Can Bad Fat Be Good For Weight Loss?

We've been taught that fat is a foe since what feels like birth-or maybe in reality since we cared about fitting into tight jeans or being able to run a mile. Fat is the enemy-we, and your heart, can all agree. And as we get older, with our metabolism slowing to an oh-so-frustrating rate, fat only gets harder to fight. But with new exploration of the different kinds of fat in our bodies, scientists might be able to help us battle the bulge much easier.

In the body there are two types of fat: brown fat, which burns fat for energy, and white fat, the fat that stores unused calories. New research from John Hopkins points to the idea of converting white fat into brown fat to rev up the rate at which calories are burned, essentially causing weight loss. Although the theory has yet to be proven for humans, if scientists are able to turn bad fat into good fat and reprogram the body's ability to burn calories, then the future for fighting fat and even obesity may be changed forever.

In the meantime, while you can't "reset" your metabolism entirely, you can help thwart a slow-poke metabolism by working out regularly to build more lean muscle-the more you have, the more efficient your metabolism is. Strength training, Pilates, yoga and aerobic exercise tend to be the best.

And if you have stubborn fat in certain spots of your body, like the back, tummy, thighs, and even butt, liposuction, as well as some noninvasive fat melters, can sculpt a streamlined look. For an in-depth look at how to slim your body from head to toe, check out the Winter/Spring 2012 issue of NewBeauty magazine, on newsstands now!

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