What if I was to tell you that some people are just pre-disposed to getting fat, watching their lean friends eat foods on a daily basis that they just look at and seem to gain weight.
You do what the “experts” tell you to do, eat your healthy whole grains, watch your saturated fat intake but still it's a constant battle between you and the scales.
Unfortunately this is the reality for lot of people. In the same way that only one in ten smokers will develop lung cancer, perhaps only 2 or 3 out of ten (many even more by today statistics) eating the typical western diet may become overweight or obese!
In this blog I’m going to give you my insight into the regulation of our fat metabolism and how the food choices we make can impact it!
In the 1970’s in an attempt to research the relationship between hormones, appetite and weight gain researchers made an alarming discovery.
After removing the hormone producing ovaries in laboratory rats, as expected the rats developed a massive appetite and became obese.
The Scientists concluded that this was due to the lack of oestrogen (produced in the ovaries). Oestrogen regulates lipoprotein-lipase (LPL) activity on fat cells, and LPL is responsible for pulling fat from the blood and into fat cells for storage. So without LPL regulation the fat cells would become greedy and the rats would consume as much food as possible to fuel this greed!
However, the alarming discovery was made when similar rats were put on a calorie restricted diet, but still became obese! Their fat cells were still as greedy as ever.
Although due to the fact that the rats on a calorie restricted diet could not consume excess calories to fuel this greed, they became totally sedentary (didn’t move), literally only moving to get to the little food they were given.
Basically their fat cells were on a mission to get fat and if they couldn’t eat to fuel this mission, they were going to cut their calorie expenditure to an absolute minimum and try to store fat at all costs.
Obviously a lazy laboratory rat with no ovaries is an extreme case, but it’s a clear indication that the battle with weight loss is not just as straightforward as the amount of calories we consume.
It is clear that our genetic make-up and in particular our hormones play a major role in the regulation of our fat metabolism. And the harsh reality may be that some of us just get fat a lot easier than others!
Perhaps calorie restriction alone may not be the best approach as the mainstream has led us to believe.
One hormone in particular is the principle regulator of fat metabolism in the human body, and the good news is that this hormone can be greatly manipulated through the foods we consume.
So perhaps looking at the types and quality of food we consume would be a better approach than focusing slowly on calories consumed (within reason).