The Science Behind Fat

A quick introduction to how we gain and lose fat


by Sarah Ramras

One of the cool side effects of CleanStart is fat loss. There is of course a certain amount of fat that is necessary for bodily function, however most Americans (over 60%) carry extra fat around. CleanStart food rules are designed to turn you into a fat-burning machine, rather than a sugar-burning couch potato that gets most of your energy from cheap carbs. Let’s answers some of the most common questions on fat.

How is body fat burned?

Burning fat is a process in which your muscle and liver cells pull out fat stored within your fat cells, so that your body can use it metabolically.

Where does fat go?

Fat is turned into heat, ATP (energy), carbon dioxide, and water. Surprisingly, your fat cells don’t disappear, but they shrink when you lose fat.

Where’s the bad fat located?

The most dangerous fat is called visceral fat, and it resides around your internal organs. Visceral fat increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, liver failure, diabetes, and high blood pressure. That’s why it’s so important to keep your belly fat at a minimum!

What becomes fat?

While any calories consumed can be stored as fat, the body is more likely to store fat from carbs rather than protein and fat.

How do hormones influence fat storage?

Insulin is a building/storing hormone secreted by the pancreas in response to ingesting food. It facilitates the use of the important macronutrients in your food. If your insulin levels are chronically elevated, you’re more susceptible to high fat storage. This is called insulin resistance. By eating foods with lower levels of carbohydrates, your blood sugar won’t spike, and your body won’t store all this excess energy as fat.

Leptin also plays a key role in fat storage. It is an “energy balance” hormone secreted by fat cells and is released in direct proportion to the amount of fat stored. Leptin informs the brain on how much body fat is stored and how much is burned, acting as a homeostasis peacemaker. Overeating carbohydrate-filled foods will inhibit you brains ability to “hear” leptin’s message and increase your fat storage. This is called leptin resistance.

How can we burn fat?

Diets are always constructed around eating healthy, avoiding excessive eating, and exercise. However to really get fat burning there are a few things you can do:

  • Keep a low-carbohydrate, whole-food lifestyle found in CleanStart.
  • Cut carbs found in breads, grains, white potatoes, and dairy, while eating more protein, and eat more healthy fat.
  • High intensity interval training (HIIT). This cannot be stressed enough in terms of fat burning. Low and slow is no match for hard bursts during your workout, so keep up the HIIT.

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