What Happens Inside Your Body When You Burn Fat
Check out my client Tom’s transformation where he lost a whole bunch of fat
Your body is a complex biological machine that has to go through a series of steps and changes in order to be able to burn fat.
This in-depth process revolves around certain hormones, enzymes, and signaling pathways that all need to be working properly to efficiently burn fat
And unfortunately the more fat you have the more likely it is that your hormones will be working against you making fat loss significantly harder.
So by understanding how fat loss works, it can help you identify where things might be going wrong or what areas you can improve, which will help make the whole process easier.
That’s why today I want to go over the 4 main steps that your body has to go through in order to actually burn fat.
1.So step number one is of course to have your body receive the signal that it needs to burn stored fat for fuel, to begin with.
And the first thing you need to understand is that your body burns fat all day long. but, burning fat is not the same thing as actually losing fat.
Losing fat depends on the total balance between the amount of fat that your burning and store over time.
and storing fat is something that your body does all the time as well, even while you’re in a calorie deficit your body will switch back and forth between storing fat and burning fat.
so to actually lose fat you have to keep fat oxidation or fat burning at a higher rate than fat storage.
To stimulate this kind of a negative energy balance to kickstart fat loss you have to be in a calorie deficit. There are a few exceptions;
For example, if you’re high out of shape or you use steroids, you may be able to lose fat while eating at calorie maintenance or even in a slight surplus.
However, in almost all regular situations, you’ll have to be in a calorie deficit to start the process.
this is because your body fat functions as an energy reserve or backup. which means whenever the calories from food are sufficient to meet the energy needs of the body,
there’s no need to tap into that backup energy supply that we all know as body fat. On the other hand,
if you’re in a calorie deficit, the energy from food alone isn’t enough to fuel all bodily processes and activities which means the energy needs to come from somewhere else.
Since body fat is highly energy-dense with one pound of fat providing anywhere between 3,436 …………. to 3,752 …. calories worth of energy, burning off stored body fat is an excellent way to meet those energy demands.
Now it’s important to note that it doesn’t really matter how you get into that calorie deficit.
For example, research shows that it doesn’t matter if you reduce your calories by working out a lot or by eating less. Given the same energy balance,
Weight and fat loss results are the same. (1) It also doesn’t matter for fat loss whether you reduce your calories by reducing fat intake or your carb intake. (3)
but the bottom line is that creating a negative energy balance is the very first step.
2.The second step revolves around the transmission of signals
And this is where people that have a lot of excess body fat and people with health conditions like insulin resistance start experiencing disadvantages.
so at this point, we have the trigger for the whole process which is the calorie deficit and that deficit causes a reduction in blood sugar,
which leads to a reduction in insulin and a reduction in asp or acylation stimulating protein.in relation to fat loss, you need to know that Both insulin and ASP act as brakes on the fat-burning process.
This is because they inhibit various enzymes that break down body fat, such as hormone-sensitive lipase or (HSL)…. and lipoprotein lipase or LPL…… On the other hand,
When insulin and ASP are low, you’ll have more favorable HSL and LPL levels….. which benefits fat loss. Being in a calorie deficit also alters various other hormones that influence fat loss.
The main ones are glucagon and adrenaline. Glucagon binds to receptors called G proteins while adrenaline binds to β-adrenergic receptors.
That, in turn, activates lipolysis, which is the third step in the process of breaking down fat.
Now keep in mind that there are various other hormones that can also be affected by exercising or reducing your calorie intake.
An example is the human growth hormone, which rises in response to both exercise and reducing calories.
But once again the most important hormones for the actual conversion of body fat into usable energy are glucagon and adrenaline.
3.So we’re now at step 3 which like I mentioned is lipolysis and it’s important that you understand that even after entering this stage it does not cause you to lose fat cells.
Fat cells will stay right where they originally were because once they’re created, your body can not get rid of them, as shown by multiple studies.(4)
Instead, lipolysis will allow you to begin emptying those fat cells. so in this phase, your body is literally releasing the triglycerides that are found inside your fat cells.
Once the triglycerides are released out of the fat cells, an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPS) breaks them down into four molecules:
one part glycerol and three parts fatty acids. (5) those fatty acids are then released into the bloodstream and transported to the tissues where the extra energy is needed.
This transportation is fulfilled by a protein called albumin. The remaining glycerol molecule, on the other hand, can be used to form new triglycerides.
Or, it can be burned off for energy through the metabolic pathway known as glycolysis, which is essentially the burning of glucose or carbohydrates.
Now When it comes to your body using the energy from the broken down fatty acids, most of the tissues and cells in your body can oxidize fatty acids to be used for energy.
However, Two exceptions are red blood cells and the brain, which both rely on glucose. The reason red blood cells can’t burn fat is that “they contain neither mitochondria,
which is the energy center of a cell where the actual fat oxidation or fat burning occurs, and red blood cells also do not contain metabolic enzymes which are also necessary to use fat for energy.”(6)
Brain cells, on the other hand, do have mitochondria but still can’t burn fatty acids…. to this day Scientists still find this very odd, but many believe that it could be because fatty acids can’t cross the blood-brain barrier. (7) however with That said, when carbohydrates in the body get depleted really low,
For example in cases like starvation or severe carb restriction, the liver can actually transform fatty acids into ketones,which can then pass this blood-brain barrier and get burnt off for energy by the mitochondria within the brain cells.
