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okay I’m going in-depth in this video but I promise I’m gonna circle it back and make everything makes sense by the end of the video so here’s the thing with fasting gaining as much popularity as it is right now the amount of bro science do o science yo the amount of nonsensical garbage that is out there in the Internet is absolutely overwhelming so what I want to do is I want to take a very basic topic the topic of how fasting burns fat and do a deep dive on it so that people can truly understand how fasting helps your body literally utilize fat as a fuel source so this is going to be a great resource for you but it’s also gonna be a great resource for you to share with your friends and share with your family who might be a bit skeptical when it comes down to fasting or just not eating or just eating less in general so let’s talk about a couple different mechanisms and then I’m going to bridge them all together so please please please stick with me because I promise I will make it all make sense okay first off we have to start with the increase in what are known as catecholamines we have an increase in epinephrine and norepinephrine also known as adrenaline and noradrenaline what these do is they trigger that fight-or-flight response they triggered that response within our body that allows us to react to something that’s stressful adrenaline is released from the adrenal cortex and it travels around through the bloodstream and it signals different organs to do different things okay then noradrenaline is slightly different it’s not released from the adrenal cortex it’s released from nerve terminals and ultimately becomes the main neurotransmitter for the sympathetic nervous system so the sympathetic nervous system is the nervous system that we activate when we’re stressed out or when we’re fasting because when we’re not eating we are triggering our bodies to be in a stressed mode even though it’s a preferred stress mode so it’s still triggering that sympathetic nervous system so that means that noradrenaline is really the one that is causing that effect noradrenaline norepinephrine they’re synonymous now these two things these two catecholamines they trigger fat breakdown and they do this by binding to what are known as beta 1 and beta 2 receptors when our body is burning fat it’s said to be utilizing what is called beta oxidation so when we have this binding to beta 1 and beta to receptors it increases the amount of oxygen that the body can use to combine with fat to ultimately burn fat it increases something known as CA MP cyclic adenosine monophosphate okay maybe you’ve heard of ATP before adenosine triphosphate that’s the main energy source is in your body okay that’s the energy source that’s gonna allow you to do anything well cyclic adenosine monophosphate is a portion of ATP and when we have an increase in that we have an increase in energy that is produced from fat so that’s a complex breakdown I’m gonna keep going then I’m gonna circle it all so it all makes sense okay the next thing is we have an increase in hormone sensitive lipase whenever we are fasting hormone sensitive lipase triggers what is called lipolysis lipolysis is the breakdown of fatty acids to be used for fuel okay so without hormone sensitive lipase we don’t start breaking down fatty acids we don’t break down triglycerides you see triglycerides are not bad they’re just the precursor to fat as an energy source hormone sensitive lipase takes the triglycerides and it breaks the triglyceride down into 3 fatty acids try and a glycerol molecule tri glyceride so what happens there is now the fatty acids are broken down they can be used for fuel they’re not in their storage form as a triglyceride so fasting massively increases this hormone sensitive lipase and hormone sensitive lipase is gonna play a big role in a minute in this video so please pay attention the next thing is we have a big increase in glucagon when we’re fasting glucagon is the opposite of insulin you see insulin is absorptive insulin causes us to store whatever we’re eating causes us to store carbohydrates and it causes us to build fat that’s what insulin does it’s not bad it’s just necessary and it does some not so advantageous things okay then we have glucagon which is the opposite glucagon triggers the release of those to be used for fuel the release of carbohydrates the release of the fats so that they can actually be broken down so without glucagon signaling the release then sensitive lipase can’t ever do its job so now let’s talk about how they all work together and here’s where the lightbulb is going to go off and it all makes sense so the only place of regulation of fatty acid oxidation in fat tissue is at the level of hormone sensitive lipase you see hormone sensitive lipase is in your tissues it’s in your fat tissue it’s there already it’s just in somewhat of an inactive state so the only place that fat burning can occur the only place that fatty acid oxidation can start to occur is at the level where hormone sensitive lipase is so without hormone sensitive lipase being there you don’t have any way to ultimately burn fat so what happens is under fasting conditions that glucagon that I was talking about just a minute ago ends up triggering a massive release of hormone sensitive lipase it promotes the active form of hormone sensitive lipase so it’s like the body says wait a minute there’s glucagon it’s signaling the breakdown of fats so it’s jack-up hormone sensitive lipase okay so under fasting conditions that happens then what happens is epinephrine comes into the equation remember epinephrine talked about him at the beginning of the video okay he comes in and he triggers all kinds of craziness and promotes the even further production of hormone sensitive lipase in its active