We store fat in adipose tissue in our bodies — mostly under the skin (subcutaneous) or in the body cavity (visceral), with a small amount in our muscles (intramuscular).
Why is fat loss so important?
We need to lose fat…
As a group, people in most industrialized societies are likely to be over-fat.
This isn’t just a cosmetic problem. Excess body fat can negatively affect nearly every facet of life, including:
- decreased mobility
- poorer emotional health and self-esteem
- increased risk of organ failure
- poorer circulatory health
- increased risk of heart disease
- increased risk of stress fractures
- increased risk of strokes
- increased risk of cancers
- decreased sexual and reproductive health
Fat cells can act as endocrine factories and produce hormones that influence numerous processes in the body — most of which lead to more fat accumulation.
Beyond the health of it all, carrying a lower body fat is often considered more attractive and desirable as the underlying muscle tone is revealed.
Further, carrying a lower body fat is advantageous for many sport competitors (barring sumo wrestlers) as extra fat weight adds drag and additional resistance that must be overcome.
Bottom line: Carrying a lot of excessive body fat makes health, body composition, and athletic performance worse.
…but it’s hard.
Here’s the problem — collectively, we’re not very good at losing fat either.
About 95% of those who are overweight go on repeated diets, only to gain most or all of the weight back within one year. Nearly 70% of the United States is overweight or obese. The percentage of 12 to 17 year olds who are overweight has doubled since 1980.
We need a better solution. Knowing how fat loss works may be helpful.
What you should know
Fat cells are a major storage site for body fat, and are in a continuous state of turnover. Fat metabolism is regulated independently by nutritional, metabolic, and hormonal factors; the net effect determines levels of circulating fatty acids and the extent of body fat.
Fat loss and hormones
Fatty acid release and use requires lower insulin levels and an increase of the hormones glucagon, cortisol, epinephrine, and growth hormone. These “anti-insulin” hormones activate HSL. The other major hormone that influences fat metabolism is thyroxine (thyroid hormone).
After a large feeding, glycogen is synthesized until stores are replenished. If high blood sugar persists, glucose is converted to fatty acids. Amino acids can also be converted to fatty acids. The enzyme necessary for cells to accept triglycerides is lipoprotein lipase.
In the un-fed state, insulin concentrations fall, and the anti-insulin hormones increase. This accelerates fat use.
Fat loss and caloric deficit
When we decrease our caloric intake significantly, the body preserves fat stores very efficiently. Since insulin is low, thyroid hormone production is decreased. With this, resting metabolism is lowered. This can take place within 24 hours of starting an extreme diet.
The body’s response to calorie deprivation makes rebound weight gain all but definite once the diet is finished. Muscle is usually lost, so the body usually becomes fatter.
Fats are more than just a fuel source during rest and lower intensity exercise. Fats restore phosphagens that have been exhausted during high intensity exercise. After intense exercise sessions, oxygen uptake is increased, which allows restoration to pre-exercise conditions (the “afterburn” effect).
Fat loss is a complex problem
With our focus on specific nutrients, intense nutrition counseling, dieting and processed food consumption over the past 30 years, body fat levels have also increased. In other words, more information, more dieting, more junk food has given us more fat.
While some of this may seem counter-intuitive, it illustrates the importance of body awareness, avoidance of processed foods, regular physical activity and influential food advertising.
Summary and recommendations
To maintain a low body fat and/or lower body fat:
- Exercise at least 5 hours per week
- Eat whole/unprocessed foods at regular intervals, while being aware of physical hunger/fullness cues
- Sleep 7-9 hours per night
- Don’t engage in extreme diets
- Stay consistent with your habits
- Incorporate non-exercise physical activity
- Ignore food advertising
For extra credit
Aspartame was approved for use in 1981, and while this non-caloric sweetener was hypothesized to help control body weight, since 1980, levels of body fat have increased….stop using, eating or drinking anything with this in.
Other factors associated with lower levels of body fat include:
- green tea
- low energy-density foods
- dietary protein
- avoiding refined carbohydrates
- adequate hydration
- dietary fibre
- fruits and vegetables
- regular exercise
- adequate sleep
- a supportive social network
While cortisol can break down muscle tissue, it can also break down body fat.
If you increase physical activity and nutritious food intake, metabolism will increase.
