How Fat Slows Down Metabolism And How To Speed It Up

Metabolism and weight loss

Many people will say to me, “my metabolism has changed and that is why I am gaining weight”.  In fact research over the past 2 years is proving the opposite to be true.

As there is an increase in Visceral Fat (Belly Fat/White Fat) it causes the decrease in the metabolic rate and affects the metabolism and then as that happens more fat accumulates and it is harder to lose weight.

So it starts with the accumulation of fat first, followed by  changes in metabolism.  In fact studies show that all things being equal human metabolic rates do not change much between ages 20 and 60 years of age and after 60 there is a small decrease at the rate of 0.7%/year. This is a myth buster for the theory that our metabolism decreases with age (between 20 and 60) and that  is why people think they start gaining weight.

Here are the main reasons why Visceral Fat impacts metabolism and metabolic rate:

  1. Insulin resistance: Visceral fat produces hormones and other substances that can interfere with insulin sensitivity, leading to insulin resistance. This can cause blood sugar levels to rise and lead to a range of metabolic problems, including type 2 diabetes.
  2. Inflammation: Visceral fat is highly inflammatory, producing cytokines and other inflammatory molecules that can contribute to chronic low-grade inflammation in the body. This inflammation can interfere with normal metabolic processes and increase the risk of metabolic disorders such as heart disease and metabolic syndrome.
  3. Metabolic rate: Visceral fat can lower metabolic rate by reducing the body’s ability to burn calories efficiently. This can lead to weight gain and make it harder to lose weight.
  4. Hormonal imbalances: Visceral fat can interfere with the normal balance of hormones in the body, including those that regulate appetite and satiety. This can lead to overeating and weight gain.

This can help to explain why it can become more and more difficult to lose weight once it has started to accumulate.  I hear this a lot from people when they first speak to me and say that the usual methods they used in the past to lose weight are no longer working.  It is because the fat accumulation has affected their metabolic rate, hormones and metabolism so the typical approach of calorie in/out for weight loss no longer works. 

They need to address the issues happening in their metabolism due to the impact of the visceral fat along with using specific strategies that will burn that unhealthy fat so their body can come back into balance metabolically and hormonally.

This certainly is what happened to me 9 years ago when I was carrying extra weight and could not lose it using the usual methods.  I needed to use a very different method based on intermittent fasting to kickstart my metabolism and override the impact of the accumulated visceral fat. Then the cycle was broken and once that happened I started losing about  3 lbs of fat/week. My body, hormones and metabolism started working For me rather than Against me.

Here is another interesting fact and another biohack you can use to activate your metabolism by using your own fat, but a different type of fat, Brown Fat. 

In our body we also have another type of fat, called Brown Fat. Brown fat is responsible for thermogenesis to generate heat in the body. And it can use the energy stored in white fat (visceral fat) as its fuel to create the heat. This means that the body is burning white fat and healthy weight loss is happening.  

So stimulating your brown fat will help you lose the white unhealthy  fat rather than just relying on reducing calories by eating less.  You can get your metabolism and body working for you by activating the Brown fat.  

Ways to white Fight fat by stimulating Brown fat!!!

  1. Spicy foods: Capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their heat, has been shown to stimulate brown fat activity in the body. This can increase calorie burning and help with weight loss.
  2. Green tea: Green tea contains a compound called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has been found to increase brown fat activity in the body. Drinking green tea regularly may help to boost metabolism and promote weight loss.
  3. Cold foods and drinks: Exposure to cold temperatures can activate brown fat in the body. Eating cold foods such as ice cream or drinking cold drinks can stimulate brown fat activity and increase calorie burning. Taking cold showers or going for a swim in cold water can also have a similar effect.
  4. High-fiber foods: Fiber is known to promote feelings of fullness and help with weight management. Some research has suggested that high-fiber foods may also stimulate brown fat activity in the body.
  5. Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish such as salmon and sardines, may help to increase brown fat activity in the body. Omega-3s are also anti-inflammatory and have been linked to improved metabolic health.
  6. Cold exposure: Exposure to cold temperatures is one of the most effective ways to activate brown fat. Taking a cold shower, swimming in cold water, or simply being outside in cold weather can all stimulate brown fat activity.
  7. Exercise: Exercise has been shown to increase brown fat activity in the body. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) and resistance training may be particularly effective for this purpose.
  8. Sleep: Getting enough sleep is important for overall health, but it may also help to increase brown fat activity. Studies have shown that people who sleep more tend to have more active brown fat than those who sleep less.
  9. Fasting:  Periods of time with no food also stimulates thermogenesis and brown fat so more white fat is burned.

Our DNA can also impact thermogenesis in our body.  There is one gene in particular that impacts our bodies efficiency with thermogenesis, UCP1.  Some people  have an atypical variation of this gene which  means their body is not as good at thermogenesis.  Often people that carry this profile find that when they try to lose weight by using  a moderate amount of caloric restriction their body resists burning fat and they do not lose weight.  This is because their body wants to hang out to fat to keep it warm. I actually carry this profile of DNA.  

People who have this DNA variation do much better when they use strategies that stimulate thermogenesis such as intermittent fasting.  

I actually carry this genetic variation of the UCP1 gene hence why the method I used 9 years ago worked so well for me even though at that time I did not use DNA testing and did not know I carried this genetic variation. 

If you suspect your body is resistant to burning white fat and know you need to use healthy strategies to activate your metabolism and hormones so you can finally get rid of the unhealthy visceral fat then book an assessment call with me so I can understand more about you and your struggles losing weight.