7 Ways to Supercharge Your Fat Burning By Chris Aceto
Getting lean, or dumping excess body fat, is all about calories. Two
standard approaches to ripping up include eating fewer carbohydrates and
dietary fat or throwing cardiovascular exercise into your training mix. The
former relies on dropping calories from the diet while the latter emphasizes
caloric expenditure – burning calories.
The less than standard approach is to maximize thermogenesis. Max this out,
and you’ll be able to attain a level of conditioning that is simply, well,
not ripped but diced!
Thermogenesis describes the body’s heat generating capacity. While the
normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees, a slightly higher temperature, even
an-ever-so-slight increase, results in the burning of additional calories.
Here, I want to take a look at 7 ways we can get the body to boost its
thermogenic potential. When you can keep the temperature even slightly
elevated, you’ll burn more body fat and many speculate a higher thermogenic
metabolism is more anabolic. That makes sense as a higher body temperature
translates into a higher metabolic rate, and a higher metabolic rate
supports protein synthesis.
1) Multiple Meals
Here’s the lowdown: Every time you eat, the body experiences a small
increase in body temperature – thermogenesis – resulting in an increased
metabolism. The irony of dieting is the metabolism can accommodate by
burning fewer calories. Eat less and the body’s calorie burning capacity
often drops, as does its internal temperature. The solution: radically
change your daily meal scheme from 4 to 6 meals to 7 or 8.
2) Emphasize Vegetables
If you’re trying to cut up, eating lots of low calorie veggies is a big
plus. Cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, green beans, zucchini, spinach, onions
and others not only help you keep a tight check on calories, but also
increase the metabolism. These ultra low calorie items are dense in
insoluble fiber, the kind that actually requires more calories to digest,
than they supply. That is, a cup of spinach at 8 calories can take 9
calories of digestive energy to "get at" the 8 calories found in the cup.
The net effect, you fall into a calorie deficit from eating more veggies.
Nothing huge mind you, but in the quest for a truly fat-free body,
everything becomes important.
3) Get Used To Spicy Food
No kidding. Spicy or hot foods increase the metabolism by increasing
thermogenesis. Red peppers, cayenne peppers, hot sauces and any other red
pepper based spice or herb amps the nervous system. The result is that your
body temperature increases and you burn more calories. Most bodybuilding
diets are high in protein and incorporate lots of chicken and turkey breast,
egg whites and the occasional extra lean ground beef, but they’re also
pretty dull in the flavor department. Crushed red peppers, Thai red chili
and lots of Tobasco sauce are not only an insignificant source of calories,
but help kick the metabolic rate upwards while adding some zest to what is
typically a pretty pale and bland fare.
Ginger’s another tart ingredient that also exerts the same effect. Try
biting down on fresh ginger and you’ll see what I mean. Ginger increases
heat production in the body helping you to lean down. In fact, Labrada’s
Charge features ginger – an important slimming ingredient designed to boost
your thermogenic potential.
4) Ephedra-Free Calorie Burners
Caffeine can be considered a thermogenic. It increases the metabolism by
stimulating the nervous system. That’s why virgin Joe drinkers claim it
provides a jolt and helps ‘em stay awake. One problem with continued use is
the thermogenic effect fades. Therefore, caffeine or strong coffee usage
ought to be reserved for cutting phases. If you drink it year-round, the fat
burning effect will only slip away.
Caffeine and carbs are not a great mix. Caffeine can drag fatty acids out of
fat cells facilitate the burning of body fat. The catch is that caffeine, or
coffee on an empty stomach, works. Throw in carbs like a bagel or even a
bowl of oats and the body responds by outputting insulin, which can override
the fat liberating effects of caffeine.
Three ways to use caffeine the right way include a) drink your coffee and
wait at least an hour before eating breakfast. This gives the body time to
burn some extra fat before the introduction of carbohydrates b) Drink your
coffee and hop on the treadmill. c) make a low carb, whey protein shake with
instant coffee granules before training and save the high carbs for after
training – the best time to replenish glycogen stores.
Recipe Bonus: Using a blender, mix whey protein, cold water, instant coffee
grounds, shaved ice, non dairy creamer and lots of Equal, a perfect
pre-cardio snack to keep insulin levels low and fat burning potential high.
The cousin to caffeine is green tea. While green tea contains smaller
amounts of caffeine than coffee, it also contains special polyphenols called
catechins which have been shown to boost the metabolic rate. Many ideal fat
burning products now combine catechins with caffeine to maximize calorie
burning. Charge does so, and, because it’s 100% ephedra free, it’s 100% safe
and can be used on a daily basis by the individual following a calorie
controlled diet in hopes of eliminating body fat.
Ok, how do you rip up by overeating? The answer is by alternating an
overeating day with consecutive under eating days. Here’s how it works. When
an individual eats more calories than he requires, not every single calorie
eaten above excess is stored as fat. Some of the excess calories cause a
strong increase in thermogenesis resulting in an elevated metabolic rate.
One way to take advantage of this effect is to follow a modified low carb
diet for 3 days followed by a single day of a high carb intake. During the
low carb phase, eat 1 gram of carbohydrate per pound of bodyweight and 1
gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.
Keep your fat intake low – limited to the fat naturally occurring in your
protein foods. On the high carb day, eat 2.5 to 3 grams of carbs per pound
of body weight, keeping the protein fixed at a gram per pound of body weight
and low fat. The effect: The single high carb day pumps up thermogenesis.
When you return to the modified low carb days, there’s a carryover effect
where the metabolic rate remains elevated for 24 to 36 hours. For cutting,
it’s a guaranteed step for shedding fat.
To understand this one, you need to imagine a winter day. Standing out in
the cold with a huge thermal lined jacket, your body stays warm. In essence,
its temperature stays stable at 98.6F. Take the jacket off and the
temperature drops. The body over-compensates by shivering: trying to get
moving, shaking anything to increase the body temperature. That’s classic
Now let’s shift to niacin, a simple B family vitamin. Niacin dilates or
opens blood vessels, and to a lesser extent, the skin allowing heat to
dissipate or more readily escape the body. The result: the body increases
its temperature to make up for the lost heat. Give 15 mgs twice a day a
shot. Careful, you’ll feel a ‘flushing effect, that while sometimes
uncomfortable, is totally natural. An added benefit is that niacin can
increase HDL levels, the "good cholesterol" and helps the body metabolize
carbohydrate for energy.
7) The Right Fat
Some fats you need. One kind is called omega-3 fatty acids. Common to fish
and flax seeds, this fat helps burn fat when combined with a low calorie
diet. One study showed individuals following a low calorie diet and eating
fish on a daily basis lost more fat and weight than those who ate the same
amount of calories but did not eat fish.
Another kind of fat is called omega-6 fats. These fats help support brown
fat burning. Babies are loaded with brown fat. That’s one reason they can
eat pound for pound more calories than at any other time in their lives and
become leaner. Brown fat burns calories. Adults also have brown fat but in
far smaller amounts. Most is located around the spinal column while the rest
coats the organs. Omega-6 fats support brown fat’s ability to burn calories.
The final of the important fats is CLA, short for conjugated linoleic acid.
This fat seems to turn up the production of a fat burning enzyme called
hormone sensitive lipase (HSL). HSL opens up fat cells allowing them to dump
fat. While this isn’t a thermogenic effect, there’s no increase in the
metabolism overall, it adds to fat loss when combined with thermogenic
factors numbered 1-6 above.