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Body Fat - What you Really Need to Know

This site has two complete pages with an in-depth discussion about what body fat is.  These pages are informative and very interesting, if a little clinical. If you have the time and would like please read them, but this page contains what you really need to know about body fat as it pertains to weight loss or gain.

Body fat is called adipose tissue. Its derived from lipoblasts. Adipose tissue's main role is to store energy in the form of fat, but it also cushions the body and provides insulation. (That's why skinny people are always cold.)

Fat is not laid down when there is a surplus available and stored passively until it is needed; rather it is constantly being stored in and released from each cell.

Fat cells have an important physiological role in maintaining triglyceride and free fatty acid levels, as well as determining insulin resistance. Abdominal fat has a different metabolic profileóbeing more prone to induce insulin resistance. This explains to a large degree why central obesity is a marker of impaired glucose tolerance and is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease (even in the absence of diabetes mellitus and hypertension).

Losing Body Fat

In order to lose body fat you must burn more calories than your body digests. There are three variables at work in this process, the amount of calories you consume, the amount of calorie burning work you do, and the rate at which your body metabolizes the calories you consume. These are often referred to as, diet, exercise, and metabolism. You can reduce the amount you eat, do more exercise, or increase your metabolism, or a combination of the three. 

The problem is that most times reducing the amount you eat actually decreases the rate at which your body burn calories. It is how the body works. If you eat less your body "thinks" it is starving and slow down to "conserve" the calories. This is why dieting alone seldom works. 

Supplemental Aids

There are three types of products which can help:

  • Appetite suppressants reduce your hunger. Some are also metabolism enhancers; the "speed up" the rate at which your body burns calories.
  • Carb and/or fat blockers actually block the amount of carbohydrates or fat your body digests from the food you eat.
  • Metabolism enhancers makes your body burn more calories for a given amount of exercise.

With sensible exercise and the correct weight loss aids you can eat all you want and still lose weight. Even with no additional exercise you probably can lose some weight, but read about exercise on the exercise page. Getting more exercise is something that will help us all and has health benefits far beyond weight loss.

Please note that while it is possible to eat all you want and still loss weight it may not be wise. If the all you want includes larges amounts of fat and cholesterol you could be shorting your life even if you are at a weight you find desirable.