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Fat loss

Four principles accelerate fat loss

Wednesday, July 13, 2011 by: Andrew Kim
Tags: fat loss, solutions, health news

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(NewsTarget) It is true that one must maintain a state of negative energy balance for a period of time in order to lose body fat. Though, there is a bit more to the story. Burning fat and losing fat are always occurring simultaneously to some degree. The underlying premise of fat loss is to create an internal environment that favors fat burning in favor of fat storing. Simply put, if the net flow of fat is into the fat cells, weight gain results. If the net flow of fat is into the muscles (to be burned), weight loss results. Fat loss requires four steps.

The mainstream stepwise, clinical treatment of overweight/obesity begins with lifestyle changes, moves onto drugs, and ends with bariatric surgery. Most patients invariably fail the lifestyle phase and ultimately move onto the drugs and surgery. The lifestyle approach is uninspired at best and does not apply the principles of fat tissue metabolism in order to accelerate fat loss and increase muscle gain.

According to the CDC, over 65% of adults and 13-14% of children are overweight or obese in the U.S. These conditions have become major health concerns, as approximately 300,000 deaths are associated with obesity every year. In fact, as one`s body mass index (BMI) increases, so does one`s risk of disease and death from all causes.

Obesity is a disorder characterized by an accumulation of excess body fat to an extent that impairs health. To be more specific, a person is classified as clinically obese once his BMI reaches 30.

It is important to understand that many hormones and enzymes - the activity of which are ultimately determined by genes interacting with the environment - fundamentally control fat regulation. Therefore, it behooves the fat loss seeker - to the extent that is possible - to control the secretion of these hormones and activity of these enzymes to maximize fat mobilization and burning.

Fat loss requires four steps:

1.Lipolysis: Triglyceride (storage form of fat) breakdown and release.
2.Partitioning of fatty acids into the muscles in favor of fat.
3.Fatty acid oxidation (fat burning). The technical term is beta-oxidation.
4.Increased basal metabolic rate (BMR).

Lipolysis (step 1) is accomplished by an intracellular enzyme called hormone sensitive lipase (HSL), which is available abundantly within fat cells. The hormones that stimulate HSL are secreted in response to fasting, under-eating, intense exercise, and stress.

The fat partitioning step (step 2) is controlled by the enzyme lipoprotein lipase (LPL). LPL - as its name suggests - acts on circulating lipoprotein particles whose role is to transport fats in the bloodstream. LPL liberates fatty acids from the lipoprotein particles so that they can be herded into the cell on which the LPL resides. LPL distribution is determined by the balance between insulin and glucagon (which is determined primarily by blood sugar levels) as well as by sex hormones.

Beta-oxidation (step 3) is regulated by all of the hormones mentioned above. The most prominent one is glucagon. Glucagon - secreted in response to high protein foods and low blood sugar - increases the shuttling of fats into the mitochondria so that they may be burned for energy.

The thyroid gland is the primary regulator of BMR and accomplishes step 4 by secreting hormones that increase the metabolic rate of every cell in the body. An underactive thyroid gland almost always leads to weight gain.
So, how does the fat loss seeker consolidate all of these factors involved in fat tissue regulation and create a plan that maximizes fat burning? That will be the topic of the article "How to Accelerate Fat Loss."


1.The Practical Guide: Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. October 2000, NIH Pub No 00-4084.
2. Calle EE, Thun MJ, Petrelli JM, et al. Body-mass index and mortality in a prospective cohort of US adults. N Engl J Med 1999;341:1097-1105.
3. National Institutes of Health and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Clinical guidelines on the identification, evaluation, and treatment of overweight and obesity in adults - the evidence report. Obes Res 1998;6(suppl 2):1S-209S.
4. World Health Organization. Obesity: preventing and managing the global epidemic. Report of a WHO Consultation on Obesity. Geneva: World Health Organization, 1998.
5. Hall, John E., and Arthur C. Guyton. Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders/Elsevier, 2011.
6. Berg, Jeremy Mark, John L. Tymoczko, and Lubert Stryer. Biochemistry . 5th ed. New York: W.H. Freeman, 2002.

About the author

Andrew Kim
[email protected]

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