Why the Body Stores Fat

Did you know that the primary reason you ‘look fat’ is because your body stores fats.

Why Does the Body Store Fats

Fats are essential for optimal functioning of the body and are an important source of energy. Dietary fats are digested to form essential fatty acids, which are necessary for proper functioning of the brain and which help in synthesis of essential vitamins. Fats also play a role in insulating the body. So a zero-fat diet to lose weight is a bad idea, because it will harm the body by withholding essential fats.

But if your dietary fat consumption is too high, you are left with excess fats, beyond the body’s immediate calorie requirements. This excess fat is stored by the body in fat cells (or adipose tissues) located in various organs.

Starvation diets also promote excessive fat storage. On such a diet, the body experiences a huge calorie deficit and gets into panic mode. So, when you get back to your regular diet, the body stores more fats than before to prepare for such an eventuality in the future.

Now you know why fad diets produce only short term results.

Where Does the Body Store Fats?

Majority fat is stored in your mid-section. In men, the fats are stored in the abdomen and upper extremities, giving them an ‘apple’ shaped body. In women, the fat storage is in the hips, waist and buttocks, producing a pear shaped look.

The body is storing fat primarily as a ‘back-up energy source and thus it makes sense to store the fats at the most energy efficient location. Your midsection is the most stable portion of the body from this point of view.

For instance, if fats were stored in the fingers, any simple activity (like writing this article) would utilize the stored fats leaving you with depleted energy sources in an emergency.

How Does the Body Store Fats?

The end product of dietary fat digestion is fatty acids. After utilization as required, the excess fatty acid is reabsorbed into the fat cell. Here it combines with a compound called glycerol to form a complex fat called triglycerides. High levels of triglycerides, harmful to the heart, thus result when the body stores fats.

Carbohydrates Stored as Fats?

Dietary carbohydrates are broken down into glucose and utilized for energy. When glucose levels are in excess of the body’s immediate requirements, the excess is converted into glycogen and stored for later use.

The glycogen reserves in the body are limited (unlike fat cells that can store as much fats as they want). So if carbohydrate intake continues to be high even after the critical glycogen reserve levels are reached, the body has no option but to convert the excess glucose into triglycerides and store it as fat.

This is the reason why the first step in a fat loss diet is to cut the carbs.

Fat Storage and Fat Loss

Thus if you want to lose weight, lose fat by burning the stored fats in the body. This can be achieved through the combination of diet and exercise. And it will produce long term results.

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