Omega-3 health benefits are big, and could be the key to fast, long-lasting fat loss! The phrase 'eating fat makes you fat' is so old hat now that it's something embarrassing to recall that dietitians, nutritionists, the World Health Organization and a host of other experts once deemed fat to be everything that was bad for our health. Now we know that quite the opposite is true: we need 'good' fats to stay in shape, and omega-3 essential fatty acids in particular are one of the largest secrets to permanent fat loss.
-They aid fat loss by increasing our metabolic rate and energy production, which is exactly the opposite of what happens when we cut calories. And thanks to our increased energy levels, we are more likely to be active and build muscle, which further increases metabolic rate, helping to make our fat loss for keeps. They also taste great, make us feel fuller for longer, help to balance blood sugar levels, improve our mood and contribute to great skin, hair and nails.
-Omega-3 helps to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. It's vital that the body is responsive to insulin. This hormone makes sure we get enough energy from carbohydrates, and enough amino acids from protein to build muscle and minimize fat storage. Insulin receptors are found in cell membranes, the protective outer coating that controls what enters and exits a cell. When we add omega-3 fatty acids to our diet, the membranes becomes more flexible, so the insulin receptors become more responsive. This helps them to level out the blood sugar highs and lows that can lead to weight gain and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
-Omega-3 are involved in 'fuel partitioning', which controls the way the body uses different 'fuels'. Omega-3 help to drive more of the sugars found in carbohydrates into muscle cells, which are temporarily stored in the form of glycogen, which is used when we need quick energy. But when glycogen stores run out, fat cells are forced to give up their energy stores, and shrink in the process. Simultaneously, omega-3 stimulate thermo genesis (heat production), which helps prevent fat being deposited in cells, and increase fat oxidation (burning).
-It is important to remember that our species is programmed to survive, and this involves storing energy as fat. An efficient energy source, fat provides 9kcals of energy per gram, whereas carbohydrates and protein only provide 4kcals. Storing fat was vital to our ancestors as an insurance against times of starvation, so the body stored as much as possible when food was available, and the metabolic rate slowed down to reserve energy stores when food was scarce. This process has been referred to as catch-up fat storage after calorie restriction.
-Food is now plentiful and many of us eat what we want, when we want, and this catch-up fat storage has become the enemy in the fat-loss game. The body stores energy as fat for lean times ahead, totally unaware that these are illegally to occur. This is why very low-calorie diets invariably result in short term weight loss followed by weight again. The catch-up fat storage shifts into top gear!