Natural Approaches to Healthy Fat Loss

After a stressful and eventful 2020, we’ve finally made it to a new year. And no matter how your 2020 went as far as your health goals, you may be ready to put your best foot forward this year in an earnest attempt to lose fat and improve your health.

Unfortunately, as you age, several hormonal, physical, and biochemical changes make it much easier for you to accumulate fat— while simultaneously making it much harder to burn excess fat.

Luckily, there are some natural approaches you can take that may help you meet your weight loss goals in a healthy way. These include making sustainable changes to your diet, incorporating regular exercise, managing your stress levels, and including targeted supplements which may help you to burn more fat, such as Juvenon’s Nordic Burn.

In this article, you will learn:

  • How fat loss works
  • The role of brown fat activation in fat loss
  • Effective lifestyle changes that may help you burn more fat
  • And how the ingredients in Juvenon’s Nordic Burn supplement can help activate your brown fat and promote fat burning

How your body stores and burns fat

Some amount of body fat is normal and healthy, as fat serves as a “backup” energy source and a storage location for nutrients and other important body chemicals. Certain types of fat even serve as the raw material your body needs to synthesize hormones and other important body structures, like the myelin sheath—the lining of your nerve cells.

Unfortunately, it’s notoriously easy to put on excess fat in today’s obesogenic (obesity-promoting) environment. One of the primary regulators of this excess fat storage in your body is the hormone insulin.(1)

When you eat a large or particularly sugar-rich meal, your blood sugar level rises—providing a quick burst of easy-to-use energy. However, if there’s more sugar in your blood than you can use right then, insulin’s role is to normalize your blood sugar level by transforming that sugar into stored body fat.

Over time, based on insulin’s function, you can see how overeating unhealthy foods can lead to putting on excess fat.

And unfortunately, burning your stored body fat is much harder than creating it. As long as your insulin is “switched on,” you’ll be in what some experts call “fat storage mode” instead of “fat burning mode.”

In fact, over the long term, your body can become insulin resistant—requiring even higher levels of insulin to accomplish the same effect, and locking you into a difficult-to-reverse fat storage feedback loop. Moreover, insulin resistance has been heavily implicated as one of the key causes of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and even heart disease.(1)

Luckily, there are some ways that you can help your body switch into fat burning mode through lifestyle changes. One other thing you may want to consider is your body’s brown fat stores.

Brown fat activation

Your body has two main types of fat: white fat and brown fat. Most fat is white, but you also have stores of brown fat in your neck and shoulders.

Brown fat is unique in that it is rich in mitochondria, or the tiny “power plants” that produce energy for your cells. Brown fat acts like a furnace, and burns white fat for energy when you’re cold or in response to eating—in a process known as thermogenesis.(2)

Additionally, In certain circumstances, your body may actually be able to conditionally transform white fat into brown fat—which may make it easier for you to boost fat loss, as brown fat is able to burn more energy.

There are several lifestyle factors that may affect your body’s ability to activate brown fat or enter fat-burning mode easily.

Diet

Diet is one of the most important factors to consider if you want to burn more fat.

One of the keys is to reduce the amount of insulin that your body has to produce in response to the food you eat, which you can achieve in a number of ways: for example, eating fewer calories or eating less carbs and sugars (which cause your blood sugar levels to increase).

Here are some foods that you may want to avoid to promote fat loss: (3)

  • Starchy carbohydrates in excess, like bread, pasta, and potatoes
  • Added sugars, like sweetened drinks, cakes, cookies, and desserts
  • Highly processed foods like frozen meals and fast food

On the other hand, your diet should consist primarily of:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • High-quality protein sources like meat, nuts and seeds, or beans
  • Complex carbohydrates like sweet potato or whole grains
  • Healthy fats like olive oil

Exercise

Research shows that regular exercise can make it easier to burn stored fat.

Additionally, exercise may help to shrink your white fat cells, reducing the amount of fat that these cells contain. Some evidence also suggests that regular exercise can have positive effects on your brown fat, encouraging increased fat and calorie-burning activity.(4)

For optimal health, you should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week.

