Friday, September 11, 2009

The skinny on fat (again)

Burning off fat is not as simple as it first appears. I have blogged already about this subject and today I have found further evidence that weight loss is more complex.

Both protein and carbohydrate metabolism are precisely regulated by the body. There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly carbohydrates are essential for every cells in the body, as they burn carbohydrate for energy. This is especially true of the brain. It is the break down of this carbohydrate regulation that makes the complications associated with diabetes. These include burst blood vessels in your eye through to gangrene in your legs. The protein regulation is important as it controls muscle replacement/gain and if some of the protein by-produces are poisonous to the body.

However fat regulation is not existent, thus allow fat to build up in the body as layers of fat. If the body could be manipulated to break down this fat into energy (oxidize it) then the body would increase the removal (or non deposition) of body fat.

Capsicum, in this case not the fruit called capsicum but the molecule called capsicum. It is this molecule that causes the irritation/burning sensation. This molecule has been showed to stimulate the energy and fat metabolism in rats. Also chilli sauce and mustard sauce in a meal increased fat break down for energy in the body.

Caffeine is thought to increase fat burning and energy expenditure and decrease the amount of food eaten.

So a study looked at feeding capsicum and caffeine to a group of men and measuring any changes that might show that the body was losing (or not gaining) weight. Over the test day it was found that the test group:That energy intake was lower and energy output was higher. Thus not only did the caffeine and capsicum help the body burn more energy, it also reduced appetite/food intake. Wrapping some numbers around this using the Energy balance the test group 7480 kJ/d (1780 calories) vs 11 480 kJ/d (2733 calories). This is a substantial 35% drop in energy intake (and this is good).

So the body can be manipulated by what it eats into increasing the metabolism and increasing fat. This aligns with discussions I have had with friends who find changing a diet can cause significantly more weight gain than what would be expected to occur just through eating that naughty treat. For an exampling eating a 250 gram block of chocolate might cause a 1 kg wight gain. This doesn't seem logical until you realize that this might have a significant effect on fat deposition and energy consumption.

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