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fat burning


Apparently, people with a the 'sweet tooth gene' have a predisposition to less body fat.

Last year it was discovered that this particular gene variation of FGF21 may be the reason why certain people have cravings for sweet things, and those who have this gene variation tend to eat more sugar.

That's why researchers working at the University of Copenhagen were surprised to find that people with this variation were also predisposed to having less body fat than others.

However, this doesn't mean we can all go out and indulge in sweet treats now. Sad, we know.

'It sort of contradicts common intuition that people who eat more sugar should have less body fat,' one of the study's researchers, Associate Professor Niels Grarup, explained to Science Daily.

'But it is important to remember that we are only studying this specific genetic variation and trying to find connections to the rest of the body.'

'This is just a small piece of the puzzle describing the connection between diet and sugar intake and the risk of obesity and diabetes.'


The variation is connected to slightly higher blood pressure and an 'apple shape', with more fat being around the waist than the hips.

The study, conducted by an international team and headed by researchers from the University of Exeter, used health information from over 450,000 people.

These hundreds of thousands of people allowed their info to be recorded in the UK Biobank, and included pertinent info like questionnaires on diet and genetic data.

'Now that so many people are involved in the study, it gives our conclusions a certain robustness,' Niels stated.

'Even though the difference in the amount of body fat or blood pressure level is only minor depending on whether or not the person has this genetic variation or not, we are very confident that the results are accurate.'

'Around 20 per cent of the European population has this genetic predisposition.'

The researchers said that their findings about the FGF21 gene could also aid in the development of drugs to treat obesity or diabetes.


A good cardio session goes a long way toward blasting unwanted fat, but it's not always appealing to hit the gym after a hard day at work.

If you find you relax more into exercise when you're in your own environment or outside with a friend, that doesn't mean you need to compromise on calorie-burning.

There are many different styles of exercise that can benefit your body without you ever having to step inside a gym.

Check out these activities… they'll burn more calories than you might think,

It's no surprise that running is a great way to melt fat, as it exercises the legs, core and bum, all of which are huge calorie burners. Jogging outdoors on undulating terrain works your muscles far more than running on a treadmill, so get out and get active.

Root your old jumping rope out of the attic and give this a go – it's a boxing training staple that burns around 340 calories in 30 minutes. Keep your feet slightly apart, stand up straight and ensure your jumps are low to the ground.

Ok, slow-waltzing around your living room won't burn off much fat, but up the tempo and you'll get your lungs pumping soon enough. Choose a playlist of songs that's as long as an average workout, say 30 minutes, and get dancing. Slow things down at the end for a cool off.

Brisk walking
Walking burns around half as many calories as running, but get a brisk pace going (enough that you can't keep up a conversation) and you'll feel the results. Aim for short, quick steps and you should burn around 170 cals in 30 minutes.

If you hate the gym but don't mind hitting the pool, then swimming should be your exercise of choice. Half an hour of front crawl burns around 250 – 300 calories, plus it's a low impact, total body workout. Win.


Whisper it – beach bod season is officially in the offing. And if the prospect of slipping on last year’s bikini currently fills you with dread, fear not; there’s plenty of time to get in tip-top shape. But rather than slave away in the gym (boring), or limit yourself to meals consisting of lettuce and celery and little else (as if), why not fire-up your metabolism with these five easy tips…

Be a breakfast devotee

We’ve long been told it’s the most important meal of the day – and mammy was right for a reason: kicking off your day nutritiously is vital if you want to stay slim. Opt for the likes eggs on wholemeal toast, porridge made with water or a dairy-free milk (coconut, almond or soya), home-made smoothies, or smoked salmon and grilled tomato.

Don’t skip your caffeine hit

The jury’s long been out on the health benefits of your cuppa. Thankfully for sleepy-heads everywhere, heaps of recent studies say a – moderate – coffee habit definitely does lots more good than bad. It contains riboflavin and potassium, and – even better – it raises your metabolic rate, helping you to burn fat.