Stress reduction

Chronic stress can also cause some changes that make it more likely for your body to store and cling to excess fat. High levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, may ramp up your food cravings (especially for sugary, fatty, high-calorie foods) and encourage the deposition of abdominal fat.(5)

If you’re chronically stressed, which isn’t uncommon these days, it may be a good idea to look into some strategies to help you better manage your stress. Some ways may include:

  • Mindfulness meditation, prayer, or gratitude journaling
  • Yoga
  • Counseling

Cold exposure

Brown fat is the furnace that burns white fat, and one way to turn this furnace on is by cold exposure. Some people are extreme with this, taking daily cold showers or ice baths.

However, some research suggests that even mild cold exposure (to temperatures between 60-70 degrees) daily may help to activate your brown fat stores.(6)

Supplementation

Additionally, some supplements may help to activate your brown fat, ramping up your energy and fat burn. These vitamins, minerals, and other compounds are all featured in Juvenon’s powerful Nordic Burn supplement, designed to help you unlock your body’s full fat-burning potential.

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D is a key nutrient that plays a variety of roles in your body, like strengthening your immune system. However, some research suggests that vitamin D may play a role in obesity and fat metabolism as well.

One animal study noted that obese mice who were deficient in vitamin D actually stored more fat and burned less fat than mice who weren’t deficient in vitamin D.(7)

Similarly, vitamin D supplementation may help to improve the body’s insulin sensitivity—meaning that less insulin is required to perform the same job of regulating blood sugar. This effect would make it that much easier for you to enter fat burning mode.(8)

Chromium

Chromium is a vital and underrated mineral that may help to reduce insulin levels, improve blood sugar levels, and make it easier for you to burn your stored body fat.

Research suggests that chromium can reduce fasting insulin levels in people with diabetes, and there’s some evidence that it may do the same for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).(9)

Caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant, and it may also provide a slight boost to your fat burning capacity. Several studies suggest that drinking coffee or consuming other sources of caffeine can help your liver burn more fat, along with activating your mitochondria to produce more energy from stored fat. Caffeine may also act as a natural appetite suppressant.(10)

Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is an important compound that’s needed for proper mitochondrial function. The mitochondria create energy, which they can do from both sugar or fat, so it’s very important to have properly functioning mitochondria if you want to burn more stored body fat. And remember, your mitochondria-rich brown fat stores may benefit from this as well.(11)

When taken as a supplement, ALA may help prevent damage to the mitochondria caused by harmful compounds called free radicals.(12)

Green Tea

Several studies have noted positive effects of green tea on metabolism and weight control, likely because of the combination of fat-burning compounds green tea contains—like epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and caffeine.

One study in particular found that drinking a green tea drink helped women burn more fat during a brisk walk, showing that green tea may help compound the positive effects of exercise.(13)

Green tea may also work in some other ways to help reduce fat storage. For example, it may help to suppress your appetite, reduce fat storage and the production of new fat cells, increase your calorie burn, and increase how much fat is excreted through your bodily wastes.(14)

Olive Leaf Extract

Olive leaf extract, or oleuropein, may exert a number of positive effects regarding insulin, fat storage, and sugar and fat metabolism. In several studies, it’s been noted that oleuropein can help increase fat burn, reduce insulin levels, and improve blood sugar levels. It may also help protect your liver from damage, and protect against harmful plaque build-up in your arteries.(15)

Aframomum melegueta Extract

Aframomum melegueta, or grains of paradise—a relative of ginger—can help to activate your body’s brown fat stores just as effectively as cold exposure can. One study found that supplementing with A. melegueta significantly increased calorie and fat burn in healthy men.(16)

A similar study found that taking A. melegueta daily for 4 weeks could increase daily calorie burn and reduce visceral (abdominal) fat in healthy women.(17)

Summary

While it’s notoriously easy to put on excess fat, getting rid of it can be more of a challenge. Fat storage is profoundly affected by the hormone insulin, so one important strategy to achieving fat loss is to reduce your body’s insulin levels.

Additionally, activating your mitochondria-rich brown fat stores helps your body to more effectively burn white fat.

Some lifestyle changes that may help you to burn more fat include diet changes, regular exercise, stress management, and cold exposure.

