Burning fat – these four nutrients are crucial!
Burning fat and wanting to lose weight is probably the main reason for many people to start watching what they eat in the first place. And in this urge to “watch”, they will quickly jump at anything that promises any kind of faster results.
And as it goes in life – where there’s demand, there’s also supply. Thousands upon thousands of various helpers flood the market, some decent, most of them, however, not.
But did you know that none of those “amazing helpers” work unless you’ve managed to balance the nutrients in your body that build the foundation for burning fat?
Today, I’m giving you an overview of four nutrients necessary for your body to efficiently burn body fat. Without them, your metabolism doesn’t work well enough.
Together with a well thought-through meal plan, it helps you reach your goals more easily.
The basics of fat burning
It’s no secret that in order to lose weight, you need to eat less than what your body spends. And for your undertaking to be successful, you need for your body to take this missing energy from your fat storage. And this is where eating becomes most crucial.
Life has shown that the two biggest stumbling blocks on this road caused by bad eating are:
- Inability to keep blood sugar level stable.
- Unhealthy food has deteriorated the insulin sensitivity of cells of the body.
Why is checking blood sugar so important?
When you eat, the carbohydrates you eat are converted into glucose. As a result, the pancreas releases insulin into blood, which eases the conversion of this glucose into energy.
In a perfect world, the insulin sensitivity of your cells is good and your blood sugar is always well-controlled.
Unfortunately, unhealthy eating habits (too many calories, sugar-heavy foods, strongly processed foods, etc.) and low physical activity impact the body in such a way that controlling blood sugar levels becomes more chaotic.
You may feel a constant fluctuation of energy levels – at one time you’re energetic and then suddenly can’t keep your eyes open any more. All this causes hunger, cravings and fatigue.
A healthy body secrets a specific necessary amount of insulin, thereby keeping the blood sugar level stable. But in a body that no longer functions as efficiently, the pancreas has become confused and it secretes more insulin than is actually necessary.
But when the body is constantly circulating too much insulin, it starts to block an enzyme called HSL (hormone sensitive lipase), which helps the body burn fat. At the same time, a counteracting enzyme LPL (lipoprotein lipase) becomes more active and helps increase the fat storage of the body. A situation that none of us clearly wants.
Excessive insulin also causes cell receptors to become less sensitive, meaning that even more insulin is needed to control the same amount of blood sugar.
This creates an environment where the body’s ability to burn body fat switches off. Energy no longer makes it to cells as successfully and you will feel tired and drained.
In order to improve the situation, you need to constantly eat smartly and in a way that’s thought through.
Burning fat – these four nutrients are crucial!
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals for our health and its deficiency causes several health problems – starting from heart disorders and lack of energy, ending with diabetes and sleeping problems.
For example, a survey published in the Diabetes Care journal in 2011 revealed that people who consumed enough magnesium suffered least often from type 2 diabetes.
Magnesium deficit is also closely related to body weight, insulin sensitivity and energy levels.
A survey carried out in Newfoundland in 2013 showed that subjects who consumed the most magnesium had the lowest insulin levels, smaller waist size and were in better physical shape.
Magnesium chloride foot baths are a fast and efficient way of normalising the magnesium levels of the body. If this feels too uncomfortable then an alternative is various magnesium oils available in stores.
Eating magnesium-rich foods is definitely just as important. Make sure that your diet contains enough nuts, seeds, kama, bread, spinach, legumes, buckwheat, wholegrain products, pork, beef and chicken, banana, broccoli, etc.
Carnitine is an amino acid that helps introduce fat molecules into cells in order to use them up for energy. In other words, carnitine helps burn body fat more effectively. Like magnesium, carnitine also has the effect of improving insulin sensitivity. In addition, carnitine gives you more energy and makes you more active.
Thankfully, the fancy and unfamiliar name hides a substance contained in all animal products. Beef contains it the most, but it’s also present in chicken, fish, milk products, etc.
If you don’t consume any animal products, consider taking additional carnitine as a food supplement.
3. Fish oil
The usefulness of fish oil is a well-discussed topic. What’s less known is that the omega-3 fatty acids (EPA, DHA) contained in fish oils also help with burning fat.
Like the nutrients mentioned above, consuming them influences your insulin sensitivity and increases energy consumption of the body.
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish (for example, salmon, herring, sardines, trout, etc.) but also grass-fed animal products, flax seed, etc.
4. Vitamin B12
Together with other group B vitamins, B12 plays an important role in burning fat. In general, vitamin B12 is mostly known in relation to anaemia because it takes part in forming red blood cells, which in turn transport oxygen to tissues and maintain your energy levels.
A series of surveys have been carried out, where a low level of B12 is directly associated with poor insulin sensitivity and being overweight.
One survey carried out in England revealed that pregnant women with a lower level of vitamin B12 had more body fat and lower insulin sensitivity.
Another survey carried out in Turkey with 976 people concluded that a low level of vitamin B12 was directly connected with being overweight.
All B-group vitamins can successfully be consumed with good. The best sources of vitamin B12 are liver, beef, poultry, eggs, fish, cheese, pork, chicken, milk, curd, unflavoured yoghurt, etc.
I suggest that vegetarians pay closer attention to vitamin B12, be extra attentive about it and use food supplements if necessary.
To sum up, I suggest being creative but also extremely smart about nutrition. Variety is the key to everything and no extreme is good. Only this way do you ensure that your fat-burning and thus also weight loss are successful.