If you’re trying to lose weight, then it’s important that you learn about AMPK.
What the heck is AMPK you ask?
Don’t worry I’ll tell you all about it in a second… just know that it plays a big role in burning fat, weight loss and improving your overall health. And once you learn about this compound, you’ll be able to take full advantage of it to boost your fat loss and improve your health.
AMPK stands for activated protein kinase, and it’s made up of three separate compounds that have enzymatic functions within your body. This enzyme activity basically acts as a control panel which regulates metabolic pathways that impact your weight gain and weight loss.
If you increase AMPK activity, it has a positive effect on the way your muscle cells use glucose and handle the formation of fat. By stimulating AMPK you can stimulate your cells to utilize glucose more optimally and reduce the formation of fat within the body, which leads to weight loss. Bottom line: Increased AMPK equals increased fat burn.
How Does AMPK Benefit Your Health?
The biggest impact AMPK has on your body is fat loss. But keep in mind that being overweight increases your risk of developing serious illnesses like heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. So triggering AMPK enables you to burn fat and lose weight more effectively, which in turn helps lower your risk of getting serious diseases and hence improve your overall health. Bottom line: Stimulating AMPK improves your health by lowering the risk of getting serious disease WHILE getting your lean and trim.
How To Naturally Stimulate AMPK
There are two main ways that you can stimulate AMPK in your body: Diet and Exercise. I know, I know… it’s probably not a big surprise, but considering the immense benefit AMPK provides your body, it’s good to know that you can trigger this valuable compound fairly easily!
Stimulating AMPK With Diet
One of the most effective ways to stimulate AMPK for fat loss is to follow a low carb diet that focuses primary on high quality sources of protein and fat. Majority of your carbohydrates should come from vegetables and some fruits. Avoid refined carbs and processed foods to keep your overall carbohydrate consumption low. The low carbohydrate diet, helps reprogram your body and switch it’s main source of energy from glycogen (stored glucose/sugar) to fat. This shift in energy source is what triggers AMPK.
Another very effective way to trigger AMPK is by fasting. When you withhold food for a period of time, your body responds by regulating the master metabolic switch, which directly impacts your weight loss efforts. When sugar is not available in the body (because you aren’t eating food), then your body will switches to using fat for energy instead of glucose.
The mechanism that triggers AMPK in both fasting and low carb diet is the same. The key is the absence (or very low levels) of glucose in the body which triggers the metabolic mechanism to stimulate the AMPK.
In addition to these diets, there are certain types of foods that contain specific compounds which help stimulate AMPK as well. One such food is the grapefruit.
Grapefruit contains a constituent called “nootkatone,” which has natural AMPK activating capabilities. The highest concentration of nootkatone is found within the rind of the grapefruit, so you might consider adding a small piece of grapefruit rind to your smoothie, or use an essential oil which is made from highly concentrated extracts of the rind to help trigger your AMPK.
Compounds within certain spices like garlic, curcumin (tumeric), and capsicum (peppers) have also shown to be effective at stimulating AMPK. This is a especially great, if you like spicy South Asian dishes like Thai and Indian food that use liberal amounts of turmeric and hot chili peppers in their cooking. Not only do they taste great, but it also helps stimulate AMPK as well!
Bottom Line: The most effective diet that stimulates AMPK is low carb diet and fasting.
Stimulating AMPK With Exercise
Just like low carb diet, there are certain kind of exercises that effectively stimulate AMPK as well. The best type of exercise you can do is high intensity interval training (HIIT). These exercises promote short bursts of intense effort which causes your heart rate to go up very high for a brief period. It’s this intense stimulation from the exercise that causes your body to trigger the production of AMPK. The KEY here is intensity not duration. The length of time is not important. This is why all of my workouts in the MAX Workouts program is 20 - 25 minutes at most, because it’s based in the same concept of short high intensity workouts.
Personally, I prefer to do full body exercises which stimulate more muscles in your body at one time. This way you’re able to trigger AMPK to increase your fat burning rate while stimulating muscles in your body to promote building lean muscle mass at the same time.
Bottom Line: To maximize your ability to increase AMPK, it’s best to combine a healthy low carb diet based on whole foods and short but high intensity interval workouts.
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