Two types of fat exist in your body: brown and white. Brown fat is able to burn calories and fat continuously to generate heat. This means that your brown fat cells can work 20 percent faster to help you lose weight and shed belly fat. The best thing? It's easy to do.
What is brown fat?
Brown fat, also known by brown adipose tissues, is one of the two types of fat humans and other mammals have. Not much information is available about it. It's primary function is to convert food into heat. Scientists are still learning a lot about this type of fat. However, there is great potential for a cure for obesity if they can find out how brown fat transforms into white fat.
This fat is found in small areas of most adults. These are usually the sides of the neck and shoulder, upper arms and collarbone. White fat is the majority of fat in our bodies. It's used to store excess calories and can be burned to make heat. Brown fat, however, can burn calories if it's the right conditions. The fat can produce 300 times more heat when fully activated. Two ounces of fat can burn several hundred calories daily -- roughly the same as a 30-minute workout.
How to activate brown fat
What foods contain brown fat? While there aren't any approved drugs that can increase or enhance brown fat in the body, there have been studies to show that a variety of foods can activate it. These foods have the added benefit of being nutritious and healthy. There are many ways to activate brown fat in your body and help you lose weight quicker.
1. Avoid slowdowns by using apples and pears.
University of Iowa research shows that the skins of these fruits contain ursolic acid. This compound helps to rejuvenate old, tired brown fat and makes it feel young and energetic. You can lose two pounds every month if you eat one pear or apple each day.
2. You can lose weight quicker with turkey breast
Turkey breast is a great source of L-arginine. This amino acid activates this type of fat. According to British research, five pounds can be lost in just four ounces of turkey breast per day. L-arginine is also found in peanuts.
3. Hot peppers can double your calorie intake.
This fat converts twice as many calories into heat when it is shivering in a house that has been heated to a cold 58 degrees. Are you too cold? Instead, consume 1/2 tsp. Consume 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne powder daily or a few slices of jalapeno. Capsaicin, the active ingredient found in peppers, energizes fat in the same way that shivering does.
4. Green tea is a refreshing beverage.
A Swiss study has shown that if you drink three 12-ounce cups of green tea per day, your brown fat will burn five percent more calories each day. The antioxidants in green tea help this fat absorb glucose, one of its most favorite fuel sources. Tip Purchase green tea bags and not loose leaves. Researchers explain that the tea bags are finely ground which makes it easier to dissolve the antioxidants in water and allow them to be absorbed by the body.
5. Aim to eat one unpeeled apple per day.
Ursolic acid is a natural compound which helps to build and strengthen muscles tissue. It can also be used to kick-start the formation new brown fat, according research.
6. Melatonin helps you to slim down while you sleep.
One milligram of Melatonin can help your brown fat burn up to 36% more calories over the night if taken 30 minutes before light-out, according to the Journal of Pineal Research. Daniel Campos PhD, study coauthor, said that melatonin keeps your fat active even when you are in dreamland.
7. Move more to increase brown fat cells
Research in the journal Disease Models and Mechanisms suggests that 30 minutes of exercise per day can double your chances of losing weight. Jorge C. Quan MD, study co-author, says that exercise releases an enzyme that transforms white fat into slimming and calorie-hungry brown butter.
8. Relaxation breaks are a must.
According to a Texas Medical Center study, simply taking a few minutes each day to relax could increase your brown fat's calorie burning in as little as 2 weeks. How do you do it? Researchers found that cortisol can be reduced in your body, which is a stress hormone that slows down brown fat. Tip A simple 10-minute, do-it-yourself foot massage at bedtime can reduce cortisol levels by 25 percent to 25%.
9. Relax, literally.
British researchers found that feeling "cold" for 20 minutes a day can increase your brown fat's ability to burn calories in as little as 24hrs. Furthermore, the more you are exposed to cold temperatures, the more efficient your brown oil is at incinerating food to make heat. Do this: Take a cooler bath, use lighter layers outside and lower the temperature inside your house and car.
A Swedish study has shown that once the fat you were born with has reached its maximum capacity, your body converts bits of fat from flabby white fat to a slimming calorie-burner. The results can be astonishing: "Creating two ounces active brown fat could increase calorie burning by 20 percent," claims Christian Wolfrum, PhD, lead researcher.
This article first appeared in Woman's World's print magazine.
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