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How Is Fat Burned?

    How Is Fat Burned?

    During fat-burning, your body turns fat into useable energy for your muscles and other tissues, which causes your fat cells to shrink. The slashing results in the fat being lost; however, if you eat more calories than you burn, excess energy is converted back to fat and redistributed back to your fat cells. When you lose body fat, fat cells (also called adipocytes) dont go away, or move to the muscle cells for burning.

    The cue your body sends for fat cells to release fat is a lack of energy…you need to burn more than you consume. If your body needs extra energy, it signals fat cells to release fatty acids for energy.

    Since your body prefers glucose (sugar) as an energy source, it very easily burns off the stores of glucose that you have immediately available for energy in the bloodstream and your liver, and begins pulling stored fat out of your cells. This puts your body in a state of ketosis, which means that your body does not have enough glucose to burn for energy, so it burns fat instead. During metabolism, calories from your food and drinks are combined with oxygen to produce energy that your body needs to operate.

    Over time, your body directs the energy (i.e., calories) it gets from foods to organs that need that energy (i.e., not stored in your cells in the first place. The stored fat (energy) is released as FFAs into the bloodstream, where they are shuttled to muscles that require energy. When prompted to do so, fat cells just release their own fat-cell contents (triaglycerol) into the bloodstream as free fatty acids (FFAs) and these are carried around in the bloodstream to tissues where energy is needed.

    Wentworth Institute of Technology notes that as the body uses stored fat for energy, fat cells are reduced in size, but they do not go away. It is important that you see fat as just a fuel the body uses to make energy for us to get around. Well, fat and carbohydrates are the main fuel sources the body uses to create energy that we need to get moving. The harder we exercise, the higher percentages of carbohydrates that the body uses as a fuel source than fat.

    For intense exercises like running at high speeds, the body will rely on carbohydrates for fuel rather than fats. High-intensity exercises produce large increases in lactate production, so they should be avoided on lower-intensity days designed for fat burning. The lower the exercise intensity, the higher the percent fat burned. On low-intensity days, burn fat without losing muscle by really keeping your exercise intensity low and by avoiding carbohydrates, particularly simple carbohydrates. Working out at low intensity is not necessarily bad, but if you are not burning more calories than you are eating, you are not going to get any more fat out of your body.

    If you are lifting at higher intensities, you may actually increase your afterburn, or the calories burned following the workout. Resistance training can also help you maintain lean body mass, which may increase the amount of calories your body burns when it is resting (3). One study found that resistance training for 10 weeks could improve your number of calories burned while you are resting by 7 percent and decrease body fat by 4 pounds (1.8 kg).

    Adding more muscle through lifting weights and doing other endurance exercises can also help burn fat, particularly if you are dieting as well. Other studies have found that aerobic training increases lean muscle mass and reduces stomach fat, waist size, and body fat (38, 39, 40). If weight loss is your goal, emphasize aerobic exercise in fat-burning workouts, since oxygen is needed for breaking down fat. When it comes to losing weight, burning more calories is the key, not necessarily using more fat as energy.

    The point is, just because you are using more fat as energy does not mean you are burning more calories. To lose weight, you have to create an energy deficit, either by eating fewer calories, increasing the amount of calories you burn through physical activity, or a combination of the two. While your metabolism influences the basic energy needs of your body, what you eat and drink, and how much physical activity you do, are what will ultimately determine your weight. To maintain weight, you have to cut back on calories consumed and boost calories burned, says Emily Rollason.

    As you age, your amount of muscle tends to shrink, with fat making up more of your body mass, which will slow your rate of caloric burn. Males typically have less body fat and more muscle than females at a similar age and body mass, meaning males burn more calories. The boost means that you are burning calories while working out, but your body continues burning calories after you work out as well, allowing your body to return to a pre-existing state. Your body will increase your number of fat cells and size of fat cells to fit in excess energy from the high-calorie foods.

    When you eat more energy, or calories, than you expend, your body stores this excess energy in fat cells as triglycerides, Cleveland Clinic explained. Moving more means that your body needs more energy. A A If you do not add any extra calories, your body starts burning stored energy in fat. Lactate is used either for energy by the slow-twitch muscles, or recycled back into your liver to store glycogen.a The body prefers to store it for energy usage.A So, the more that the body has stored lactate, the less it burns fat in aerobic exercises.

    An essential enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL) then helps FFA enter into mitochondria of the muscle cells, where the FFA can be burned for energy. The fat cells themselves, (unfortunately) stay exactly where they are — underneath your skin on the hips, belly, hips, arms, and so on, as well as above your muscles — so when you have a lot of body fat, you cannot see the definition of the muscles.


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