Fat is future energy; excess nutrients stored in adipose tissue, aka BODY FAT. Although we tend to loath bodyfat, we should actually be somewhat appreciative of it because BODY FAT IS A BEAUTIFUL THING! So is body fat good or bad.

Before you roll your eyes at this post, I’m not about to tell you to embrace and accept any extra pounds you may be holding on to, but I do want to explain how the alternative would be far far worse! bODY FAT GOOD OR BAD?

Is body fat good or bad? Body fat is stored “future energy”, the average woman has 2 months supply of fuel before she would ever find herself in trouble. The body can also use carbohydrates for fuel, but there is a limit to how much glycogen (the storage form of carbohydrates) we can store. Glycogen is stored in muscle and a few hundred calories in the liver, the carbs stored in muscle cannot leave their storage site, meaning that carbs/glycogen in your bicep cannot leave that bicep to scurry on down to your quads to help you in that spin class. Carbohydrates in muscle STAY IN THAT MUSCLE, they are not an available form of ‘body fuel’. It is only that glycogen that is stored in the liver that can re-enter the blood supply and provide fuel to the tissue that needs it. The reality is we can store a lot of fuel as body fat but very very little a glycogen.

Fat cell is mostly lipid not water

Fat also does not hold on to water (hydrophobic) whereas for every unit of glycogen (stored carbohydrates) we hold onto two units of water. Ever felt super bloated after a high carb meal? you’re not imagining it, carbs trigger the kidneys to reabsorb sodium and water follows that sodium. High carb meals will indeed make you feel “fluffy” and add pounds to the scale, and if those carbs are stored in muscle, they will be stored with those extra two units of water for every glycogen unit present. Its why when we cut carbohydrates we might experience a sudden drop in body weight as that extra water gets excreted.

With all the low carb diets flying around this is probably nothing new to your ears, so let me share some math with you.

If we didn’t store future fuel as fat but stored it as carbohydrates we would all be HUGE. If our storage form of fuel was carbohydrates we would also have to store a HUGE amount of water.

A 165lb person with 20% body fat would weigh over 240lbs if that same energy were stored as carbohydrates and not as fat.

Just another example of how incredibly smart our body is!

Going off on a slight tangent here, but its along the same lines. People are always terrified of losing muscle. With all the Fasting diets going on it would seem a relevant issue to be concerned about. What we have found (and what makes perfect sense) is that fasting is muscle sparing. Why would the body be so great at storing body fat only to burn up pounds of lean muscle tissue if we missed a few meals – it would make no sense!

The one exception (there are probably more) is when someone is in a highly stressed state. Prolonged stress equals prolonged and elevated cortisol. Cortisol will keep blood sugar high which over time will lead to elevated insulin. Insulin halts fat breakdown meaning that stored body fat cannot be readily available for fuel. Cortisol in the short term is not an issue, but over an extended period of time cortisol with burn up muscle and promote fat storage. Interestingly it often strips muscle off the extremities whilst adding inches to the waist – not a good look.

So be thankful that it is fat (not carbs) that is our storage fuel of choice. All we have to do is to make stored fat can be accessed, and we can start to do that my being kind to ourselves, getting some great sleep and doing anything that makes you 🙂

If you like this type of information please check out my book on Midlife Weight gain. When Calories and Cardio Don’t Cut it will explain what influences our weight and body shape and tell you how to control it. All formats available worldwide.

international and non amazon resources

My very best

Joanne Lee Cornish


Golds Gym Venice

Leave a Reply