References

  1. Ravussin E, Smith SR. Increased fat intake, impaired fat oxidation, and failure of fat cell proliferation result in ectopic fat storage, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002;967:363-378. doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.2002.tb04292.x
  2. Okla M, Kim J, Koehler K, Chung S. Dietary Factors Promoting Brown and Beige Fat Development and Thermogenesis. Adv Nutr. 2017;8(3):473-483. Published 2017 May 15. doi:10.3945/an.116.014332
  3. Gołąbek KD, Regulska-Ilow B. Dietary support in insulin resistance: An overview of current scientific reports. Adv Clin Exp Med. 2019;28(11):1577-1585. doi:10.17219/acem/109976
  4. Lehnig AC, Stanford KI. Exercise-induced adaptations to white and brown adipose tissue. J Exp Biol. 2018;221(Pt Suppl 1):jeb161570. Published 2018 Mar 7. doi:10.1242/jeb.161570
  5. Daubenmier J, Kristeller J, Hecht FM, et al. Mindfulness Intervention for Stress Eating to Reduce Cortisol and Abdominal Fat among Overweight and Obese Women: An Exploratory Randomized Controlled Study. J Obes. 2011;2011:651936. doi:10.1155/2011/651936
  6. Cohen P, Spiegelman BM. Brown and Beige Fat: Molecular Parts of a Thermogenic Machine. Diabetes. 2015;64(7):2346-2351. doi:10.2337/db15-0318
  7. Borges CC, Salles AF, Bringhenti I, Mandarim-DE-Lacerda CA, Aguila MB. Vitamin D Deficiency Increases Lipogenesis and Reduces Beta-Oxidation in the Liver of Diet-Induced Obese Mice. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2018;64(2):106-115. doi:10.3177/jnsv.64.106
  8. Pannu PK, Calton EK, Soares MJ. Calcium and Vitamin D in Obesity and Related Chronic Disease. Adv Food Nutr Res. 2016;77:57-100. doi:10.1016/bs.afnr.2015.11.001
  9. Heshmati J, Omani-Samani R, Vesali S, et al. The Effects of Supplementation with Chromium on Insulin Resistance Indices in Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. Horm Metab Res. 2018;50(3):193-200. doi:10.1055/s-0044-101835
  10. Ding WX. Drinking coffee burns hepatic fat by inducing lipophagy coupled with mitochondrial β-oxidation. Hepatology. 2014;59(4):1235-1238. doi:10.1002/hep.26736
  11. Solmonson A, DeBerardinis RJ. Lipoic acid metabolism and mitochondrial redox regulation. J Biol Chem. 2018;293(20):7522-7530. doi:10.1074/jbc.TM117.000259
  12. Rochette L, Ghibu S, Muresan A, Vergely C. Alpha-lipoic acid: molecular mechanisms and therapeutic potential in diabetes. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2015;93(12):1021-1027. doi:10.1139/cjpp-2014-0353
  13. Willems MET, Şahin MA, Cook MD. Matcha Green Tea Drinks Enhance Fat Oxidation During Brisk Walking in Females. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2018;28(5):536-541. doi:10.1123/ijsnem.2017-0237
  14. Huang J, Wang Y, Xie Z, Zhou Y, Zhang Y, Wan X. The anti-obesity effects of green tea in human intervention and basic molecular studies. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014;68(10):1075-1087. doi:10.1038/ejcn.2014.143
  15. Ahamad J, Toufeeq I, Khan MA, et al. Oleuropein: A natural antioxidant molecule in the treatment of metabolic syndrome. Phytother Res. 2019;33(12):3112-3128. doi:10.1002/ptr.6511
  16. Sugita J, Yoneshiro T, Hatano T, et al. Grains of paradise (Aframomum melegueta) extract activates brown adipose tissue and increases whole-body energy expenditure in men. Br J Nutr. 2013;110(4):733-738. doi:10.1017/S0007114512005715
  17. Sugita J, Yoneshiro T, Sugishima Y, et al. Daily ingestion of grains of paradise (Aframomum melegueta) extract increases whole-body energy expenditure and decreases visceral fat in humans. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2014;60(1):22-27. doi:10.3177/jnsv.60.22