What is fat? Where is it really stored in the body? What actually happens when you burn fat? Where does the fat go? What else do I need to know about fat? These are some of the many questions that have a lot of us baffled when it comes to understanding fat and weight loss.
Let us systematically deconstruct this fatty and perplexing issue to shed light on the mysterious process of weight gain and weight loss. After reading this article you will understand why eating one slice of cake adds five founds on you but 3 hours of exercise barely has an effect.
- What is fat and where is it stored in the body?
Fat can be summarized in 2 words – “stored energy”. It is located inside special types of fat cells called adipocytes that are found under the skin. These fat cells are distributed all over of the body and you will most likely find different amounts of fat cells in different parts of the body.
The most common places that you will find a lot of fat cells are on the buttocks, arms, thighs, belly, neck and face. Men tend to store fat on the bellies while women are more predisposed to putting on weight on the butt, arms and thighs.
If you take a deeper look inside the fat cells, you will discover that the fat inside them is actually stored as triglycerides. The more triglycerides inside a fat cell, the bigger the size of that fat cell.
- What actually happens when you burn fat and where does the fat go
When a caloric deficit is created in the body, the body will utilize any fat that is available and stored in the fat cells. Through a sequence of complex biochemical processes, the fat cells release the triglycerides into the blood and it is transported as free fatty acids to where it is required for use.
The fat cells shrink and get smaller as they release triglycerides into the blood. A simple analogy is to imagine fat cell as little bubbles in your body containing fat inside. When you burn fat the fat bubbles get smaller and smaller. When more and more fat cells in your body shrink, you lose weight and start to look leaner. Fat cells will never disappear or go away; they just get emptied of their fat content.
On the other hand, if a caloric surplus is created in the body the same fat cells will start to store fat inside them again. This is why it is important to always maintain the correct caloric balance in the body.
When maintaining a caloric deficit, you must always keep it between 500-700 calories. Once the caloric deficit goes beyond 700 calories, the body automatically goes into starvation mode and it will start to save all the fat in the fat cells for future use and start using muscle tissue as an immediate and alternative energy source.
- What else do I need to know about fat?
A certain portion of the population that is known scientifically as endomorphs has a predisposition to gaining fat. Generally speaking, people will gain and lose fat at different rates and when you gain weight, both the size and the number of fat cells in your body increases.
This means that it is much more difficult to lose weight and maintain the lost weight if you gain an excessive amount of weight. To avoid this problem, you must start a weight loss program immediately when you discover that you are overweight.
Go on a diet and start exercising early to avoid huge pains in the future. If you do not do this and you procrastinate taking action you will probably find yourself morbidly obese in a few years.
- Certain foods spike insulin levels and increase fat storage
Foods, high in sugar raise your blood glucose levels. Once this happens, you body releases insulin. This process indirectly leads to more fat storage. This is why a slice of cake is not just a slice of cake. The impact is much greater as the body releases insulin to process the sugar in your blood.
To lose weight effectively, you must maintain a stable blood sugar level.
Finally, here are a few take-home lessons from this article:
- The body stores energy in the form of fat. It is stored in the form of triglycerides inside fat cells called adipocytes.
- When you burn fat, the triglycerides are released as fatty acids into the blood and travel to the other areas in the body where they are required.
- As you burn fat, the fat cells get smaller in size. They never disappear , they can grow back in size and start storing fat again if ever there is of a caloric surplus
- To lose weight it is essential maintain a caloric deficit and stable blood sugar levels while avoiding going into starvation mode
- The more weight you gain the harder it will be to lose the weight. You must not wait too long before you start a weight loss program.
Always remember, fat is just stored energy. The more exercise you do and energy you expend, the more fat you will burn. That pretty much sums it up in a nutshell.