Train Your Fat Cells to Burn More Calories

You can make fat cells burn calories just like muscle by training them.

If you’re not exercising regularly, your fat cells are getting lazy. It’s time to take control of the situation and turn those lazy cells into active, energy burning powerhouses. New research shows that the hormone produced from exercise, irisin, actually transforms unproductive white fat cells into calorie burning powerhouses.

Hello, Brown Fat! Goodbye, White Fat!

To understand the significance of that, first you need to understand that not all fat cells are equal. Just as your doctor always pushes you to get plenty of Omega-3’s but stay away from saturated fats, the fat cells in your body can be either helpful to losing weight or harmful.

White fat, or more specifically, white adipose tissue, is the type of fat that likes to collect in all those curvaceous areas we’re all trying to thin out. It’s what we call “body fat” (and a few other choice words). White fat is simply a storehouse for energy. Unfortunately, these storehouses also secrete damaging, inflammation-causing hormones that can lead to diabetes and other illnesses.

Brown fat, on the other hand, is a fat that is on our side. It’s full of energy-burning mitochondria, designed to heat our bodies as infants. You can see why it would be helpful to find a way to transform white fat cells into brown fat, or at least make them act like brown fat cells.

Baby Fat Blues


We all have lots of brown fat when we’re born. Doctors thought we outgrew brown fat as a normal stage of life. Now we know that we never lose all of our baby fat and that the more we have, the more calories we can burn. In fact, lean people tend to have more brown fat in their bodies than those who weight more.

Since brown fat helps us lose weight even after we finish exercising, researchers are already working on creating new medications based on irisin’s affects. Some of that activity centers less on the weight-loss benefits of irisin and more on the blood-sugar leveling benefits. Irisin could become a powerful tool in curing Type II diabetes. Other research centers on the idea of transplanting brown fat into people to help them burn more calories and lose weight.

Put Your Fat in Boot Camp

Muscle is the ultimate metabolism booster, and we still can’t change fat into muscle, but we may not have to. Exercising helps us transform the behavior of white fat so that it burns more energy, just as muscles do.

So, as you exercise, you’ll begin to train your white fat to start burning energy (thus burning itself). That means you’ll still be burning fat even after you’ve stopped exercising. You have essentially trained your fat cells to burn more calories. Experts believe these transformations become permanent changes in the way white fat cells behave, offering lifelong benefits. And, when you keep in mind that you can actually train your cells to help you lose weight, you’ll be more likely to stay on track with a healthy exercise program.