What is an AMPK Metabolic Activator?

What is an AMPK Metabolic Activator?

Scientifically reviewed by: Michael A. Smith, MD

Belly fat is a bummer—and not just because it can make you feel self-conscious at the beach. Over time, declining AMPK levels can cause the accumulation of abdominal fat.

What’s especially frustrating is that this extra fat around your waist can be incredibly difficult to fight…even if you’ve been hitting the gym hard and avoiding donuts like the plague. That’s why many people turn to supplements—but do they actually work? You’d be right to be skeptical, particularly if there’s no scientifically validated research demonstrating that a formula works.

Fortunately, studies have shown that increasing your activated protein kinase (AMPK) levels can be an effective way to kickstart your weight management strategy, specifically when it comes to stubborn, stored abdominal fat. Indeed, an AMPK metabolic supplement can get you closer to those better-body goals. So how does a supplement impact your AMPK activity—and can it actually help you support a healthy weight?

What is AMPK?

Man doing crunches to firm up abs

The AMPK enzyme is found inside every cell in your body and acts as a storage unit for cellular energy. AMPK is a cellular “energy sensor” that helps determine and even influence your overall body fat composition. As we get older, our internal processes may start to slow down; the same is true for our cellular AMPK activity, which is often the culprit for unwanted body weight gain. Increased weight gain as you age is directly linked to the aging process, so it is important to maintain youthful AMPK levels. You can promote healthy AMPK levels with the right diet and certain supplements.

How do I fight unwanted belly fat?

Man on scale to check body weight and body fat

Make no mistake about it: maintaining a healthy weight is the best way to fight unwanted body fat, including belly fat. Working out regularly will help, as well; not only does it burn calories, but exercises targeted to your abdominal muscles will help lean out your middle.

You’ve probably heard this advice before, though, and sometimes all the sit-ups in the world won’t help fight that stubborn fat where you want it least: your stomach. To target belly fat, you need to increase your AMPK activity, which will rev up your metabolism. Boosting your AMPK activity at the cellular level supports healthy glucose uptake into cells, which helps promote already-healthy blood sugar levels and increases your chances of burning the stored fat.

Can I increase AMPK naturally?

Woman smiling feeling good after eating increased AMPK

So how do you increase AMPK? Follow these simple dos and don’ts.

DO choose AMPK-enhancing foods.

Increase your consumption of water-soluble, dietary fibers, like apples and oatmeal, which can aid in weight management and enhance AMPK levels naturally.

DON’T overload your plate with carbs.

You should consume carbohydrates, but watch how many you eat throughout the day. Having an abundance of carbohydrates in your diet can make it harder to support healthy AMPK levels.

DO eat the rainbow when it comes to vegetables.

Non-starchy vegetables that are rich in polyphenols (which give fruits and veggies their color) can help support AMPK activation.

DON’T starve yourself.

Eating enough calories to keep your body running is important, but also make sure you aren’t overeating, which can slow down your AMPK activity.

DO eat healthy fats to fight belly fat.

Foods that are rich in omega 3s, like fish and even fish oil supplements, have been shown to support the hormone adiponectin, which activates the AMPK signaling pathway.

In addition, two naturally occurring nutrients help crank up your body’s fat-burning machine. Gynostemma pentaphyllum (or G. pentaphyllum for short) has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese regimens to help support healthy metabolic levels and weight management. Hesperidin is a citrus flavonoid that helps increase AMPK levels, while supporting already healthy cholesterol levels as well as healthy vascular function.

Is AMPK good for weight management?

Man packing pre-made healthy meals at home

An AMPK activator is not a “diet supplement”—taking it will not, alone, make you lose weight. (And be wary of any product that claims to do so.)

However, increased AMPK signaling can decrease appetite, as well as impact how your cells use and store energy. An AMPK activator also supports overall body temperature as well as helps supports hormone balance. So, think of it as a companion to your overall weight management strategy…not the be-all and end-all to beat the battle of the bulge.

3 Ways to Fight Belly Fat

Woman planking as part of working out daily

Fuel yourself with healthy foods.

Choose a diet rich in lean healthy meats, healthy fats and fresh fruits and vegetables. You should be consuming enough protein, carbs and fats for your age, height, weight and gender in order to fuel your body throughout the day and provide your internal systems with the energy you need in order to go to work, exercise, take care of your family, and any other daily activities.

Make working out a daily activity.

Want lean abs? Then don’t skimp out on workouts. It is important to exercise for at least 30 minutes each day to elevate your heart rate and help burn fat naturally. But don’t think you have to do hot yoga or high intensity interval training to get a good workout; taking a walk, jog or even playing tennis are all great ways to break a sweat, have fun and burn some excess fat in the process.

Choose a belly-burning supplement.

Once you have the foundation of diet and exercise down pat, then you can supplement with AMPK activators to help burn stubborn belly fat. It is best to follow the direct AMPK activator dosage guide on the bottle and not take more than what is recommended.

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