Blaming weight gain on calories is like blaming wars on guns. The diet is not the cause of excessive body fat levels. Rather, it’s the entire lifestyle.
Severe calorie deprivation inhibits the production of serotonin, a brain chemical needed to control appetite and maintain harmony with food.
Recently we loaded an article on Facebook about squatting and poor mobility and liked it to how well children move and their great ROMs around each joint.
Since then we have been inundated by people telling us their limitations and describing their mobility issues, and asking ok so i have this issue…What can i do about it?
Firstly we have to say that good job you know you have a limitations, as how many out there really know what good movement, mobility, flexibility and proprioception really look and feel like?
Self awareness is everything. Most people don’t understand that what you tolerate you accept, but it is a reality. Think about it. The more you sit in traffic, the more you get used to the traffic. Eventually you say, “this is normal for me, the traffic isn’t that bad, I barely notice it any longer.” Yet, there is a non-moving mass of cars surrounding you – this is called “Grid locked”.
Loss of tissue tolerance and the art of aging is similar in nature. The physical difference is basically the same, you become “locked” and consider it “normal”. I really want you to think about this; what you tolerate, you accept.
With the tools and therapy we use at RE:Born you are able to see/feel what you’ve been tolerating. You become aware of the limitations AND the potential you have as the therapy bring needed body awareness.
The first steps in understanding the aches and pains of the body:
The foot is the foundation for the body. The foot is first and last thing to hit the ground each day, giving it the greatest influence on overall biomechanics. As the foot goes, so goes the rest of the body.
If the foot can strike the ground confidently, the rest of the body will move confidently. However if there is fear of pain, or if the foot has become rigid and dysfunctional due to loss of tissue tolerance in the muscles of the lower leg, biomechanics will be compromised and aches and pains will follow.
(Please note my post on FACEBOOK re. pain in lateral right knee pain after changing shoes…..low and behold i had really poor ROM in my ankle and lost a few degree of dorsiflexion, low and behold this created KNEE pain!! check out the video)
“Many people want to wear a Ferrari ON THEIR FOOT, but they have the suspension of a Pinto.”
- Cassidy Phillips The Chain Reaction
Every bone has muscle and fascia that surrounds it, and every joint has a muscle and a tendon that supports it. Muscles are designed to create and maintain structural integrity in the body through proper force couples and length tension relationships. Structural integrity of the muscles produces proper biomechanics through intra and inter muscular coordination.
The biomechanical chain reaction, beginning with the foot, can take dysfunction from the lower leg all the way up to the quads, hip, IT band and even the lower back. RE:Born Therapy addresses biomechanical efficiency within the body from the ground up.
Similar to the structure of a well-built house, the foundation of the body begins at the foot and is built by establishing a sound and efficient base. The stronger the foundation, the more positive response the body will yield as a whole.
The sequence of events described above illustrates why addressing the entire biomechanical chain, not just one problem area, is important. By performing myofascial compression techniques tissue tolerance will increase as length tension relationships and elasticity are restored, resulting in enhanced mobility and improved overall biomechanics.
Structurally, we have very little control over the development of our bones. At RE:Born Therapy we have geared our attention to the soft tissue of skeletal muscle because we know we can make dramatic improvements over time that will ultimately change how the body moves as a whole. Efficiency of movement is the result of pliable skeletal muscle tissue that allows the body to do what it naturally was created to do.
“WHAT YOU TOLERATE, YOU ACCEPT.”
- Cassidy Phillips
Core competency is defined as the competency and/or structural integrity of the trunk muscles and their ability to stabilize the spine and transfer force efficiently between the supported extremities.
False Fulcrums: Loss of muscle tissue tolerance leads to altered biomechanics, forcing the creation false fulcrums throughout the body. These false fulcrums limit the body’s ability to produce, reduce, and stabilize force while creating the potential for pain and injury. False Fulcrums form above and below the major fulcrums of the body creating excessive stress and dysfunction.
Hopefully you can now understand that the whole kinetic bio-mechanical chain must be working together from foot to head to create great movement and balance throughout the body. (I guess the kids song the foot bone is connected to the leg bone does have a place in schools after all…just remember what attaches all the bones together)
For more info, or should you to be feeling pain, discomfort at the gym or at home please do not hesitate to call us on 01202 671783 to book in for a FREE assessment.
RE:Born Personal Trainer Sandbanks Poole