How Lipolysis Contributes to Healthy Weight Loss

Mar 18, 2024 | General Health

Fat loss and weight loss have often been used synonymously with one another. Yet, they aren’t necessarily the same thing. Weight loss refers to any reductions in weight; this could include losing water weight, muscle, or fat. Fat loss, on the other hand, means burning fat, and this happens through a process called lipolysis—something that is often misunderstood.

So, in this article, we’re going to dig into this process and why you should know about it—as well as how you can enhance it.

What is Lipolysis?

Lipolysis involves the release of fatty acids and glycerol from the fat cell. This first phase is called fat mobilisation. In order for this first phase to occur, the enzyme lipase needs to be present, which is easily activated through exercise.

Then, there’s the hard part: The next stage of lipolysis is called fat oxidation. This basically refers to the burning of fat. If we don’t burn it, after circulating through our bloodstream, it will often go back into storage, which isn’t ideal. 

So, how can we stimulate fat oxidation? Well, this happens through localized stimulation of the nerves connected to fat. While experts used to believe that adrenaline from the adrenal glands led to the burning of fat, we now know that this adrenaline must actually be stimulated locally.

And this leads us right back to that question: How can we stimulate fat oxidation? What can we do to more efficiently burn fat?

How to Enhance Lipolysis

Two major ways enhance fat oxidation, including the following.


Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) involves the activity we do outside of planned exercise. This includes pacing, typing, fidgeting, and more. These subtle movements trigger local adrenaline release, stimulating the burning of fat. Just another reason to have a fidget spinner at your desk or take frequent movement breaks!

2. Shivering

Shivering is another subtle movement that will trigger adrenaline locally. The easiest way to do this is through cold exposure, such as a cold shower or bath. And remember, when you do this cold exposure, if your goal is fat loss, the key is to shiver. If you build up a tolerance, you need to go colder!

The above two ways stimulate the nervous system in the right way to shed the extra fat and obtain better health. Plus, there are loads of mental benefits of doing cold exposure (Check out our cold shower blog for more info!).

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