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How to Increase Brown Fat

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  Published on November 14th, 2022
  Reading time: 4 minutes
  Last modified November 9th, 2022
Increasing brown fat on keto

Your body contains three basic types of fat: brown, white, and beige (a combination of white and brown fat cells). Brown fat has more mitochondria than white fat, and it helps maintain your body temperature, store and produce energy, burn calories, and maintain your blood sugar levels. 

Increasing your brown fat is one way to start burning more calories while simultaneously storing more energy. Not to mention, brown fat can also help control your blood glucos and insulin levels. White fat is typically more common, but there are a few things you can do to swing the pendulum in the other direction. Learning how to increase brown fat is a great complement to a keto diet, but how can you shift the balance from white fat to brown? 

Here are a few simple ways that you can spur brown fat to develop. 

Lower the Temperature 

Perhaps the easiest way to make sure that your body produces more brown fat is to simply lower the temperature on your thermostat. One of the best things about brown fat is that it regulates body temperature. Right before you start to shiver to keep warm, brown fat activates and starts to burn calories more quickly to heat you up again. [1]

 Some experts believe that you can stimulate brown fat by turning down the thermostat a couple of degrees. Plus, this will help you save on your electricity costs as well. 

If you want something a little less permanent, you can try stimulating brown fat by taking a cold bath or shower. This allows you to drop your body temperature quickly without sacrificing too much of your overall comfort. The longer you can keep yourself cool, the more likely you are to increase brown fat. Stick with it as long as you can stand it! 

Eat Until Full 

For many people, finding a balance when it comes to feeling full is a major challenge. Hunger often prompts you to eat until you feel stuffed which can lead to the production of more white fat instead of brown. Eating too little also keeps the body from transforming white fat to brown fat. 

If both of these scenarios are less than ideal for how to increase brown fat, the answer lies right in the middle. Eat just until you feel satisfied and then stop. Not only will this keep your calorie consumption lower, but it will also turn that stubborn white fat into the calorie-burning brown fat. 

You can also increase your consumption of foods high in ursolic acid like apples and dried fruit, which research shows helps produce brown fat. [2]

The types of fat cells are beige, white, and brown

Boost Iron Consumption

All fat develops from the way you nourish your body–and brown fat is no exception! One of the key ingredients in brown fat is actually iron, so bolstering your iron intake may spur your body to produce more brown fat. [3]

Keeping keto while adding iron to your diet can be tricky, as whole grains tend to be a go-to for iron intake. However, you can add more iron to your diet by eating meat and seafood. If you have the macros for it, leafy greens often have lots of iron, as do soybeans. Pay attention to the labels on your food to look for those that are low in carbs and high in iron. 

Exercise

If you are looking to increase brown fat, it might be enough to create what is known as beige fat instead. Beige fat is essentially a hybrid between white and brown fat. When it comes down to it, beige fat is simply white fat that burns calories like brown fat, which can be a very good thing for your weight loss!  

Exercise is known for creating more instances of this beige fat because it stimulates irisin in the body. [4] Irisin is helpful when it comes to reducing inflammation, managing bone formation, and regulating metabolism. Plus, it has some benefits when it comes to the nervous system as well. For our purposes, irisin tells the body to start burning white fat in a manner similar to brown fat which is great for overall health. 

Let Melatonin Work for You

Most people know that melatonin is linked to their sleep-wake cycles and they may take a supplement at bedtime to encourage their bodies to sleep. Much like exercise, the right levels of melatonin will create the perfect conditions for beige fat to occur. [5] While you can get your melatonin through an over-the-counter bottle at your local drugstore, it is better if you can trigger production more naturally. 

This means that you will need to turn off screens a few hours before bedtime. Spend some time outside soaking up the sun during the day. You can even load up on foods that encourage the production of melatonin and that fit in with your keto diet, such as almonds. 

How to Increase Brown Fat

If you want to increase the calorie-burning brown fat in your body, you don’t have to look any further than some of these simple actions. Beige fat that burns like brown and the development of new brown fat both have the benefit of helping you slim down. Consider which of these easy moves you can make to stimulate brown fat production.

References

1.

Cohen, P., & Spiegelmen, B. M. (2015, July). Brown and Beige Fat: Molecular Parts of a Thermogenic Machine. Retrieved October 31, 2022, from DOI: 10.2337/db15-0318

2.

Brown fat, brown adipose tissue: What it is & what it means. Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). Retrieved October 31, 2022, from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/body/24015-brown-fat 

3.

Nazari, M., Ho, K. W., Langley, N., Cha, K. M., Kodsi, R., Wang, M., Laybutt, D. R., Cheng, K., Stokes, R. A., Swarbrick, M. M., & Gunton, J. E. (2022, January 14). Iron chelation increases beige fat differentiation and metabolic activity, preventing and treating obesity. Nature News. Retrieved October 31, 2022, from https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-022-04809-8 

4.

Vidal, P., & Stanford, K. I. (1AD, January 1). Exercise-induced adaptations to adipose tissue thermogenesis. Frontiers. Retrieved October 31, 2022, from https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fendo.2020.00270/full 

5.

Xu, Z., You, W., Liu, J., Wang, Y., & Shan, T. (2020). Elucidating the Regulatory Role of Melatonin in Brown, White, and Beige Adipocytes. Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.), 11(2), 447–460. https://doi.org/10.1093/advances/nmz070

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