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Fat, The Good And The Bad

Posted May 20 2008 9:09am

Having fat on your body is NOT all bad! Fat is made up of cells called adipoctyes, which in short is adipose tissue. It’s main function is to stockpile energy reserves. They accumulate energy in the form of lipids which releases back into the body whenever we need them.

The fat pockets spread in clusters between the skin and the muscles. And of course, when we accumulate more energy than is consumed they will get bigger in size and the dreaded fat begins to accumulate more.

Oftentimes, on the surface of the skin of the buttocks and the back of the thighs we will see deep depressions or dimples that we call “cottage cheese” develop. We’ve also called this cellulte. This does have an important effect in women. Now really listen, when the body consumes fewer calories than it absorbs, the fat reserves increase! WHAT??? Did you read that?? “This subcutaneous fat, or cellulite, is compartmentalized by a fibrous connective tissue net. When this net is compressed, the lymphatics and blood vessels that run through the area are also compressed, the organic exchanges are slowed down, and the blood does not readily reach these fatty areas to remove the stockpiled fatty acids.”

So it becomes much more difficult to get rid of that localized fat, and even intensive training may not get rid of it altogether. So those on strict diets to lose weight will lose their breasts but keep their hips. Intersting! Makes a lot of sense when we don’t feed ourselves. The body is amazing in survival!

Also, hormones play a role in the increase of cellulite. Especially the excessive amounts of estrogen during the menstrual cycle or during pregnancy. They get subcutaneous water retention. It is associated with fat compressing the blood vessels which slows down circulation and the subcutaneous energy reserves more difficult to get moving out.

The fat reserves in women are mostly found in the buttocks and the low back and below the gluts in what we call the “saddle-bags”. And for various reasons these fat reserves occur in women according to climate. Another interesting point. Fat in the gluts can mainly be found in hot climates for Africans. Fat on the hips in Mediteraraneans, and fat around the navel, some Asians. It avoids covering the body like a coat and would be difficult to carry around during hot times.

In cold climates it is usually distributed more evenly, which gives the body more protection in the cold.

Please note though, that fat is essential! Healthy amounts are important! You need fat to insulate, to move vitamins through, to bear children and you need it to be comfortable sitting, etc. We get far too obsessed with it and it causes us to make poorer food choices and also go without food which in the long run will mess up the natural systems of the body.

The best thing we can really do, is listen to our body and respond to the signals it does send us in a natural, healthy way. Eat approximately 30% of your total calories in fat. But do watch your portion sizes and do get your cardio and strength training in. And then learn to accept “what is” in your genetics, your circumstance (pregnancy etc) and your lifestyle!

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