Blog By: Konika Luke
Have you got the “stubborn fat won’t come off” blues. That last bit of weight that seems to be “crazily glued” onto your body and no matter what you do, it doesn’t seem to come off. You ‘ve done your exercise , you’ve changed your eating habits. And yet those last few pounds won’t come off.
SO WHAT IS STUBBORN FAT?
Stubborn fat is physiologically different than other fat. All fat cells have receptors that tell the cell to either 1) store fat or 2) burn fat.
ALPHA -2 receptors tell the cell to store fat for future use .
BETA-2 receptors tell the cell to release the fat and send it out through the blood stream.
Stubborn fat has a high density of alpha receptors compared to betas. The more alpha-2 receptors there are compared to beta-2 receptors, the harder it is to burn fat. Greater the number of beta-2 receptors versus alpha receptors, the easier it is to burn fat.
Think B for beta and burn.
Think A for alpha and anti-burn.
Stubborn fat accumulates in particular areas. In women these areas tend to be hips and thighs, while men typically suffer from stubborn fat around the belly. It’s quite normal for women to have higher fat in those areas, because this fat is meant to supply the energy needed to bear children . Unfortunately the same can’t be said for men. Stubborn fat on the belly does not represent good health.
Stubborn fat does not discriminate between thin and overweight men and women. No matter what you weigh, you can suffer from the plague of stubborn fat.
HOW DO WE BURN OFF STUBBORN FAT?
Fat cells have all kind of receptors for different purposes. Each receptor can be seen as a lock and the keys are various hormones . When a key fits into a lock, a specific reaction occurs. The dilemma is both alpha-2 and beta-2 receptors accept the same key. In this case, the key is the hormone Catecholamines. These are the “fight or flight” hormones. These are produced in response to any kind of stress. Although technically all exercises produce catecholamines , the most effective are the short high intensity exercises . More intense the exercise, greater the amount of catecholamines . Insulin plays a key role when it comes to fat burn or fat gain. Low insulin levels can be achieved through a proper diet.
Another important factor that involves burning stubborn fat is blood flow. Typically blood flows to stubborn fat areas are very poor. Without adequate blood flow the catecholamines cannot get to the area to mobilise the fat. Exercise will help increase blood flow to these stubborn areas.
Some guidelines to beat the stubborn fat.
Dieting in the traditional way is a sure way to make stubborn fat even more stubborn. The “eat less exercise more” approach does not work in the long run. 95% of the people who go on diets end up gaining all the weight back and 66% of those people end up becoming fatter. Most of the gained weight goes straight to the stubborn fat areas. This leads to more fat storage and less fat burning.
CYCLE YOUR DIET AND EXERCISE
Move from an “eat less exercise more” (ELEM) approach to either an “eat less exercise less” (ELEL) or “eat more exercise more” (EMEM) approach. Cycle between periods of more food and exercise (EMEM , building phase) and less food and less exercise (ELEL, burning phase). This way you won’t end up with the skinny fat look or the bulky and bloated look.
When it comes to calories, hormones and stubborn fat , we need the Goldilocks Effect. Not too much, not too little but just right. Alternating between ELEL and EMEM approach works great.
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