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Double Cable Rotations For Superior Abs
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Trunk Twists With A Twist - Tighten Your Love Handles Now!
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The Best Ab Exercise You Never Heard Of

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The New Method For Six Pack Abs
Build 3-Dimensional Abs In 2010
The Effectiveness Of Sand Bag Training For Abdominals
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Old School Workouts To Develop Granite Hard Abdominals
The 3 Best Abdominal Exercises that Are Not Abdominal Exercises!
2 Challenging Exercises For Powerful Rock Hard Abs
How To Get Six Pack Abs Using Neglected Cable Exercises
Attack Your Abs With These Underground Power Moves
Killer Abs At Home In 12 Minutes

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3 Unique Abdominal Exercises That Work Like Magic
Lose Ab Fat With 3 Non-Traditional Ab Exercises
The Top 55 Foods For Rock Hard Six Pack Abs
The Rise of SandBag Training
Develop Your Abs Through Heavy Strength Training
Cover Model Abs In One Workout Per Week
The Ultimate Secrets to a Flat Stomach and Six Pack Abs
Can You Really Lose More By Exercising Less?
Three Unusual Secrets For Awesome Abs
Super Sexy Swimsuit Six-Pack In 12 Weeks
The Best Exercises For Your Lower Abs Revealed
Bulletproof Your Abs And Injury Proof Your Back
The Truth And Secrets Of Getting Ripped Abs
Abdominal Fat Dangers
Abs Without Effort
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Prone Swiss Ball Rolls For Developing Strong Core Muscles
Expansion Sit-Backs For Amazing Abs
Powerful Exercises For A Strong Core
Should You Train Abs To Failure?
The Core In Four Abdominal Workout
Correcting Bad Posture With Ab Training
The Truth About Ab Machines
Core Training: Legit or Just The Latest Fad?

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Concurrent Muscle Gain & Fat Loss: Is It Possible?
The Amazing Abdominals Mistake
Foods That Burn Body Fat
How to lose loose skin after weight loss
Does eating at night make you fat?



The incredible shrinking fat cell
Everything you want to know about fat cells & fat burning.

By Tom Venuto, NSCA- CPT, CSCS
www.burnthefat.com

Q: Dear Tom: would you please try to explain in laymen's terms exactly how fat cells work and what happens when you start to burn body fat. I heard a statement that the fat cell has to get moved into the muscle cell for it to be released or burned. Thought you could explain a little better.

Sincerely,

Glenn P.

A: Earlier this week someone in our burn  the fat discussion forum wrote, "I haven't LOST any fat... I know EXACTLY where it went! I got a chuckle out of that because I "got" the joke, but truth is, most people really don't know how fat cells work, how the fat burning process takes place, or where the fat goes when it's burned, so this is a really good question.

When you "lose" body fat, the fat cell (also called an adipocyte) does not go anywhere or "move into the muscle cell to be burned", as it was suggested to you (although that's not too far off). The fat cell itself, (unfortunately) stays right where it was - under the skin in your thighs, stomach, hips, arms, etc., and on top of the muscles - which is why you can't see muscle "definition" when your body fat is high.

Fat is stored inside the fat cell in the form of triaglycerol. The fat is not burned right there in the fat cell, it must be liberated from the fat cell through somewhat complex hormonal/biochemical pathways. When stimulated to do so, the fat cell simply releases its contents (triaglycerol) into the bloodstream as free fatty acids (FFA's), and they are transported through the blood to the tissues where the energy is needed.

A typical young male adult stores about 60,000 to 100,000 calories of energy in body fat cells. What triggers the release of all these stored fatty acids from the fat cell? Simple: When your body needs energy because you're consuming fewer calories than you are burning (an energy deficit), then your body releases hormones and enzymes that signal your fat cells to release your fat reserves instead of keeping them in storage.

For stored fat to be liberated from the fat cell, hydrolysis (lipolysis or fat breakdown), splits the molecule of triaglycerol into glycerol and three fatty acids. An important enzyme called hormone sensitive lipase (HSL) is the catalyst for this reaction. The stored fat (energy) gets released into the bloodstream as FFA's and they are shuttled off to the muscles where the energy is needed. As blood flow increases to the active muscles, more FFA's are delivered to the muscles that need them.

