How We Store Fat-
The Key To Fat Loss

In the first two days we have understood a bit about diets and the importance of insulin and glucagon. Today we will talk about the hows of fat storage. Understanding the process your body goes through to store fat is essential to understanding how to burn fat. There are two primary reasons that we store fat. The first is:

Irregular Eating Habits

Did you eat breakfast this morning? Statistics show that only about 10% of the population eat any kind of breakfast (defined as a meal within an hour or so of waking up) Most of the time we skip breakfast and then grab some kind of mid morning snack to hold us over to lunch. So if you had dinner the night before at 7 then you have not eaten anything substantial for about 15 hours. When this happens your body goes into “starvation” mode. When you are in starvation mode your body holds onto its fat because it thinks that you are never going to eat again. So by skipping meals your body will not allow itself to burn fat. Currently , the literature supports the concept of refueling (eating) every 3-4 hours. Some literature talks about eating 5 equal and smaller meals, other reports say eat three bigger meals and then two smaller snacks. Personally I don’t think it matters much (just don’t eat five larger meals !). The point here is that a constant supply of food ( assuming the right type of course) allows your body to function normally and primes the energy creating, carb and fat burning mechanisms in your body. Now for the second and really the most important reason we store fat---

A Dysfunctional Pancreas

What’s a pancreas you ask! I consider the pancreas the “Forgotten Organ” Unless your family has a history of pancreatic cancer ( I really hope not) or diabetes ( I also really hope not)then you probably do not think about the pancreas very much if at all. The pancreas has as its major job the creation of the master hormone insulin.

So What’s the Problem With My Pancreas

Simply put, the way we eat burns the pancreas out. When it is ultimately burned out then you get insulin dependent diabetes. Hopefully you are reading this prior to being at that point. How does the pancreas get burned out? Again the answer is simple. Any machine that is overused gets burned out, whether it is an engine, a light switch or a body part. So how do we overuse our pancreas. That is the key question.

We Create A Dysfunctional Pancreas By The Food We Eat

The food we eat causes sugar in the form of glucose to be released into the blood stream. As we saw yesterday, insulin’s job is to reduce blood sugar (because too much blood sugar is very toxic) by either sending it into the cells to be burned for fuel or by sending it to the liver and promoting the storage of excess blood sugar as fat. The pancreas is the ONLY organ in the body that can make insulin. Therefore if we are eating in a manner that constantly requires our pancreas to make insulin, the pancreas eventually gets “tired” just like anyone would if you are working all the time. After a period of time of being tired and if there is no change in eating habits then eventually the pancreas gets “exhausted”, can no longer make insulin and full blown diabetes happens.

What Kind Of Food Causes The Blood Sugar to Go Up?

Well of course sugar does. But the real answer is carbohydrates. You may have heard of good carbs, bad carbs, low glycemic carbs, high glycemic carbs…etc. While it is true that there are better and worse carbs, eventually ALL carbs become sugar. (Did you know that 4 grams of carbohydrate = 1 teaspoon of sugar. A plain Einstein Brothers bagel has 71 grams of carbohydrate which becomes 17 teaspoons of sugar = more than 1/3 cup of sugar) The only difference ( and it is an important one) is the speed that the carb becomes glucose and is released into the body. For example, a bagel becomes glucose much faster than a slice of homemade whole wheat bread. Captain Crunch becomes glucose much faster than real ( as opposed to instant) oatmeal. As you may know the American diet has shifted more and more to these quickly becoming glucose carbohydrates because of convenience and because the simpler the sugar the “better” the taste. Dr. Barry Sears writes in his book Toxic Fat “An excess supply of food (even carbohydrates) has been a relatively new phenomenon in human history. In the past it took a lot of effort to grow food: even more effort was needed to cook and prepare it. All of this began to change in the 20th century with the introduction of processed foods… The American food-processing industry remains the world leader in making an amazing variety of highly palatable junk foods composed primarily of cheap carbohydrates. The emergence of fast-food restaurants meant you no longer needed to eat your meals at home. These meals included lots of cheap carbohydrates. Even food items such as breakfast cereals, bread, and pasta are nothing more than simple forms of processed foods.”

Please...Remember This

• It is important to understand that the minute carbohydrates are consumed, they are broken down into glucose in the bloodstream, and then whatever is not needed immediately for energy is swooped up by insulin, converted into fat and stored.
• Since it is the job of the pancreas to produce the insulin necessary to remove glucose from the bloodstream (and store it as fat), eating a high-carbohydrate diet causes the pancreas to work overtime, to eventually become worn out or dysfunctional.
• Remember, insulin is the fat storage hormone - the hormone that converts the foods you’ve consumed into stored fat. Consequently, an overproduction of insulin leads to excess fat storage.

This is made even worse if you have...

Insulin Resistance

Insulin Resistance (IR) is happening in epidemic proportions. IR is a situation where your body is resistant to the effects of insulin. Simply put the information that insulin is trying to communicate is not getting through to the cell. It’s like when your cell phone is off and someone is trying to call you (too bad the cell does not have voice mail!) As a result the sugar does not get transferred from the blood to the cells. The pancreas then reacts by making more insulin to force the issue. The end result is the excess insulin forces the blood sugar to the liver and it ends up being stored as fat.

So simply put...

We Store Fat Because We Eat Too Many Carbohydrates.

Tomorrow we will talk about how to flip the switch so that you burn fat and not sugar for energy- this is the key to fat loss. Remember fat loss and not just weight loss is the goal.