When it comes to weight loss, it’s usually a big battle between you and fat. Fat has such a negative connotation and we want nothing to do with it. So, you do everything and anything to lose it. But fat isn’t that simple. In fact, it’s complex, but you can influence your fat-burning cells and achieve greater weight loss. Here’s how.

In 2009, Harvard Medical School published studies revealing that the human body has two types of fat cells: white fat cells and brown fat cells. Understanding the difference between these fat cells can help you understand what’s going on during weight loss.

White fat cells are like storage cells for fat. So, when you consume more energy (calories) than you expend (burn), your body saves this energy and stores it as fat in white fat cells.

In order for you to lose weight, the fat must be released from the white fat cell via hormonal and enzymatic processes. Once the fat is out of the white fat cell, it’s taken to other areas of the body where it’s used as energy.

But what about brown fat cells? According to Dr. Anthony Komaroff, professor at Harvard Medical School, “Brown fat cells don’t store fat: they burn fat. If your goal is to lose weight, you want to increase the number of your brown fat cells and to decrease your white fat cells.”

And luckily, you don’t need any supplements to increase brown fat cells.

In a 2012 study, published in the medical journal, Nature, researchers found exercise influences your body’s chemistry and hormonal production And when you exercise muscle, your body produces the hormone irisin.

Irisin is relevant because it helps to reduce white fat cells and increase brown fat cells – your fat-burning cells. This in turn helps to support greater weight loss.

Therefore, if weight loss is one of your current goals, remember that exercise not only helps to burn calories, but also helps to increase fat-burning fat cells necessary for weight loss, too.

Is spot reduction a big fat burning myth? 

Want to lose that belly fat? Do these ab exercises. Want to burn thigh fat? Do this leg workout. You’ve probably heard this before, and you may even do these exercise routines, too. It’s something called spot reduction. Or, the idea that if you target specific areas of your body, you will lose fat from those areas. But that’s not how weight loss works. In fact, spot reduction is a big myth you should stop believing if you want to burn fat.

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