An important enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL), then helps the FFA's get inside the mitochondria of the muscle cell, where the FFA's can be burned for energy. If you've ever taken a biology class, then you've probably heard of the mitochondria. This is the "cellular powerhouse" where energy production takes place and this is where the FFA's go to be burned for energy.

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When the FFA's are released from the fat cell, the fat cell shrinks and that's why you look leaner when you lose body fat - because the fat cell is now smaller. A small or "empty" fat cell is what you're after if you want the lean, defined look.

It was once believed that the number of fat cells could not increase after adulthood, only the size of the fat cells could increase (or decrease). We now know that fat cells can indeed increase both in size (hypertrophy) and in number (hyperplasia) and that they are more likely to increase in number at certain times and under certain circumstances, such as 1) during late childhood and early puberty, 2) During pregnancy, and 3) During adulthood when extreme amounts of weight are gained

Some people are genetically predisposed to have more fat cells than others and women have more fat cells than men. An infant usually has about 5 - 6 billion fat cells. This number increases during early childhood and puberty, and a healthy adult with normal body composition has about 25 to 30 billion fat cells. A typical overweight adult has around 75 billion fat cells. But in the case of severe obesity, this number can be as high as 250 to 300 billion!

The average size (weight) of an adult fat cell is about 0.6 micrograms, but they can vary in size from 0.2 micograms to 0.9 micrograms. An overweight person's fat cells can be up to three times larger than a person with ideal body composition.

Remember, body fat is basically just a reserve source of energy and fat cells are the like the storage tanks. Unlike a gas tank in your car which is fixed in size, however, fat cells can expand or shrink in size depending on how "filled" they are.

Picture a balloon that is not inflated: It's tiny when not filled with air - maybe the size of your thumb. When you blow it up with air, it can expand 10 or 12 times it's normal size, because it simply fills up. That's what happens to fat cells: They start as nearly empty fat storage "tanks" (when you are lean), and when energy intake exceeds your needs, your fat cells "fill up" and "stretch out" like balloons filling up with jelly (not a pretty picture, is it?)

So you don't actually "lose" fat cells, you "shrink" or "empty out" fat cells.

Take-home lessons:

1. Calories count!The signal that triggers your body to release adipose from fat cells is an energy deficit... you have to burn more than you eat.

2. Cut calories conservatively. Starving yourself may cause quick weightloss at first, but never works long term because it actually decreases the activity of fat burning enzymes that release fat from the cells. to avoid this "starvation mode" use exercise to BURN THE FAT, not very low calorie crash diets.

3. Get control of your weight now. If you are gaining weight, and especially if your weight is climbing upwards out of control, make a decision to STOP RIGHT NOW. Your fat cells might be multiplying, making it more difficult to burn fat in the future. NOW is the time!

4. If you've already lost weight, you must be forever diligent. Your fat cells are not gone, they have merely "shrunk" or "emptied out." Fitness is not a 12 week program, its a lifestyle. To stay lean you have to eat clean and stay active

5. Genetics are only a minor factor. You may not have control over how many fat cells you were born with, but you do control the major factors that determine how much fat you store: lifestyle, exercise, nutrition, mental attitude.

Genetics are not an excuse. The past is not an excuse. Your present condition is not an excuse. You can either make excuses or get results, but you can't do both.

So keep educating yourself about the science, read these newsletters, take action every day and go out there and make it happen!

If you need more help, Burn The Fat is the eating plan that turned it all around for thousands of others... why not you? visit:

www.BurnTheFat.com

About Tom Venuto

Tom Venuto is a lifetime natural bodybuilder, an NSCA-certified personal trainer, a certified strength & conditioning specialist (CSCS), and author of the #1 best selling diet e-book in Internet history, "Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle.Ē Tom has written hundreds of articles and been featured in IRONMAN, Australian IRONMAN, Natural Bodybuilding, Muscular Development, Exercise for Men and Menís Exercise. For information on Tom's Burn The Fat e-book, visit www.BurnTheFat.com. To get Tomís FREE monthly fitness newsletter, visit his home page at www.TomVenuto.com. You can read Tom's Bodybuilding Blog at www.BodybuildingSecrets.com.


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