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Can You Increase Fat Burning Enzymes?

author image Paula Quinene
Paula Quinene is an Expert/Talent, Writer and Content Evaluator for Demand Media, with more than 1,500 articles published primarily in health, fitness and nutrition. She has been an avid weight trainer and runner since 1988. She has worked in the fitness industry since 1990. She graduated with a Bachelor's in exercise science from the University of Oregon and continues to train clients as an ACSM-Certified Health Fitness Specialist.
Can You Increase Fat Burning Enzymes?
Incorporate long runs and sprints to increase fat-burning enzymes. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Eat whole-grain carbohydrates instead of following a no-carb or very low carb diet, and exercise regularly to increase your fat-burning enzymes and burn your stored body fat. The energy-making processes of your body convert the energy in the foods you eat to energy your cells can use called adenosine triphosphate or ATP. The use of fat in your body to fuel your exercise requires a molecule produced only from the breakdown of glucose in the carbs you eat. The types of carbohydrates you consume, as well as the other foods you eat with your carbs will also stimulate more fat-burning enzymes.

Step 1

Engage in aerobic exercise for 45 to 90 minutes, two to three days a week. Aerobic exercise changes the concentration of ATP, the hormones epinephrine and glucagon, and other molecules in your muscle cells, stimulating and increasing the activation of the fat-burning enzyme, hormone-sensitive lipase. Hormone-sensitive lipase frees up the fatty acids from fat cells so they can enter your blood. Regular aerobic exercise increases the density of the capillaries in your muscles. An increase in capillaries means more of the fat-burning enzyme, lipoprotein lipase, will surround your cells and enhance the cells' use of fats to fuel your workout, according to the authors of the book "Exercise Physiology, Energy, Nutrition & Human Performance." Lipoprotein lipase makes it easier for the fatty acids in your blood to pass through cell walls to be further processed for energy.

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Step 2

Eat a sufficient amount of complex carbohydrates so you have the energy to exercise for 45 to 90 minutes. Your cells need glucose from carbs to form a molecule called pyruvate. Once fatty acids pass through the cell wall and are inside the watery substance of your cells, they are degraded into a molecule called acetyl-coenzyme A or acetyl-CoA. Acetyl-CoA must join with another molecule, oxaloacetate, to continue through the energy-forming process inside a specific structure of your cells, stimulating the continued use of stored body fat. Oxaloacetate availability is dependent on the enzyme pyruvate carboxylase for producing more pyruvate. Eat a minimum of 3 oz. or three servings of complex carbohydrates from whole grains to increase the amount of pyruvate carboxylase, burning more body fat. If you do not eat carbs, you will not stimulate pyruvate carboxylase and you will not burn much body fat.

Step 3

Maintain a steady blood glucose level by eating low-glycemic foods and lean protein; low-glycemic or low-GI foods do not cause a spike in your blood sugar while high-GI foods raise your blood sugar level too fast. Low-GI foods and protein stimulate the production of the hormone glucagon, according to a 2008 article by R. Paul Gustafson, Ph.D. High glucagon levels enhance the activation of the fat-burning enzyme hormone-sensitive lipase. Eat cooked, whole grain spaghetti and fettucine noodles, pears, and apples instead of white rice and pineapple.

Step 4

Complete one to two high-intensity interval sessions per week such as flat sprints or hill sprints. Do 20 seconds of all-out effort followed by 80 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. This type of training increases the activity of fat-burning enzymes and increases the production of growth hormone, according to a 2009 article by Brad Schoenfeld and Jay Dawes. Growth hormone further augments the activation of hormone-sensitive lipase.

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  • "Exercise Physiology, Energy, Nutrition & Human Performance"; William McArdle, Frank Katch and Victor Katch; 2007
  • "Strength and Conditioning Journal"; Fat Burning; Bruce Craig, Ph.D; October 2006
  • "Strength and Conditioning Journal"; The Glycemic Index and Weight Control; R. Paul Gustafson, Ph.D.; June 2008
  • "Strength and Conditioning Journal"; High-Intensity Interval Training; Brad Schoenfeld and Jay Dawes; Dec. 2009
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