The most common reason to start a diet and exercise is to lose weight. Many people find themselves lean, but they also have a few problematic areas where stubborn fat got stuck. What happens when your diet is good and your workouts are regular, but you reach the plateau and those fatty cells aren’t burning anymore? Sometimes eating less and exercising more only make things worse and your fat become more stubborn. This is when you need a new strategy.
What kind of fat is the stubborn fat?
The stubborn fat is just a regular fat placed on the different body areas. Women tend to store more fat on their abdominal area, thighs, hips, lower back and upper arms, while men accumulate more fat on the abdominal area and lower back. Since the body fat is the biggest energy storage in the human body, burned fat cells provide you energy. Process of mobilization of fatty acids from fat cells is called lipolysis. Fatty acids have to be released from a fat cells, then brought by blood to another cell where they will be used for energy. Simplified, that fatty acid will burn. This final step is called lipid oxidation.
Science behind stubborn fat
Stubborn fat is not easy to be burned, but thanks to the biochemistry it can be understood. The reason of stubborn fat inertia lays behind the receptors in the fat cells and their response to the hormones. The major fat releasing hormones are adrenaline and noreadrenalin, which are known as catecholamines. Catecholamines bind receptors in fat cells. There are two kinds of receptors: alpha2 and beta. By binding to the receptors, catecolamines send signal to the fat cells to release or slow down fat release. The alpha receptors slow down fat release, since the beta receptors speed fat release. According to that, stubborn fat has a high amount of alpha receptors.
Also, a major problem is that the stubborn fat has a greater insulin sensitivity. Refined sugars usually cause skyrocketing of blood sugar followed by surge of insulin. After that, body feels hunger again even if it has more than enough fuel. Proper way to correct that would be balanced diet with food that don’t rise blood sugar that fast like non-starch vegetables and meat, low fat milk products.
Stubborn fat areas get less blood flow. Blood flow is crucial for mobilizing fat cells. More blood means more oxygen and oxygen is the key component of all aerobic metabolic burning. More cardio workout or any workout that will help bring more blood to problematic region. Massages became popular way of bringing more blood to problematic areas. They have proven to be useful if done properly. Although massages won’t solve your stubborn fat, but some massages like lymph drainage will help you reduce lymph residue and some of unnecessary metabolic byproducts.
What will not help?
Starving, followed by high intensity exercise
There is nothing good in less food and more exercise. It would slow down your metabolism, harm your immune system and won’t actually help you to lose fat. Hard workouts produce high levels of stress hormone – cortisol, so without proper nutrition and rest your body won’t be able to repair, what means you won’t get rid of stubborn fat, it will become even more stubborn.
High levels of insulin
Maybe sweets can trick you from time to time but using sugars as fuel tells your body there is no need to mobilize the fat.
Belief in supplementation
There is not a magic pill that will make your belly flat and your six pack visible. Supplementation is not a foundation of nutrition, it just a support for fat loss. Proper diet and regular exercise will give you the most, but supplement can make those gains even bigger.
What can we do about it?
Balanced diet that involves whole, unprocessed food is a foundation of every fat loss. Since the stubborn fat is very sensitive to insulin, try to avoid sugars.
Resistance training shape muscles and preserve them of catabolism. The best type of cardio is HIIT ( high intensity interval training). Both od them will help you increase blood flow and trigger release of hormones involved in lipolysis.
As I won’t recommend you to use alpha2 blockers or any other substance that could possibly endanger your health, try using only proven or natural supplements. Only supplement is not a key ingredient for fat loss, but it can enhance it. Green tea extract or caffeine supplements should work fine for that purpose.
As we see, the most stubborn fat is not a genetic problem. There is no curse behind your belly fat. Hard work will bring you those gains you dream about. Use these tips and prepare yourself for the big change. Good luck!