form now we’ve got a bunch of the active form of hormone sensitive lipase all because glucagon combined with it and now epinephrine is combining with it so now that we have this shift the body is literally in fat-burning mode so what happens is now the fatty acids that are there in your fat tissue the adipose tissue they become broken down okay that hydrolysis occurs okay that lipolysis that hydrolysis of the fat so now the fatty tissue has now turned in to fatty acid molecules okay fat tissue is different from fatty acid molecules fatty acids are ready to be used for fuel fat tissue is the ugly fat yellow stuff that’s on your body okay so now this is starting to occur starting to break down and it’s broken down into fatty acids and glycerol once again the glycerol heads to your liver and it goes through a process known as gluconeogenesis where it kind of gets converted into somewhat of a carbohydrate very small not too much of a usable form then the fatty are sent out to various tissues in the body to ultimately be burned as a fuel source okay so it doesn’t just immediately turn into this fat that is put into the bloodstream that we’re burning okay it’s a whole defined process of where the fat tissue actually turns in to a fatty acid that then travels throughout the body and is used as fuel now there’s one other component I’m not going to touch on this one too much as I’ve talked about in a lot in other videos but those fatty acids once you’ve been in fasting mode for a long period of time they get converted by the liver into something known as a ketone body and a ketone body is a much more efficient fuel source so over a period of time once you have already had the hormone sensitive lipase triggering the breakdown of fats after a period of time your body starts to turn those into ketones because it has now become so conditioned to burning fat it now shifts all the mechanical machinery within your body to be pre-programmed to want to burn fat so the ketone production starts to allow your body to become even more efficient at this process so that is how fasting literally burns fat and that’s how your body burns fat in the first place but fasting with its massive increases in epinephrine and massive increases in glucagon ultimately ends up being the biggest most powerful way to get your body to get into that fat-burning state so anyhow this is the scientific basic explanation of why fasting burns fat so tune out all the bro science tune out all the dudes out there that are talking about how fasting is great because of all these random benefits they’re finding on Wikipedia understand the body understand your body and know what works for you and share this with your family so that they know you’re not crazy when you skip breakfast with them I’ll see you in the next video
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How Fasting Burns Fat: Activate Fat Burning Enzymes- Thomas DeLauer…
Norepinephrine and Epinephrine:
Adrenaline is released from the adrenal cortex & goes through the bloodstream to affect numerous tissues in the body. Noradrenaline is released from the nerve terminals and is the main neurotransmitter of the sympathetic nerves in the cardiovascular system. These two play a primary role in the breakdown of fat by binding to the beta-1 and 2 receptors in the body, which increases cAMP levels which in turn increases fat breakdown. The nervous system sends norepinephrine to the fat cells, making them break down body fat into free fatty acids that can be burned for energy (1,2)
Hormone Sensitive Lipase:
Fasting increases the activation of hormone sensitive lipase
Activating hormone sensitive lipase initiates lipolysis, the breaking down of triacylglycerols into free fatty acids and glycerol (3)
Fasting also increases glucagon levels, which breaks down fat – glucagon is a hormone that acts directly opposite to insulin (the pancreas secretes it in an effort to raise blood sugar levels)
While insulin stores carbs and builds fat, glucagon is responsible for breaking down stored carbs and fats and releasing them so your body can use them for energy (4)
How They All Work Together:
The only site for regulation of fatty acid oxidation is at the level of hormone-sensitive lipase in adipose tissue. Under fasting conditions, with minimal insulin in the blood, glucagon promotes formation of the active form of hormone-sensitive lipase. When epinephrine is present, it further actives hormone-sensitive lipase, increasing the hydrolysis of triglycerides to produce free fatty acids (FFA) and glycerol.
The glycerol is carried to the liver, where it enters gluconeogenesis, while the FFA are carried on serum albumin to the tissues where they are catabolized for energy. The liver uses some of the energy from fat mobilization to support gluconeogenesis (5)
Ketone Production: Burn Fat Instead of Sugar- Fasting shifts your metabolism from burning sugar to burning fat – begins to break down triglycerides in the form of ketones.
1) Zauner C , et al. (n.d.). Resting energy expenditure in short-term starvation is increased as a result of an increase in serum norepinephrine. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from
2) Jensen MD , et al. (n.d.). Lipolysis during fasting. Decreased suppression by insulin and increased stimulation by epinephrine. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from
3) Sztalryd C and Kraemer FB. (n.d.). Regulation of hormone-sensitive lipase during fasting. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from
4) Marliss EB , et al. (n.d.). Glucagon levels and metabolic effects in fasting man. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from
5) Hormone-sensitive lipase – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics. (n.d.). Retrieved from
6) Adrenalin and Noradrenalin The ‘Dynamic Duo? (2015, April 9). Retrieved from /