Fat is Not the Enemy

 In Stuff We Say

obese_fat_cell.jpgFat is not evil.  In fact, your body feels as though it is doing you a favor when it stores calories as fat.  It is just ensuring that you do not starve to death.

To your body, fat is not unattractive; it does not cause you to miss out on dates; it does not make your butt look too big.  It is simply a chemical that does a job.  It stores energy.  As a species, we would have died out long ago if it were not for this ability.  Fat is just doing its job- it is basic biology.

Unfortunately, if fat is really good at its job your likelihood of getting into your size 4 clothing is somewhat lessened, but if we understand what fat is, and is not, we have to means of dealing with our basic biological nature to our liking.

First- excess calories are stored as fat.  Basically, this means if you eat more than you need for energy, you are going to store that energy as fat.  If you are looking to lose fat, do not overeat.  Seems pretty simple so far.

Second- there are chemicals that can encourage energy to be stored as fat EVEN IF they are normally needed for basic energy.  Insulin is the most notable chemical.  Insulin is just doing its job too, but sometimes it can get sidetracked when we eat to much sugar.  If all you eat is bananas, Oreos, and snickers, you body will soon overload on insulin, and even if you only eat one banana, an Oreo and a snickers a day, you will still start to store some of the calories as fat- or break the whole system and become diabetic.  So- don’t eat lots of sugar- again, pretty simple.

Third- Where you store fat on your body is dictated by genetics and hormones.  Fat does not get stored in your hips or stomach because you do not exercise them enough or nature is really mean. There is no such thing as spot reduction.  Believe me, many studies have been looking for that holy grail for years, but all they have found is evidence that it does not exist.  If you want to loose fat on your stomach, doing more sit-ups is not going to cut it.  Pay attention to the two simple rules above.  Do not eat lots of sugar to spike your insulin and do not overeat so that excess energy is stored as fat.

Lastly- What about exercise?  If spot reduction does not work, why should I bother exercising?  Well, if you perform high intensity exercise (perhaps some of you know where you might be able to do this), you not only burn calories while you exercise, but more importantly, you can experience the after burn effect.  The after burn is an increase in your basic metabolism (increase in basic metabolism= you burn more calories) for several hours after exercise.  In addition, the more muscle that you possess (wonder where you can get some of that…) the more calorically expensive your body is day to day.  And of course, when you loose all of that fat from your good diet, after burn, and increased muscle, you are going to look amazing because now there will be so much muscle to show off!

Fat is not the enemy.  It is predictable, helpful in famine, and easily manipulated.

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