So all this means is that your brain will only burn fat for energy if it doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to use for energy.
other than the brain and red blood cells most human body tissue and cells are able to use fat for energy, and this is actually the last phase of the fat loss process known as fat oxidation.
so up to this point, the triglycerides have already been released from the fat cells, they’ve been transformed into fatty acids,
They’ve been taken to the target tissues and cells that need the energy, and they’ve been transported there by the albumin protein.
now Once those fatty acids enter the cell, an enzyme called Coenzyme A converts the fatty acid into acyl-CoA……(8).
4.From there, the next step is for acyl-CoA to enter the mitochondria, which again is the energy center of a cell where it can be burnt off. (9)
Now The acyl-CoA is only able to enter the mitochondria through something known as the carnitine shuttle.
this process requires an amino acid called carnitine, which your body can make on its own by using other essential amino acids.
Since carnitine is important for acyl-CoA to be able to be transported into the mitochondria,
supplement marketers often claim that supplementing with l-carnitine will help aid fat loss.
Research, however, shows that is not the case. (10) The only exception would be if you’re vegan and you’re not consuming enough essential amino acids.
Then, your body may not be able to produce enough L-carnitine on its own, (11)
but usually, that’s not the case. so at this point inside the mitochondria, the fat oxidation process is completed through different metabolic pathways such as the electron transport chain and the citric cycle which is also known as the Krebs cycle.
Ultimately as a result of those processes, carbon dioxide, and water get created as byproducts.
Your body will then get rid of the carbon dioxide by exhaling it meanwhile the water will be disposed of through your urine,
Sweat, and through the air that you breathe out. (12) So, that’s where fat or the byproducts of fat, to be exact…. that’s where they go once you burn the fat – Most gets exhaled and the rest is released through sweat, and urine.
So that’s the entire process of burning fat in a nutshell. However, there are a few other hormones that can indirectly influence how much fat you burn and how much fat you store.
For example, you have two almost opposite hormones known as leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is a hormone that inhibits hunger and leads to a feeling of fullness and satiety.
It’s released from your fat cells. So as you gain body fat your body releases more leptin and that leptin travels to the brain letting your body know that your full and that you should stop eating or at least eat less.
Now as you lose body fat, there are fewer fat cells available, and since the fat cells are the source from where the leptin hormone is produced,
Leptin levels drop as well which reduces the feeling of fullness and satiety. At the same time, your body will increase the production of ghrelin which is your hunger hormone.
This will stimulate your appetite which will make you want to eat more food, leading to the creation of more body fat,
And in turn, the body fat releases more leptin which once again travels to the brain letting your body know that you’re full.
And after eating enough food ghrelin levels also drop back down which also helps to reduce hunger.
So this is a finely tuned process that helps control energy balance. However, as you gain more and more body fat from having an unhealthy diet or a lack of exercise you can create what’s known as leptin resistance.
So, You would think that if you were obese you would have more than enough fat cells to send a strong enough leptin signal to the brain to tell your body that your full and that you should stop eating.
However, with leptin resistance, the signal from leptin doesn’t reach the brain. So even though you have more than enough fat on your body your brain thinks your starving,
which is obviously only going to make fat loss significantly harder and will probably make you gain more body fat instead, creating a vicious cycle.
Now to fix things like leptin resistance, insulin resistance, and to optimize your hormones for fat loss in general the best and simplest thing you can do is eat a healthy diet full of wholesome single-ingredient foods that fill you up and nourish your body naturally.
These natural single ingredient foods like fish, sweet potatoes, and broccoli will help you drop your blood sugar and create a calorie deficit without even trying.
Meanwhile, you want to avoid processed foods and foods that are loaded with sugar. On top of that weight training can help optimize many hormones that assist with the fat loss process like insulin and testosterone and it will obviously also burn some of the calories that you consume.
But that’s the overall process guys, I really hope you enjoyed this video. If you have make sure you subscribe to the channel and hit that bell icon.
Also if you’re looking for a done for you workout plan that can be done at home or in a gym and also includes a customizable meal plan that will be based on your preferences whether that be intermittent fasting,
Carb cycling, one meal a day, keto, or vegan to name a few then click the link below in the description to head on over to my website.
Between the three gyms, we have in new jersey and the online training we’ve put thousands of people through these programs
And my clients that follow the plan can expect to lose at least 20 pounds or 5 percent of their body fat in only 6 short weeks.
To learn more click the link below
My passion for fitness began when I was 14 years old. I naturally fell in love with training and haven’t stopped since. At 18 years I acquired my first personal training certification from ACE after which I opened my first of 3 transformation studios in 2011. I love to share my knowledge through personal training, my online courses, and youtube channel now with over 3,000,000 subscribers! I can happily say that we've helped over 15,000 people get in great shape over the years. I'm always here for my customers so if you need help don't hesitate to send your questions to email@example.com