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programmed cell death

When you lose fat, you take out the content of fat cells (triglycerides – which are broken into free fatty acids) and then oxidize those fatty acids in the mitochondria.

This itself accounts for reduction in fat mass, but it doesn’t constitute a reduction in adipocytes (fat cells). The fat cells are still there, they just sit (relatively) empty, and ready to absorb glucose to be stored as triglycerides.

On the positive side, there is such a thing called apoptosis, which refers to those fat cells self-destructing. Doing so would mean a reduction in the potential to store fat as no vast quantities of adipocytes would just sit there empty and ready to absorb.

On the negative side, this is not a straight forward process and it seems we don’t know enough to confidently say we got this cat in the bag.

How to get apoptosis

Current science on triggering apoptosis is limited, and we do follow new studies closely to see what we can learn. That being said, we do know a fair bit already, perhaps enough to help you in your journey to eliminate those empty fat cells.

Let’s explore:

Faster routes

  • Longer fasts (beyond the 48h point) seems to induce apoptosis best. We’ve got no experience doing a fast past 24h ourselves, we just love our food too much 🙂
    We do know a few people who will say it’s easy enough but takes prep.
  • Even faster: surgical freezing of fat cells (cryolipolysis). Which can even be done at home but not without risks. This seems to be a promising way of doing it but it’s not pleasant (an ice bath won’t do it.. it does involve a fair bit more) and if done professionally, it can also be expensive.

Slower Routes

  • Keeping a state of some fasting, low carbs for a few weeks after weight loss. Basically, going beyond “not filling” those fat cells but really starving them and keeping them thin for a significant period of time after losing the fat content – can induces apoptosis gradually. We don’t quite know how long it takes and we have seen “weeks” and “months” mentioned.
    In more simple terms, if you know how to initiate lipolysis and oxidation to lose the fat content of fat cells, this is just a matter of practicing fasting and low carb lifestyle for a while after that, in order to not fill them up – and eventually they die. Look up our LION protocol if you want a good framework to do so.That’s also good news in the sense that if you are Bellyproofing and you are not taking a break, you will gradually also lose fat cells. Why? Because fat cells you empty in say, week 1, can be starved and eliminated later down the line by week 5 or 6.
    There is no way of measuring that unfortunately but this is what the studies we can find indicate.

What else?

There seems to be a few things with potential to help us further:

  • We know plenty of sunlight and vitamin D (which is a produced as a result) can induce apoptosis. We don’t know if supplementing vitamin D does the same.
  • We know dietary fat in the form of CLA (found mainly in dairy and meat, or in supplements) has a little bit of science behind it to indicate it can promote apoptosis too.
  • We know Insulin and Estrogen are both very anti-apoptosis meaning they can inhibit the process to a large degree. Insulin can be tackled by lowering sugar and carb intake and fasting (LION protocol is a prime example of how to do it well).
    Estrogen is tackled primarily by improving deep sleep, reducing toxins (EMFs, in food, in water and in air) and detoxing the body, as well as helping prevent aromatization of Testosterones into Estrogen which is relatively easy if you like Broccoli.
    We will have a video on Estrogen and how to reduce it by the end of 2022.