WHAT DOES IT ACTUALLY MEAN TO ‘BURN’ FAT?
It is a three stage process: 1 The mobilisation of fat out of the fat cell. 2 The circulation of the mobilised fatty acids around the body. 3 The oxidation stage, in which the fatty acids get transported into the mitochondria of the cell to be used as fuel, which is how you lose body fat. Completion of the third stage is critical. If the fatty acids are not used for energy they will be re-stored in the fat cell. Fortunately, there are specific ways to ensure each of these three stages is completed.
When you start a weight-loss programme visceral fat around the abdominal organs is the first to go as it is easily mobilised due to a higher ratio of beta receptors. There is good blood flow facilitating circulation of the fatty acids and energy storage in these fat cells is less efficient. This happens fairly quickly and the result is a slimmer waist.
The body then begins to use the fat underneath the skin. This phase is more challenging and can take much longer. Subcutaneous fat is not particularly responsive to mobilisation – blood flow is only moderate and the tissue is more efficient at fat storage. Many dieters become discouraged at this point and give up but keep going – efforts will eventually pay off!
Stay away from crash diets or diets that cause you to lose fat and gain it back again. The more your weight fluctuates the more stubborn fat you may gain and losing it becomes more difficult. Diet is the main driver of fat loss but exercise will help get you to your goal that much faster.