source of energy to glucose. They also kick the body into fat burning mode, making it easier to get a good, restful night’s sleep.
6: Eat Probiotic Foods
Increasing fat burning is just one of the amazing benefits of the healthy bacteria found in probiotic foods (yogurt, cultured dairy, sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables, and kefir). These beneficial bugs live in the gut, helping to stabilize insulin levels and improve blood sugar tolerance—both key for allowing the body to avoid storing fat.
Additionally, certain strains of probiotics can increase genetic activity involved in fat burning. Probiotics increase levels of fat burning enzymes, while upregulating overall metabolic rate so that you burn more energy daily.
7: Drink Water With Lemon
One study showed that when subjects drank 500 ml of water (about 16 ounces), thermogenesis increased by 24 percent. Thermogenesis is a measure of heat production by the body and as it increases, so does the amount of calories you burn.
Water also improves digestion by increasing stomach acid, which can benefit insulin health and cellular hydration. Adding lemon to your water can further boost metabolic rate, and the antioxidants in lemon will improve insulin sensitivity so that the less insulin is needed for the body to manage the same glucose load.
8: Cook With Turmeric & Black Pepper
Turmeric is an Indian spice that contains the active compound curcumin, which improves enzyme activity involved in fat burning. It also supports the death of fat cells, even when on a high-fat diet.
A simple trick to improve the absorption of turmeric is to combine it with black pepper—a wonderful fat burning spice in its own right—by stimulating both central nervous function and fat burning hormone activity. Combining 1 part black pepper with 16 parts turmeric can more than triple the absorption of turmeric.
9: Eat Fibrous Plants At Every Meal.
If you want to help the body burn fat, you’ve got to improve elimination by helping to get waste products out of the body. Besides staying hydrated with plenty of water, a high indigestible fiber intake from veggies, fruits, seeds, nuts, and beans is recommended.
Consider that our hunter-gatherer ancestors typically got 100 grams of fiber a day, whereas we’re lucky to get 20 grams (the average American gets 16 grams a day mostly from processed food sources). A surefire way to increase your indigestible fiber is to eat plants, preferably green leafy veggies, at every meal. A side benefit of this approach is better insulin sensitivity for more overall fat burning.
10: Cook With Beets & Ginger
A healthy and happy liver is a key component of metabolic flexibility. One reason is bile. You’ve probably heard of bile, but don’t know much about it.
In fact, bile plays an essential role in fat burning for a number of reasons:
It improves liver function and enables digestion of fats, carbs, and proteins.
It lowers blood sugar and improves insulin sensitivity.
It improves elimination, particularly of toxins such as heavy metals and foreign chemicals.
Unfortunately, a lot of us are lacking in bile secretion due to our sad Western diets and reliance on sugar burning. Therefore, it’s important to give your liver some love if you want to improve bile flow.
First, you need to avoid artificial foods and chemicals from pesticides, plastics and the like. Second, try adding foods that “build” bile to your diet. Beets, ginger, and certain legumes such as lentils and chickpeas are good for the liver and will improve bile flow.
Final Words: With all these great tools to improve fat burning, you might wonder where to start. The three most powerful tools you have for increasing metabolic flexibility are 1) Exercise, 2) Modifying your carb intake, and 3) Time restricted eating.