We all know that eating healthy and regularly working out is the key to losing weight. But how exactly do these things play a role in weight loss?
How does our body know to burn fat and build muscle instead of the opposite? These questions are complex, but let’s dive into what we know about weight loss and fat burning.
To put it simply, weight loss occurs when the calories you eat are less than the calories you expend through bodily functions, daily activities, and working out. If you consistently eat more calories than you expend, you usually end up gaining weight.
Calories can also be thought of as energy because they are directly giving the cells in your body energy to do their daily work and function normally. The word calorie is actually a direct measure of how much energy a food item produces for your body to use.
Calories that you eat get used in numerous ways. First, they get used just for your body’s cells to function; pumping blood through your body, breathing, brain function, building new muscle, creating blood cells, and so many more functions that occur just for you to live.
The number of calories your body uses for these basic functions is called your basal metabolic rate, or metabolism.1 Everyone has a different basal metabolic rate that gets influenced by many things.
They also get used when you are active; regardless of if it is just walking up the stairs or if you are running a marathon. The third way is for digesting food. You use previously consumed calories to break down and store energy from the current food you are eating.
If after all these processes get energy, you have calories/energy left over, then it will get stored in adipose tissue as fat, or your liver and muscles as glycogen. Glycogen stores are good stores, as they provide your muscles with energy to get through a workout. The adipose fat stores, however, are the ones directly contributing to weight and fat gain.
When you eat fewer calories, this last step doesn’t come full-circle. That means your body has the number of calories it needs to allow all the processes that need to happen to happen, and can store some glycogen for your muscles to use as energy when you work out, but doesn’t store as much if any, fat in your adipose tissue.
If you continually eat less than you expend, you will lose fat. Though, one of the main factors to keep in mind when losing fat is retaining muscle mass. The way to do this is to eat plenty of protein, program resistance training, and generally keep physically active.
Doing resistance training contributes to your body burning calories, and in turn, fat stores. Fat leaves your body through your skin when you sweat, through your urine, and as carbon dioxide when you breathe out. The more you sweat and the heavier you breathe, the more fat your body will expel, and the more calories you will burn.
As you are losing fat, you may also be gaining muscle, and the more muscle you have the more fat you will burn. This is because muscle mass allows your body to burn fat more efficiently.
Burning calories just doesn’t happen when you are actively working out, once you stop, your body continues to burn fat as you go about your day, leading to increased fat loss.2
Metabolism and Fat Loss
Metabolism gets brought up a lot when we talk about losing weight or burning fat, but it usually gets used in the wrong context. Metabolism is the process of your body converting what you eat and drink into energy for your body to use in order to function and, as we mentioned above, is referred to as basal metabolic rate.2
Factors that influence your metabolism include your body size and composition, gender, age, physical activity level, and how your body processes food.2 Larger people, either in height or weight, use more calories at rest for various body processes.
Diet culture will tell you that you can’t lose weight because you have a slow metabolism that you need to "boost", but we can’t really control the speed that we process food at, that is something that we are born with.
Though, what we can control is how many calories we burn throughout the day, and how efficient our body is at burning these calories.
What is a Fat Burner?
While the science behind fat burners is still evolving, we do know a few things. The more physically active we are, the more calories and fat we burn during exercise and at rest.1
People who say they have a "fast metabolism" are most likely just more active, even just fidgeting more can contribute to burning more calories.
So, for a fat burner to work, you also need to be eating healthy and staying active. Fat burners work by enhancing the physical activity you are doing and contributing to the number of calories you burn at one time, not by causing fat loss on their own.
This is how Burn Lab Pro works, the world's cleanest stim-free fat burner!
It doesn’t cause spontaneous fat loss without you putting in the work, but it does allow your body to burn more calories per workout, stabilize your energy, control your appetite, and help protect muscle mass while you're burning fat.
So, if you're looking for something to help you become more efficient at burning calories, our top pick is Burn Lab Pro alongside a healthy diet and regular exercise!
- Jeukendrup, A.E. Regulation of Fat Metabolism in Skeletal Muscle. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 2002;967: 217-235.
- Verkade, P E, and J Van Der Lee. “Researches on fat metabolism. II.” The Biochemical journal vol. 28,1 (1934): 31-40. doi:10.1042/bj0280031