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How do you Lose fat?

Fat loss is the result of a negative fat balance in your fat cells. Fat moves in and out of those cells depending on your body's energy requirement. Before we dive into the details, let's get a few points out of the way.

  1. We have a fixed amount of fat cells in our body. We don't create new ones, and we don't burn fat cells to the point of extinction.

  2. We lose fat cells due to cell death but our body generate new cells leading a fixed amount of fat cells over time.

  3. You fat cells can get bigger or smaller depending on how much fat gets stored in them.

  4. If we want to lose fat we need to have more fat leaving the cell than entering the cell

  5. The food you eat influences how much fat your fat cells absorb and release

  6. Your exercise routine influences how much fat leaves your cell

How fat gets in and out of the cell

Fat can enter your cells by two mechanisms: Lipogenesis and Re-esterification.

Lipogenesis is the conversion of glucose into fat. Glucose comes from carbohydrates that you eat.

Re-esterification (RE) is the absorption of fats that are in your blood stream. This can come from the fats you eat, or fats that have been released by fat cells

The only way fat will leave the cell is through a process called lipolysis. Your body increases lipolysis when it needs energy. This could be for exercise but will mainly be triggered by your non exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). NEAT refers to any energy demands that is not related to exercising, sleeping or eating.

When the rate of lipogenesis and RE is greater than the rate of lipolysis, your fat cells get bigger. When the rate of lipolysis is greater than the rate of lipogenesis and RE, the cells get smaller and you are effectively losing fat.

How to lose fat

There are many ways you can have a greater rate of lipolysis. You can achieve this by eating carbs, or if you prefer to eat more fats you can, you can exercise a lot, or just enough. You can do almost an infinite amount of combination of diet and exercise as long as the rate of lipolysis is greater than the rate of lipogenesis and RE.

NEAT and your exercise routine are the two main factors your can control to increase lipolysis. You body needs fat for energy during any exercise bout that is longer than 3 minutes with a relatively low intensity (less than 50% of your VO2max)

It is as simple as going for a short walk. Making this a daily routine can help your body tap into it's fat stores and if done consistently, rain or shine, will help keep your lipolysis rate going.

Low intensity exercise includes walking, cycling, hiking, swimming, jogging, rowing, going on the elliptical. The intensity of the exercise should be easy enough for you to hold a conversation the whole time you're doing it.