Let us make this very clear – the fat cells are not going anywhere when you lose weight! When we talk about burning fat, it’s not about blasting up the fat cells because that cannot happen. One can shrink the size of a fat cell because with the accumulation of fat, it tends to balloon up to 20x, and sometimes even 50 of its original size. Fat cells can expand and contract depending upon weight gain/weight loss, but there is no way we can get rid of those cells altogether. Of course, fat cells do die, but then, they do get replaced! Our best bet would be to shrink the size of fat cells to trim down and lose weight. We all need fat and it’s an important part of each cell – men require approximately 25% and women 30% to survive and sustain because it’s a form of stored energy and also essential in the synthesis of various hormones, also necessary to relay messages through the body. Fat is stored in fat cells called as adipocytes and interestingly, half of the brain is made of fat. It also provides cushioning for all organs and act like shock absorbers, acts as insulation from cold temperatures. With so many functions linked to fat, we need to maintain an optimum and healthy level of fat percentage in the body, and in this post, we explore on how to shrink the size of fat cells in our body to lose weight.
What Happens to Fat Cells When we Lose Weight?
Our body stores energy in the form of fat and each gram of fat has 9 calories (in comparison carbs and proteins have just 4 calories per gram). When there are extra calories in the body, most of it gets stored as fatty acids in fat cells and to accommodate these fatty acids, the adipocyte cell stretches and expands up significantly. When we follow the correct diet and exercise regularly, maintaining calorie deficit, these cells release fat molecules to be used up as energy, and shrink in size, and that’s when we lose weight. We can also prevent further creation of fat cells, but the ones that exist, they are lying dormant in anticipation of fat molecules to come back, so that they can expand back. Even when we are dieting or exercising, we are only able to push out fatty acids from the cells into the bloodstream, made available to be consumed as energy. Weight loss is caused by fat cells shrinking, not burning up of the entire cell.
Ways to Shrink the Size of Fat Cells:
1. Tackle Leptin Resistance: Leptin is the satiety hormone that the fat cells produce which signals the brain that there are enough calories in the body, and that we should stop eating. Now, when the leptin hormone does not function properly, the brain does not receive the satiety signal, and as a result, we tend to eat more, adding extra calories that can potentially get stored as fat. Leptin resistance will keep you hungry all the time, leading to frequent snacking, and weight gain. Leptin resistance can be tackled by avoiding processed food, increasing fiber intake, exercising, sleeping for at least 7 hours, and consuming enough protein.
2. Maintain Calorie Deficit: When our body burns more calories than what we are eating, when there is a deficit, it taps into the fat molecules stored in the fat cells for fuel and energy. As a result, lipolysis takes place, and fat molecules are released from fat cells, leading to shrinking of their size. Read about different ways to get into calorie deficit by following the diet programs on Rati Beauty app.
3. Exercise Regularly: Exercising regularly is one sure shot way to use up the energy stored inside fat cells and shrink them up, and also prevent future weight gain.
4. Don’t Just Diet, Eat Healthy: Not all calories are created equal, and don’t crash diet to shrink fat cells and lose weight. It’s important to eat healthy and eat right to actually lose fat from the body, and that’s why the diets on Rati Beauty app actually work and prevent gaining back any weight after losing it.
5. Get Enough Sleep: As we have mentioned previously, sleep deprivation affects weight loss friendly hormones adversely, including leptin, taking its level down. Get at least 7 hours of sleep each night to reverse leptin resistance and shrink fat cells.
6. Cut Down on Sugar: Liver is an organ which stores sugar in the form of glycogen. When we eat sugar through the day, we are filling up the glycogen level in the liver and when it’s full, all the surplus sugar gets converted into fatty acids and stored into the fat cells. Cut down on sugar to see significant weight loss.
7. Include more of vegetables, healthy fats, legumes, beans, protein in your diet to maintain optimum size of fat cells and prevent their expansion.