3 Strategic Ways to Turn White Fat Into Brown Fat

You already know about the various types of dietary fat, but there are also multiple types of body fat, too—and they're not all created equal. In this episode, you'll learn about the different colors of fat and which one actually helps you lose weight, the major health benefits of brown fat for inflammation and metabolic health, and three strategic ways you can brown your body fat like a marshmallow over an open flame, including how to flavor your meals and how red wine and chocolate can be of service.

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JJ Virgin: [00:00:00] Hey, this is JJ Virgin. Thanks so much for joining me. This is ask the health expert. In each episode, I put the power of health in your hands and share ways to get healthy, lose weight, heal your gut detox and lots more. So you can look and feel better fast if you'd rather watch the video. Hey, I did put on my makeup and do my hair.
So check it out on my YouTube channel.
If I told you all fat is not created equal, you may go. Well, of course, I know that there are healthy fats and there are saturated fats and trans fats and you'd be right, but that's not the fat I'm talking about. I'm talking about body fat. There's also good body. And bad body fat. Did you know that? [00:01:00] And you actually want more of the good kind and I'm going to give you three easy ways to get it.
Hey, it's JJ and I'm here for one reason to help you get healthy and bonus quite often, you'll lose weight as well, if you need to. And you'll definitely feel better now, all that sounds good, hit like and subscribe and I'll keep the videos. Okay, let's talk about body fat. That's not always fun, but I promise you're going to love this one.
It's so cool and amazing. So there's this new research on fat and how fat, yes. Fat can help you get healthier and drop weight. Like what? Yep. It's true. First you have to know a bit about the different kinds of fat or as it's called adipose tissue. We have in our bodies, they're different colors and they have different functions.
So there's white adipose tissue and brown adipose tissue. And there's also beige, but I'm going to save that one for [00:02:00] later. Now these fats are not created equal. It turns out. One of them is really good fat to have on your body. And that's the brown fat. Now the difference between white and brown is that white fat, which is the fat you're probably thinking about when I say fat keeps us warm and stores.
It's the fat that leads to obesity and excess white fat is a primary cause of inflammation, which can lead to cardiovascular disease and diabetes, especially when it's around your abdomen. Brown fat. On the other hand, stores energy in smaller places compared to white fat, and more importantly, it burns energy.
Brown fat is really important. Component of weight loss. The more brown fat you have. The faster, you'll lose weight. It's packed with mitochondria, which are full of iron, and that's how it gets that brown color. Now when brown fat burns, it creates heat also called [00:03:00] thermogenesis and that burns calories so easy to remember this.
White builds brown burns. Okay. Now fun fact brown fat is what babies use to regulate their body temperature before they develop the ability to shiver now crazy. Did you know that babies need to develop the ability to shiver? I didn't know that. So scientists used to believe brown fat disappeared by adulthood, but now we know we can still produce brown fat as adults, and you want to do.
Because it helps you drop weight, reduce inflammation and lower your risk for disease. A 2016 study published in the diabetes and metabolic journal showed that brown fat might be a treatment for obesity and other metabolic diseases. And other studies have shown that brown fat burns calories and can help control blood sugar.
So if you can rev up your brown fat activity, you can significantly decrease excess body fat. [00:04:00] The analogy I think works best here is think of it like revving the gas pedal in your car when your car is in neutral. So you can burn a lot of gas. So when your body is more brown fat, and it's burning that in the background, it lowers your risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease and bonus, you also lose your belly fat.
Okay. So you probably guessed that the higher BMI, the less brown fat you have, but you want more brown fat, because it helps you lose weight. That's kind of a catch 22. Right. But you can do something about it. So of course, the big question now is how do we brown our fat? Okay. The first great way to brown your fat is through exposure to cold and no scoping out what's in the freezer is not what I mean here.
So get this, When it's cold brown fat generates heat to keep your body warm and some studies show can actually brown your white fat or turn [00:05:00] it beige. There it is. The beige fat I promised. So one way to do this is by cold plunging into an ice bath for a few minutes. Water actually removes heat more than 20 times faster than air.
So just a couple minutes in cold water activate your brown fat. If the idea of that stumps your heart and I hate being cold, let's be clear. I hate being cold. So I'm going to tell you how I did this. I actually have a cold plunge at home. Now I got one, but you can start in your shower and all you do is start in your shower and just turn the cold water on at the end.
And all I did to start was I went if I get in front of the cold water and turn to the front and circle around, I won and I just stayed longer and longer and longer. Right. And then I started with my cold plunger first. I was like, I just need to get in. And think of a really high, very cold 50, 45 to 55 degree bathtub.
I just need to get in there and get out. Now I'm up to the point where I can be there for five minutes. [00:06:00] So when you're getting out of there, like if you get out of the cold shower, you're going to be shivering and that's fantastic. That's a sign that it's working. You can also get the same benefit if you do cryotherapy.
Or you sleep in colder temperatures, by the way, in our house, we make sure that every night we have the temperature down to at least 68, you should be sleeping somewhere between 65 and 68 degrees. And also tell you something interesting. My older son grant has become obsessed with cold plunging and bam.
He was having, he had this little bit of fat still here from all of his accidents and medications. He got a six pack and it's big shift that he did was getting in and cold plunging every day. So like bonus couple minutes. Okay. Second way to brown. Your fat is through your diet. Now this is fun and super easy.
