Friday, September 27, 2013

About Fat

So is it true that fat cells last forever?

Well, in a sense, yes. But don't panic because you can still lose fat if you stick to your eating plan.

The way it works is this. We are born with a certain number of fat cells and as we grow, our bodies create more. This includes if we put on a lot of weight.

However, the number of fat cells does not decrease. Once the number reaches a certain level, it stays there. So no matter how much weight we lose, we still have the same number of fat cells.

What about liposuction? This is a surgical procedure that removes fat cells from the body. Temporarily, it does mean that we have fewer fat cells. But the body quickly produces more to replace them, until it is back to its 'set point'.

The good news is that although we cannot reduce the number of fat cells in our body, we can reduce the size of each one. This is how this works.

When we eat, the digestive system converts the food into storable energy in the form of glucose (from carbohydrates and proteins) and fats. The glucose is used first and the fat is stored in fat cells. If we do not eat enough to satisfy our body's need for energy, it will take some of the fat from out of the fat cells and convert that to a form of energy that we can use. The fat cells shrink and we become thinner.

Individual bodies store more fat in different places. Men and post-menopausal women tend to carry more visceral fat, which is stored around the organs and produces an apple-shaped body. Pre-menopausal women store more subcutaneous fat (under the skin), especially around the hips, thighs and breasts, giving a pear-shaped body or hour-glass figure.

Visceral fat is more dangerous because it contributes to heart disease. Some people who look quite slim can still have a significant amount of visceral fat.

So any time that you are keeping to your eating plan but do not seem to be looking any slimmer, keep in mind that you may be losing visceral fat.

This is an important step on the road to a healthier body.

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