As registered dietitians and personal trainers who specialize in weight loss, our clients expect to make some dietary changes when they want to increase fat loss, but they typically also are looking for easy ways to increase fat burning other than just eating fewer calories. Lucky for them, first we have them get their body to be in its’ best working order, so it’s primed to lose fat and keep it off. This includes balancing hormones, blood sugar, stress and cortisol (you can read about this here and why these factors are important for permanent weight loss) and more. As we do this, we set their body up to let go of stubborn pounds and we also give them some great ways for their body to increase fat burning.
Besides getting your body to perform at its’ peak, how can you burn more body fat?
1. Increase thermogenesis.
We know this sounds technical, but thermogenesis simply means “heat-producing.” The more you heat up, or increase your metabolic “fire”, the more calories you burn. The same way that a fire has to burn more wood to keep going, the more you build your metabolic fire, you have to burn more energy (calories) to keep going. “Brown fat” is your secret weapon in building your metabolic fire and to burning more fat.
Say what?! You need “brown fat” to help INCREASE fat loss?
You bet! Brown fat generates heat (thermogenesis).
White fat (white adipose tissue [WAT]), is the fat no one wants & that is on your body as a result of eating excess calories. Heat your body up and you can convert it to brown adipose tissue (BAT) (also known as “brown fat”), a good fat for weight loss– and to your overall health!
Brown fat is metabolically active and increases thermogenesis & uses up calories by burning up fat and sugar to create heat, so you burn more fat all day long, even as you sleep. Brown fat works like exercise does, but while the increased calorie burn from exercise only lasts a few hours to 24-48 hours maximum, brown fat burns calories indefinitely, as long as its’ on your body.
Here’s how you can stimulate brown fat to get leaner:
2. Take an ice bath.
Sitting in an ice bath requires your body to have to work to heat you up (increasing thermogenesis) to maintain its’ body temperature. Brown fat plays a key role and as it keeps you warm, it increases your metabolism. This is also known as “cold-induced non-shivering thermogenesis”. Admittedly, as girls who love being warm, ice baths are a toughie for us, but if you’re more the man or woman than we are, plunge into some icy water to become more thermogenic.
3. Ingest caffeine wisely to increase thermogenesis.1
The greatest fat burning boost comes from consuming 1.4-2.3 mg of caffeine per pound which is 250 mg- 345 mg for a 150-pound person. We don’t recommend going to the highest range–which is equal to a “grande” coffee at Starbucks. Doses this high can increase your blood pressure and heart rate and trigger anxiety and sleeplessness. Consume a maximum of 300 mg daily. You’ll burn 30 calories more per day… a 3-pound weight loss per year.
We both stick to 150 milligrams of caffeine or less daily. This burns an extra 15 calories a day– that’s a pound and a half weight loss over a year without cutting calories or exercising more.You can get caffeine in coffee–or in tea and cocoa– we’re fans of both. It’s also found in guarana, and in products like Vivarin, which we don’t recommend.
If you choose to get caffeine from a supplement, select it from a brand you trust. A new client came to us with a damaged liver from a contaminated caffeine supplement. We are very selective about the brands we recommend.
4. Add hot peppers to everything.
Think: eat spicy foods and you heat up from the inside out… so you increase thermogenesis, therefore speed up your metabolism and fat loss!1.1, 1.2 Hot peppers are one of the best spices to increase brown fat, thanks to a compound that they contain called capsaicin. One study even showed the increased burn from capsaicin to be 50 calories every day. Lose a pound every 10 weeks by simply making your food taste better?! Maybe that’s why our dad always piled them on our pizza. 🙂
While, we tell our clients not to expect to notice changes from doing this alone, the truth is that the cumulative effect of all of the changes we have them make, including thermogenic ones in this article, add up! Plus hot peppers also CUT APPETITE2, naturally suppressing hunger in a healthy way.
5. Boost your fat loss with black pepper.
Just as hot peppers have capsaicin in them that increases thermogenesis, black pepper has a compound called piperine, that is also found in hot that helps to boost your brown fat stores and burn more body fat. We sprinkle some in our Golden Milk.
Pssst…black pepper is also needed to help you to absorb turmeric, which is an incredible anti-inflammatory spice that helps to keep your body in good working order. Remember, getting your body to function optimally is key for permanent fat loss.
6) Tea (green) time.
Research shows that green tea has thermogenic properties from the tea’s caffeine content and from its’ potent catechin, a type of antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG increases brown fat, boosting metabolism. Four to five, 5-ounce servings of tea is all it takes. That’s why we’re always drinking our Minty “Flat-Belly” Green Tea.
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How much exercise do you really need to create brown fat?
150 minutes of exercise a week for the average person does the trick! Do it in 30 minutes, five times a week, or in 40 minutes, 4 times a week. Spend 20 minutes on cardio activity and 20 minutes on strength training. If you’re a hardcore exerciser who does interval training, you can build brown fat in half the time– just 75 minutes a week. That’s about 20 minutes 4 times a week. Not bad! Exercising is our personal favorite way to increase brown fat since it’s also our best stress reliever. Try our Easy Fat Burning Workout!
To get our FREE Guide To Get The Body You Want Even While Eating Pasta click here!
Getting their body to function optimally and to burn more calories is one way our clients are able to hit their weight loss goals, without depriving themselves or relying on willpower. Wanna find out 3 more secrets to weight loss without willpower? Stay tuned to grab our new free guide!