Fire up your food

Chillies contain capsaicin which naturally helps to convert the food we eat to heat. Not only that – but chillies reduce your appetite and encourage you to eat less too. If that wasn’t enough, the fieriness adds heaps of flavour to food, meaning you’ll be less likely to resort to unnecessary oils or fats during cooking.

Stay hydrated

Feeling peckish? You might actually be thirsty. That and dehydration slows down your metabolism significantly. Keep it active by drinking 2-3 litres of water daily, with extra brownie points if it’s chilled or iced: your body will be forced to warm up the cold water, burning a few extra calories in the process.

Eat more protein

You might think that green salad and soup is as good as it gets in dietary terms, but without a decent source of protein – think lean meats, eggs, avocados, nuts and fish – you’re not doing your body many favours. Protein helps you maintain lean muscle and keeps you fuller for longer. It also makes your digestive system work harder, fuelling a lightning-quick metabolis


Us Irish ladies are more than used to cold weather but that doesn't mean we have to like it. However this latest health news has us wondering if we've been judging that awful January weather a little too harshly!

Scientists in the US have discovered that being exposed to colder temperatures could actually make it easier for our bodies to burn fat. The Wayne State University School of Medicine in Michigan conducted extensive research into the different kinds of body fat and how they are broken down – and what they discovered was quite interesting.

It turns out that our body stores excess calories as one of two kinds of fat – white and brown. White fat is the worst kind, as it's the one that can accumulate on our tissues and organs and deteriorate our health. Brown fat, on the other hand, actually excretes hormones that improve our metabolic rate. Hurrah!

So how to control what type of fat our body stores those indulgent Christmas calories as? Lower the thermostat! Tests showed that when mice were exposed to colder temperatures (4 degrees Celsius) for one week, their body stored more brown fat than white, and the properties of their white fat began to change for the better too. Research is now being conducted to see how us humans can harness the benefits of brown fat.

Now, we're not suggesting you hang around outside in your PJs for the next week – but at least the next time you're battling wind and rain to get to work, you'll know you could be doing your body some good!


Now, this is news we like to hear on a gloomy Monday morning.

Food giant Nestlé reportedly has plans to create a drink or pill that recreate the fat-burning effects of exercise.

Scientists at the company's Swiss HQ say they have found a way to potentially mimic the actions of an enzyme in charge of regulating our body's metabolism. 

Nestlé's ultimate goal is to create a product that could help to burn fat without exercise, especially for people with limited mobility, diabetes or obesity. 

The enzyme in question, called AMPK, is like a "master switch" that boosts metabolism and burns fat when our body is low on energy, according to Professor Kei Sakamoto. AMPK is usually activated by exercise, but research has shown that there ways to activate it artificially.

So could it be a replacement for that dreaded Abs Burn class? Not quite – although the enzyme would help to burn fat, it won't tone muscles or give that great endorphin high that only comes after physical exertion.

"Exercise has so many different effects – a cognitive role and physiological function – we'll never be able to mimic all those effects in a single product," says Professor Sakamoto.

All the same, we wouldn't say no to a wonder drink next time the alarm goes off for that 6am spinning class!


Brazil nuts
Tasty and full of nutritional value.  Brazil nuts are tiny fat burners that can boost your metabolism by converting the thyroid hormone into its fully active state.

Chia Seeds
Don’t look the most appetising but these seeds are filled with omega-3 fats, protein and fibre which can help suppress your appetite.

Salmon Fillets
The protein in salmon has been proven to help create a toned stomach. Salmon strips can help decrease abdominal fat and the omega-3 improves insulin sensitivity which will shrink your stomach.

Usually something you have to grow to like, but oysters only have 50 calories per six clams and is also high in zinc which again can help decrease your appetite.

While it’s not a good idea to rely on the drink coffee too much, it has been proven that it simulates adrenaline, which then relays a message to the stored fat to in fact start burning the fat. It is a good drink to have about 20 minutes before a workout because of the energy and intensity it gives you.  But make sure its black coffee as milk can slow down the burning process.

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