Fat Storage For Dummies

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Fat Storage For Dummies

19th Feb 2014

Whose Getting Fat Anyway?

"Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein

He was on to something there old Einstein! The weight loss diet battle rages on. It’s probably due to the time of year to be honest. I guess the first challenge is that people believe TV and radio. We often forget common sense in all of this. The facts, based on what we see on the streets, are that people are getting fatter and unhealthier. This cannot be argued. What causes us to get fat however is and can be argued. The problem is that we have a couple of conflicting viewpoints. The first one is the view of the “common” man or woman and the second is the “athlete” viewpoint. The problem is my opinion is that we have athletic types telling “normal” people how to stay lean. You have an automatic disconnect.

Fat Storage & Insulin

So let’s have a straw poll! If you are reading this and you are overweight. What do you eat most of the time? I am not asking what you think you should be eating, am I asking what you actually ARE eating. If you live in the UK and you are overweight, chances are you are eating a classic low fat diet of cereals, brown bread and brown pasta. For most people this is classed as healthy. The challenge is that fat has been demonised and refined carbohydrates that include “brown” products have taken their place. This shift started in the 1970’s and we have been getting fatter ever since. This CANNOT be argued.

Let’s give the brief and simple reaction that goes on when you eat something. After digestion of fats, proteins and carbohydrates, your blood glucose/sugar levels rise. The level of blood glucose depends on the quantity and concentration of carbohydrates in that meal. Your pancreas produces insulin which directs (or stores) the nutrients in the right places. The blood glucose mentioned gets converted to glycogen and then it is stored in the liver or muscles. Any excess glucose is taken up by the fat tissue and stored i.e. increasing the amount of fat stored. I will keep it as simple as that.

Excess Fat is the Problem

Based on the above science, the problem for normal people is excess fat storage. For athletes, they tend have either have higher glycogen demands due to the increased of their muscles (this is why resistance training is important for everyone) or the fact that they are running miles and miles and their energy demand is different. The reason a lot of injured athletes or retired athletes get fat is because they keep eating the same amount of carbohydrate/protein rich food and are not “using it”

Let’s make this perfectly simple....I am not talking about CALORIES here. I am taking about the way energy from different nutrients is USED. The challenge for normal people is they do 45 minutes on treadmill and then pile carbohydrates down their necks because they are lower calorie. Normal people do not need the stored glycogen that athletes do so it gets stored as fat. Most normal people can live on about 50-100 grams of carbohydrates per day. I am a fit guy and I train probably six days per week, I maintain good muscle mass of about 100 grams of carbohydrates per day. My chronic illness markers are exceptional as well.

Based on this logic, a high fat, moderate protein and lower carbohydrate (and zero refined) diet does not promote high levels of insulin production. So a high fat diet where you don’t get hungry every 30 minutes will keep your glucose levels balanced, minimise insulin and therefore minimise EXCESS fat storage.

Disclaimer: I am talking about natural fats from animal sources and non refined plant sources (like coconut)

Conclusion

Everyone that I have worked with that is healthy has followed a non refined carbohydrate and high fat diet and lost weight. They have also kept it off. The science behind insulin and fat storage has never really been controversial. It has only been called a “theory” because it conflicts the conventional wisdom of “calories in and out” which hasn’t worked (for normal people) since the 1970’s. We are getting fatter and type 2 diabetes is going through the roof. Ask a diabetes specialist what causes diabetes. While you are there, ask a cardiologist what causes heart disease. At no point will you hear anything about saturated fat. Just to confirm, whole WHEAT is not WHOLE grain. Whole grains are things like steel cut oats and quinoa. Don't be fooled by marketing. If you are not an athlete then start increasing your vegetable intake first and then increase your fat consumption. Fish, avocado and eggs are a good place to start.