The food we eat provides the building blocks required for cellular construction as well as all metabolic and chemical reactions which our body performs to function in good health. In the same fashion, our diet and level of physical activity directly influence our hormones that determine if fat is stored or burned as fuel. Medical researchers now understand that where fat is stored in the body can determine risk of disease and how we can alter our diet to promote natural weight loss.
Fat Placement is a Risk Factor
Until recently, medical science has viewed our white fat cells as nothing more than an inert storage facility for extra calories. Research has debunked that theory by demonstrating that our fat is a viable organ within our body which is metabolically active, secreting and reacting to chemical messengers which influence our health and weight loss abilities.
The results of a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences show that the risk of metabolic disorder is heightened when fat is stored in the abdomen and significantly lowered when fat grows on the thighs or lower parts of the body. Interestingly the study authors found that abdominal fat grows by increasing the size of existing fat cells whereas fat cells multiply in number on the thighs and lower body. Abdominal fat is more dangerous to your health because the cells are stretched beyond their normal capacity, leading to metabolic dysfunction.
Using Food Balance to Control Fat Placement
Fortunately we can control where fat is placed on the body in several ways. The food we eat has a significant impact on fat storage and metabolism as we can choose both the quantity of food eaten as well as the nutritional composition of our diet. A diet high in refined carbohydrates which quickly break down into glucose and raise blood sugar causes excessive triglycerides in the blood. These blood fats must be cleared quickly after each meal and are converted to fat for storage on the belly.
Include Protein and Fat with Each Meal
The first step to controlling how and where fat is stored is to cut back or eliminate carbohydrate foods which trigger a rapid rise in blood sugar. All processed carbohydrates and sugar laden foods will initiate the cycle which results in abdominal fat storage. Substitute protein and fats from healthy nuts, seeds and minimally cooked meats. These foods don’t convert to glucose quickly and are much less likely to spike blood sugar and convert to fat.
Exercise Helps to Burn Fat as Fuel
Exercise is essential to good health, as it provides a catalyst to burn excess calories so they aren’t available to be stored as fat. When you exercise regularly, the body is conditioned to burn calories for fuel so they don’t end up as a source of body fat. Some amount of fat is essential to our health, and exercise encourages the formation of brown fat which is dissimilar to white belly fat because it promotes fat metabolism through a process known as thermogenesis.
The type of foods we eat provide metabolic cues to instruct our body how and where to store body fat. Eliminating junk carbohydrates and replacing them with lean protein and monounsaturated fat sources will blunt blood sugar swings and encourage fat metabolism. Exercise is necessary to provide the catalyst for caloric utilization which encourages ideal health and natural weight loss success.