It's nearly impossible to eat every single thing you want, indulge every craving, and still be healthy. However, if you regularly work out and have adopted a healthy eating plan and still haven’t reached your fitness goals, then we may have good news for you. A new article on Mindbodygreen asserts that there is a key hormone in our bodies that, when optimized, can actually help us break down unnecessary body fat more efficiently.
Here’s how it works: This special enzyme is hormone sensitive lipase (or HSL), and we all naturally have traces of it in our body (it’s responsible for breaking down fat cells). The thing is, HSL works optimally when insulin levels are low because insulin is responsible for keeping fat stored in the body.
The takeaway? You want high levels of HSL and low levels of insulin to boost your fat-burning potential. “If either system is running less than optimally, our bodies will resist any attempt to shed excess weight,” explains the health site. Since HSL isn’t naturally stored internally in large amounts, we have to train ourselves to produce more of it. There are two exercise-related ways to do this: through high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and standing.
We’ve already written about HIIT and its numerous benefits, but in this case, the short spikes of cardio amp up our metabolism, decrease our insulin, and increase hormone production. Although it may seem hard to believe, choosing to stand for most of the day in lieu of sitting also aids in the production of HSL (a standing desk riser is a perfect compromise). When we’re standing, our muscles contract, and this helps hormone production.
Be sure to read about the two workouts that burn more calories than a three-mile run!