Can you trick your Body to burn Fat?
I just recently had a patient in my office that really wants to lose weight and says she has tried everything! When a patient says “tried”, I never really know what that means. Try is a very ambiguous word. If you eat clean for a week and don’t lose any weight, does that mean you “tried clean eating” and it didn’t work? How long does a good effort take when seeking to achieve results? That is an age old question.
What I do know is that it is a commitment. A rethinking of the way you do things and forming new habits and patterns that support the biology in your DNA!
There are no easy fixes, magic pills, or spells that can make your weight loss challenges vanish into thin air, but if you understand the science of how the human body works, you can begin to take back your power. You have to know what you are trying to achieve. When you say “weight loss”, what do you really mean?
You mean you want to look better in your clothes and shop for the size that you feel your best in!
You want to have the energy to play with your kids, or go to lunch with your friends. You want to look in the mirror and like what looks back.
But LOSING WEIGHT is different than burning fat. Losing weight doesn’t mean anything if you are just losing water or it will actually go up if your gaining muscle. What you want is your body to burn energy more efficiently. That’s why I say losing weight is a side effect of getting healthy!
Burning fat is actually a process that happens when your cells maximize their potential. You see you are born with the same quantity of fat cells you will ever have. What changes is the stuff you store in them. Like a suitcase, stuffed full or empty.
What causes your suitcases to fill up or swell? Imbalances in your hormones that cause inflammation and trigger the cells to store when they usually use the contents as fuel.
That’s where AMPK comes in. AMPK, what?!?! You might ask.
AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) acts as a cellular energy sensor. 🔥
Once switched on, by increases in cellular AMP:ATP ratios, it acts to restore energy homeostasis by switching on catabolic pathways while switching off cell growth and proliferation
AMPK acts like a fuel gauge, monitoring the energy status in your cells.
If the cells are filled with fat and sugar (triggered by cortisol and other hormones in response to inflammation) – as in obesity and diabetes – AMPK will diminish, and the mitochondria (your energy factories) , will not e able to burn fat or sugar. When AMPK is increase, mitochondria in your liver and muscles function better, and overall insulin sensitivity improves.
It’s also been called the PILOT LIGHT in your cells. And we all know what happens when the pilot light goes out!
How can AMPK Benefit Your Health?
The biggest impact AMPK has on your body is fat loss. So triggering AMPK enables you to burn fat and lose weight more effectively, which in turn helps lower your risk of getting serious diseases and hence improve your overall health.
How To Naturally Stimulate AMPK
Sounds almost boring, but it is diet and exercise. 🥱 But before you say, “duh silly”, understanding how this works will make your diet and exercise much more efficient, so that you can see results quick and don’t have to abort in frustration claiming that you tried but it didn’t work.
Stimulating AMPK With Diet
One of the most effective ways to stimulate AMPK for fat loss is to follow a low carb diet that focuses primary on high quality sources of protein and natural fats. Majority of your carbohydrates should come from vegetables, salads and some fruits. Avoid refined carbs and processed foods to keep your overall carbohydrate consumption low. The low carbohydrate diet, helps reprogram your body and switch it’s main source of energy from glycogen (stored glucose/sugar) to fat. This shift in energy source is what triggers AMPK.
Another very effective way to trigger AMPK is by fasting. This doesn’t have to be for long periods, even just closing your feeding window down to noon to five o’clock, can be effective. When you withhold food for a period of time, your body responds by regulating the master metabolic switch, which directly impacts your weight loss efforts. When sugar is not available in the body (because you aren’t eating food), then your body will switches to using fat for energy instead of glucose.
The mechanism that triggers AMPK in both fasting and low carb diet is the same. The key is the absence (or very low levels) of glucose in the body which triggers the metabolic mechanism to stimulate the AMPK.
Some food items which additionally help stimulating AMPK production
- Grapefruit: contains a constituent called “nootkatone,” which has natural AMPK activating capabilities, especially within the rind (add some rind into your smoothie)
- Curcumin (Tumeric)
- White Kidney Bean Extract (found in CarbMelt 😉)
- Vitamin B12 (found in CarbMelt 😉)
- Alpha-lipoic-acid/ALA (800mg-1800mg/day for 4 months: discuss dosage with your physician)
- Berberine (found in CarbMelt 😉)
- Butyric acid
- Capsaicin (chilly peppers)
- Chromium (found in CarbMelt 😉)
- Green tea polyphenols (EGCG)
- Rasberry Ketones (found in CarbMelt 😉)
- (Soy: only GMO-free soy!)
We suggest to consulting your health care professional to find the best sources of these nutrients so that you can add them to your nutrition program.
Stimulating AMPK With Exercise
Just like low carb diet, there are certain kind of exercises that effectively stimulate AMPK as well. The best type of exercise you can do is high intensity interval training (HIIT). Focus on intensity NOT duration. You do not need any gear or a gym membership, but can use your own body weight and you can do it anywhere.
There is no such thing like the magic pill to stimulate fat burning, but there some bio-hacking tricks to support it.
Once you understand that this is an ongoing process and can commit to some sort of simple plan, you can get results fast.
So here it is:
🔥To activate your AMPK🔥
1. Intermittent fasting (easy, just skip breakfast and don’t eat late)
2. Low Carb Plan (easy to do with CarbMelt as it not only decreases your appetite and helps insulin work better so you don’t get sugar crashes, but it has many ingredients in it that help STIMULATE AMPK!
3. Commit to some sort of Interval training with short bursts. This can be in as little as 15 minutes 3 times a week, if you do it right. No special equipment and easy to do!
It’s okay to ask for help. When your pilot light is out or your metabolism is slow, it may take a few tricks to fire it back up.