Remember that these strategies are helping you activate brown fat and accelerate weight loss at the same time. So when you do all of these together, [00:07:00] it's super powerful. And I'm going to get to number three in a second. Let's go back to number two. So first. For food, focus on getting more thermic foods because thermic foods require the most energy to digest and the activate brown fat and the most thermic food is protein.
I mean, by far three times more thermic than carbs or fat. So think about lean meats, cold water fish, and even plant-based protein here. Super important. Okay. We also know we got to get enough protein to have muscle right and repair. All right. Next thing is spicy foods. Spicy foods are great for Browning, your fat, you know, how you eat when you're sweating the number six on that, or how you're eating.
You start to sweat when you're eating that Thai food. Yep. It's the things like cayenne pepper and chili peppers and wasabi. If you eat sushi like I do, when you get those head explosions. All of those things, jalapenos have a narrows, poblano peppers, load them up, load them up to just where you can stand them.
And the [00:08:00] reason they're going to set you on fire like that is because of the capsaicin in them and capsaicin activates brown fat, and then it produces heat as it burns. That's the sweating part. And it's also triggering the Browning of white fat. Okay. There's different thermic herbs and spices and flavonols that are going to activate brown fat as well.
So this, there was a great study that showed that flavoring your food with flavonols will burn excess fat, and it's not going to be painful. You're like, what, what flavanols. Coco. Yup. Apples, GrapeSEED red wine. Hello. These are not things you're going to suffer with. They also can help combat obesity and lifestyle related diseases because you're Browning that fat it's so good for your metabolism.
And they do this by activating the sympathetic nervous system, which is basically your fight or flight response though. Researchers don't really know how. Working [00:09:00] yet, but truthfully we just know it does. So that's good enough for me. Another one that can help here is turmeric. So curcumin in turmeric that's the active thing in turmeric is anti-inflammatory and that's what makes it yellow.
And there was a 2016 study published in the journal of nutritional biochemistry, which looked at, and I quote dietary agents that contribute to the Browning of white adipose tissue in order to combat obesity by promoting energy expenditure. And what they found was that curcumin. Activated this Browning. So get more turmeric in your diet.
You can add it in soup, stew, salads, rice, and you know, it makes everything tastier. I also take my little curcumin cheese by reignite wellness. Every day I take two of those. Tastes like a nectarine mango Starvis so another thing that I love and there's no added sugar, another cool nutrient that's super helpful here.
And I, this is like, I think one of the most underutilized [00:10:00] amazing nutrients is berberine. So berberine's when you want to do as a supplement, it activates brown fast and also increases brown fat mass. Plus why I've been using it. I wasn't even aware of this. I've been using it for years to help stabilize blood sugar.
It's literally one of my favorite all time supplements that like, seems like nobody's ever heard of. Now one that we've heard a lot about is resveratrol.. It's the polyphenol in blueberries and pistachios and dark chocolate and grapes, red wine. So there's your red wine and dark chocolate.
That's like two of my favorite food groups. It's it's anti-inflammatory. In fact, there was a 2020 study published in the international journal of obesity that found that resveratrol helps manage blood sugar by accelerating the conversion of white fat cells into brown fat. And then the more good news department, I mentioned red wine, but coffee and green tea or green tea extract can also help brown your fat.
And they can both [00:11:00] help increase your body temperature. But green tea also helps boost metabolism, which of course then leads to quicker weight loss. All right. Final thing I'm going to mention for ways you can broaden your fat with diet is intermittent fasting. Yet another benefit of intermittent fasting.
There are so many, there was a really significant study on mice that showed that every other day, fasting called E O D F stimulated, beige fat development in white adipose tissue and dramatically impacted obesity and insulin resistance. So check out my video on intermittent fasting for details on the best ways to incorporate that.
Okay. The third way you can brown your fat in addition to exposure to cold and diet is you guessed it exercise. I mean, it makes sense. Exercise is always been part of any successful plan to lose weight, right? When you work your muscles, you release something called Ireson and this is a [00:12:00] chemical that helps brown your white fat and increase your metabolism.
And then there's AKG alphaketoglutarate. Now AKG is a molecule involved in many metabolic pathways and you can increase it. Resistance exercise. And when you raise AKG, it activates your brown fat and burns your white fat. Okay. So in a nutshell, here we go. These three things, exposure to cold eating thermic foods and intermittent fasting and exercising will brown your white fat, like a marshmallow over an open flame.
All right. In this case. That's a good thing right now. One final note, jump on these things while your fat is still easy to brown because new research suggests that excess weight becomes a bigger problem when it loses its plasticity. Meaning. It's flexibility and it won't respond to your body's cues, which can happen.
Sorry. As you age, this all leads to insulin [00:13:00] resistance and inflammation, which just makes it that much harder to take the weight off. So there you go, three easy things to incorporate into your lifestyle, to brown your fat. Now I hope you're already plotting. How to make them part of your lifestyle. So you get healthier and feel better fast.
Now, join me next for a look at exercise. Does, when your exercise matter does, when you eat, increase the impact of exercise and then which specific exercises should you do to get the most bang out of your exercise buck, I'll be sharing all of that with you in the next video. See you.
For more info on this and other health topics I cover or to rate and review, find me on Instagram, Facebook and my website, JJvirgin.com. And don't forget to subscribe to my show. So you won't miss a single episode. Go to subscribetojj.com. Thanks again for being with me this week.[00:14:00] .


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