Now let’s get into the interesting bits about fat that many people don’t know about.
Many do not realise we have white and brown fat. (WF-BF)
White fat is white in colour-obvious- and it is used as storage. Subcutaneous fat is mainly white. Bingo wings, hip holsters, fatty breasts are all examples of WF.
Until recently, it was thought that only babies has brown fat. Now, thanks to different studies and tests we have a clearer understanding and know that adults have it too, just in lesser amounts.
This type of fat is located around the shoulders, neck and along the spine, brown in colour and its main function is to produce heat via breaking it down. Babies have it because they do not shiver in the same way as children and adults when cold –which is our mechanism to combat cold temperatures- so they passively generate heat as the BF is activated when the temperature drops.
The main difference of these two is that one acts like a store of adipose deposits and the other burns/breaks down fat –producing heat- The former is the ‘bad’ one and the brown is the ‘good’ one.
Let’s concentrate on BF for a moment as it is potentially the future against overweight and obesity.
BF burns calories to keep us warm and this is why it could be a possible answer for overweight people and obesity. Several tests showed that people exposed to colder temperatures burned up to 250 cal in a couple of hours compared to others exposed to a warmer temperature, meaning that the brown fat was active and consuming those calories to generate heat in order to keep us warm.
Women have more BF than men, younger people more than older, lean people more than overweight and obese have practically none. You’ll be glad to hear that exercise activates BF. Hurray!
Now imagine if we could have a higher amount of this good fat instead of WF.
Lots of questions spring to mind:
Could we inject BF to burn calories and fight obesity?
Could we produce more of it in our bodies?
Could turn WF in to BF?
In this can happen would we be successful? Would the body react compensating this action, increasing our appetite so we end up empty handed?
Everything has to be considered.
These questions and more like it are being investigated in hospitals laboratories all over the world. So there’s lots of hope.
We know that the cold works well in the activation of the BF, so does exercise I don’t mean you have to workout in a freezer but the more you get used to lower temperatures the better your brown fat will function.
This is one of the advantages of training outdoors and it is also why you feel much more tired compared to gym sessions…it is simply much harder than a gym environment in which everything from temperature to no wind are controlled.
Challenge your body, you will soon see how worthy this can be!