With the increase in numbers of obesity among children and adults, there is growing interest in finding ways to burn calories and stay healthy. Scientists are starting to discover the benefits of activating and increasing brown fat cells in the body for losing weight and combating obesity. What they are uncovering is lifestyle and dietary changes may naturally help in converting the white fat cells responsible for weight gain into healthy brown fat.
Most often when someone is speaking about body fat they are referring to white fat. White fat (also referred to as white adipose tissue or WAT) is the less healthy tissue present in our body that stores energy in the form of large fat droplets. These fat droplets are distributed all over the body in large quantities. While white fat can help keep your body and organs warm, too much of it can lead to major health risks, such as heart diseases, diabetes, obesity, as well as many other complications.
Brown fat (or brown adipose tissue) on the other hand, is the healthier tissue that accumulates energy in the body in smaller portions. While scientists are just starting to understand what brown fat actually does; you can think of brown fat as ‘good’ fat. It contains mitochondria which has iron in it and leads to a process called thermogenesis, which helps burn calories present in your body and reduce obesity. While brown fat is more common in babies to keep them warm and it starts to disperse over time; adults have small reserves of it as well. Brown fat can be broken into two types; the brown fat you are born with (also referred to as constitutive) and recruitable which can be changed through the right lifestyle changes. A number of studies have shown promising results that brown fat burns calories and may help control blood sugar, improve insulin levels as well as play a role in treating obesity.
Understanding the difference between these two and how to turn white fat into brown can lead to a healthier lifestyle and better physical performance.
While there are drugs that can help you lose weight; these drugs often come with a number of dangerous side-effects. Fortunately, there are natural methods you can incorporate into your daily routine that can help reduce white fat cells while increasing brown fat. Let’s explore some of the most effective strategies.
One of the best ways to naturally increase brown fat in your body is by engaging in physical activity and regular exercise. Research has uncovered that people who don’t exercise enough produce less irisin, an enzyme that may help turn white fat into brown. There is still more research needed to determine if regular exercise definitely helps create brown fat at a faster rate but due to its other health benefits, it’s recommended anyway.
Exposing your body to lower temperatures may also help encourage the growth of brown fat cells. If you haven’t tried it before, cold water therapy can be a great option and comes with a number of other health benefits as well. If you would rather not expose yourself to too much water, sit out for a few hours during cold temperatures. Exposure to cold weather and water helps cool down your body, which makes more space for brown fat.
According to the American Diabetes Association, exposing your body to cold temperatures (of around 19°C) for just two hours a day could be enough to start turning white fat to brown.
Unfortunately, many people believe that starving themselves is the key to burning white fat. However, that's not true at all! You need food to keep your brain nourished, and only when your brain is awake does your body work to increase brown fat. Of course, this doesn't mean that you should start overeating, as that can have the opposite effect; gaining weight and interfering with brown fat’s ability to burn calories.
Here are a few examples of ingredients that might help in burning white fat and encouraging brown fat growth:
Other examples of foods you can incorporate into your diet include:
According to a 2018 study melatonin also has the potential to help increase brown fat in your body. You can increase your melatonin intake by consuming foods such as cherries, coriander, cardamom, tomatoes, and almonds. In addition to your diet, another means of maintaining your body's melatonin levels is to try to avoid strong light exposure from electronic screens at night time. That means reducing screen time, whether it's your phone, computer, or television. Developing healthy sleeping patterns and daily sunlight exposure can also stimulate your body's melatonin production.
One of the simplest ways to naturally generate more brown fat cells in your body is by taking breaks, especially if you have a tight schedule. Activities such as work, managing house chores, and maintaining your own social life can all add strain on your body. Taking time to relax helps maintain stress hormones such as cortisol, which work to reduce brown fat cells in the body.
CBD oil has become increasingly popular due to its potential to help relieve anxiety and stress along with a range of other physical and mental conditions. But research has also shown positive results for using CBD as a means to reduce obesity and lose weight. This is accomplished through its potential to encourage the breakdown of fat in your body by converting white fat into brown.
While research is still ongoing and most studies centered around experimenting with mice; these strategies have continued to show positive results in their ability to naturally convert unwanted white fat into brown. Aside from that, they come with a range of other major benefits that can help keep you healthy and are definitely worth a try.
We know how difficult and frustrating trying to lose weight can be but it’s important to remember to stick with it. Consistency and patience is key. Over time, as you make these strategies part of your daily routine it can change your life for the better.
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