Rebel fat is one of the main problems you’ll encounter if you lower the % fat enough. What is rebellious fat?Why does it cost so much to reduce? Let’s go see him.
Initially when you go on a diet the weight flies away, but the more defined you are, the harder it is to lose excess fat and lose the fat percentage. This, in addition to being caused by many metabolic adaptations that your body performs as a defense mechanism (which I will talk about in a future article) is also caused by the well-known rebellious fat and its special characteristics that we will see below.
First of all let’s go in parts. Let’s understand how body fat burns because it’s not a single process.
It is based on 3 parts mainly:
MOBILIZATION: This is basically that fat comes out of adipocytes, which are fat cells. It is stored in the form of triglycerides, so it must be broken into 3 fatty acids and a glycerol molecule. This process is regulated by an enzyme called HSL (Hormone-Sensitive Lipase) and on this enzyme they basically act insulin and catecholamines (adrenaline and norepinephrine). Short: Insulin inhibits mobilization while catecholamines promote it.
TRANSPORT: Once the triglycerides have been hydrolyzed they pass into circulation linked to a protein called albumin. For the transport of fatty acids to be effective there must be a good blood supply in the area. Here we have clear differences between “normal” fat and unruly fat (we’ll talk about this later).
UTILIZATION: AG bound to albumin will eventually reach a tissue, where they can be used as fuel or re-absorbed as triglycerides. For the first thing, which is what we are interested in, they will enter the mitochondria using an enzyme called CPT and will be used for that purpose.
First of all I would like to make an important note:
Many people believe that insulin, by preventing the action of HSL, is a hormone that makes fat loss impossible. In addition, insulin is one of the main regulators of LPL (LipoProtein Lipase), an enzyme that stimulates lipogenesis (creation of adipose tissue) so evil is twofold. Carbohydrates, by promoting insulin secretion, are demonized because they seem to make you fat.
What everyone who follows this line of reasoning obviates are two very important factors:
The presence of fat also inhibits the action of HSL. Even though insulin levels are low.
Adipocytes are able to create a hormone called ASP (Acillation Stimulating Protein) when fatty acid levels in the blood are high enough, and that is more effective than LPL when accumulating fat. ASP is also insulin-independent.
I’ll never get tired of trying to take away the fear of carbohydrates.
To give you an idea of the importance of this hormone: Rats that have ASP but do not have LPL can store fat. Rats that have LPL but don’t have ASP, no.
We’ve already seen what steps are needed for fat burning, but that doesn’t explain why rebellious fat is unruly. To do this, we need to look at the characteristics of this type of fat and compare it with the standard adipose tissue. That’s where we’ll find the answer.
And the answer seems to be that it is in 2 of the steps of fat burning, since unruly fat gives problems in both mobilization and transport.
Fat cells on your surface have several receptors, called adrenoreceptors or adrenergic receptors, Alpha and Beta, to which catecholamines (adrenaline and norepinephrine) attach. Although there are many subtypes we will focus on Alpha-2 and Beta-2, which for this case are the most important.
Remember that at first I told you that catecholamines promote the mobilization of fats because they act on the Sensitive Hormone Lipasa? Well, it’s true, but halfway. Depending on the receptors in which catecholamines are joined, mobilization is promoted or inhibited.
When catecholamines are joined to Beta-2 receptors, fatty acid mobilization is promoted, as can be seen in the following image:
The problem is when catecholamines are joined to Alpha-2 receptors, which inhibits fat mobilization. Therefore, depending on the type of receptor they join, catecholamines are an aid or are an impediment.
For that is one of the reasons why rebellious fat is rebellious: Its amount of Alpha-2 receptors is very high, while the amount of Beta-2 is very low. That’s why fat initially goes very fast, as adipose tissue that has a high beta-2 and very low Alpha-2 tissue is usually mobilized first. As the % fat drops, there is less and less normal fat and more unruly fat.
THE BAD NEWS FOLLOWS
As if that wasn’t enough, the rebellious fat has two more surprises.
First of all, the blood supply reaching the rebel areas is much lower. If you remember the second step for fat burning, once we have mobilized the fatty acids we have to get them out of there and transport them to the tissues in order to use them. It makes sense that more blood supply will help transport, but unruly fat has very little. Therefore, it costs a lot to mobilize fatty acids and it costs a lot to transport them.
Secondly, depending on the type of fatty acids that are stored, it will be more or less easy to mobilize them. Polyunsaturates are the easiest, followed by monounsaturated ones. The saturated ones are the last. Well, guess what kind of fatty acids usually accumulate in unruly areas… Evidently, the saturated ones.
And to finish, unruly fat has a lot of insulin sensitivity. That means it costs very little to introduce triglycerides inside, but it’s hard to get them out.
Come on, a gem. Evolutionaryly, rebellious fat is a work of art. For aesthetics, a real nightmare.
OKAY, SO WHAT DO WE DO?
Once we’ve identified our enemy, we know how to take him down. And to wipe out the rebellious fat, we can do several things.
We know that insulin blocks the action of HSL, so we want low insulin levels, so we will reduce CH in quantity and also choose the least insulinogenic sources.
We want high catecholamines as these are necessary for the mobilization of fatty acids. To achieve this we have several options: caloric deficit (this we will do imperatively), intermittent fasting, intense weight exercise, HIIT type cardiovascular exercise. Reducing CH will also raise catecholamines.
Use supplementation to help us with adrenoreceptors.
We’ll see about this below.
ADRENORECEPTORS – AGONISTS AND ANTAGONISTS
As we have already said, adrenoreceptors can be Alpha or Beta. To get a mental idea, let’s think of the Betas as a car accelerator and the Alphas as the brake.
Agonist or antagonistic compounds may act in them. An agonist is a compound that activates the receiver in question. Instead, an antagonist blocks it. Seeing this and knowing the composition of rebellious fat adrenoreceptors we have two options.
Use Alpha receptor antagonists. It would be the equivalent of s still stepping on the brakes, blocking its action.
Use Beta receptor agonists. Here we would be tightening the accelerator even more, promoting its action.
An example of Alpha receptor antagonist is Yohimbine.
An example of Beta receptor agonist is Ephedrine or Synephrine.
Never use an Alpha receptor antagonist as well as a Beta receptor agonist. It can dramatically increase blood pressure and heart rate. I repeat: NEVER USE THEM AT ONCE.
There are a number of protocols that allow to act quite effectively in rebellious fat, but they are four protocols, quite extensive and I think the article is getting a little long. So I reserve them for the next one, where I’ll explain them in detail.