Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Article # 291. Why Is Your Body Really Storing Fat?

Why Is Your Body Really Storing Fat?

The body is a complicated machine, and operates in many ways. But what is for certain is that the body’s ability to store fat is a built in system for survival. Why, you ask? Long ago when we had to “hunt and gather” for our food, there were good times and there were tough times. This is what is also known as “feast and famine”. If the body is to survive long periods of no food, it needs a backup energy source or it will die. This is where fat cells come in. Your body can and will store fat only for the intended purpose of using it later on down the road for survival during times of lower food availability. The body is not designed to be exposed to feasts all day, every day. But with convenience stores and supermarkets open 24 hours a day, we are never lacking for food.

Fat Cells are Basically Energy Storage Tanks

Think of it that way. You have “stored energy” just sitting around waiting for you to release it. This is where our hormones come into play. Hormones are the chemical messengers that tell your body to either store more fat or signal fat cells to release the stored energy to be burned up.
So to sum up, the burning (releasing) of stored fat is primarily a hormonal process!

So it only makes sense that if you want to burn fat (rather than store it), you have to control the right hormones. The reason we are storing more fat (and never burning it) these days is because we are messing up our “energy balance” signals. The good news is that we just need to signal the body to start releasing the stored fat (and stop storing more) to be burned as fuel for the body.

Muscle is Where the Fat is Burned

WRONG! This is the greatest misconception I see with many people working out in the gym today. Go ahead and look around and you may just see the same people doing hours of spin classes and jogging on the treadmill, yet looking the same month after month. In fact, I’ve seen people gain weight doing this! That’s right, GAIN more fat.

Why is this happening? While being active and exercising does play a role in burning fat, more is not always better…smarter is. Most people are doing too much of higher intensity exercise and not seeing the results they want… this is because they are neglecting the hormonal factors that come from both exercise and what they eat. If you think that just going and doing some jogging every day is going to make up for a poor eating lifestyle as well, you are in for a sad surprise.

The Big “Secret” to Burning that Fat

It is true that fat loss does occur when oxygen is present, hence what is known as the “aerobic” state. The only other state is known as “anaerobic” (or “without oxygen”) and is when lactic acid is present, such as when doing resistance training. But here’s the key no one ever thinks about…

You are in an aerobic state ALL day long (when not lifting weights)!

So here’s the breakthrough: you do have the ability to burn fat all day long even with lower intensity activity. Your body will use fat as fuel…including while you sleep. Hormones can tell the body to store fat, release fat to be burned, or use alternative sources such as stored glycogen or even break down muscle tissue. So let’s learn what we need to have happen if getting access to and burning stored fat is our main goal!

Read my tips in upcoming post to know more about burning fat!