a beautiful little fool (lacrymaria_olor) wrote in ed_ucate,
a beautiful little fool

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This excerpt was taken from Don't Eat This Book: Fast Food and the Supersizing of America by Morgan Spurlock, of Supersize Me fame. The whole book is fantastic, but this anecdote struck me as being both pertinent as well as being something I'd never heard before (the bit in bold), on which I then proceeded to do a wee bit of research.

"The last 4.5 pounds, though - those were the tough ones, the Yo-Yo pounds. It took me nine months to lose those pounds and keep them off. I would lose one and gain two, lose 3 and gain one, lose two and gain four. Up, down, up, down. I called my mom and told her how hard it was to lose these final pounds and she said, 'Congratulations, now you know how every woman in the world feels.'

Thanks, Mom. I called Dr. Isaacs and asked him about it.

'Well, what you don't realize is that when you lose weight, those fat cells in your body, they never go away. They just get smaller.'

That's a depressing thought. So now my body is filled with little skinny fat cells. They're just swimming around waiting for me to eat more calories than I expend, and they'll happily suck up the excess. Now I can gain 3 or 4 pounds in a weekend, lickity split, if I don't pay attention to what I'm putting in my body."

It explains so much...

The cut text below was taken from the website WeightLossforAll.com, and it explains Dr. Isaac's statement in a bit more detail. Excuse the cheesily chipper tone.

Fat cell numbers and losing weight

Many overweight people manage to lose weight yet still cannot manage to reduce their total fat percentage down to a level where the abdominal muscles can be clearly seen.

Is it because our genes wont allow us to lose all the fat?

Our genetic potential for developing a very lean body is largely related to the number of subcutaneous (under the skin) fat cells surrounding the body and to a lesser degree the amount of visceral fat (invisible fat within the body cavity). For most people the amount of visceral fat seems to be directly related to the amount of subcutaneous fat. That is, people who possess ample subcutaneous fat generally have a high level within the cavity too.

We all have a different number of fat cells surrounding the body. At around the age of 16 years the number of fat cells are established and our lifestyle and genes both play a part in the outcome. Once numbers are determined rarely are they reduced, what actually happens when we burn fat is the amount of fat stored within each fat cell decreases and the fat cell simply shrinks in volume.

Fat cells may increase but that's down to you!

The number of fat cells can be increased only through severe and prolonged obesity when all present fat cells have become full. Tom Venuto explained this well in one of his interviews...

"Fat cells tend to increase in NUMBER most readily when excessive weight is gained due to overeating and or inactivity during the following periods:

1. During late childhood and early puberty
2. During pregnancy
3. Most commonly, during adulthood when extreme amounts of weight are gained

Normally during adulthood, the number of fat cells remain about the same, except in the case of obesity. When the existing fat cells are filled to capacity, new fat cells can continue to be created in order to provide additional storage even in adults. A typical overweight adult has around 75 billion fat cells. But in the case of severe obesity, this number can be as high as 250 to 300 billion!

Because of these facts, many people develop the attitude, "Well, I have more fat cells than other people, so what's the use, I'll never reach my goals". Some people argue that obesity is genetic and that once you're obese and your fat cells have multiplied, it's an uphill battle which you believe you may not ever win.

The number of fat cells you possess will certainly influence how difficult it will be for you to lose body fat. It's one of the reasons why some people have a more difficult time losing weight than others and why some people seem to gain weight more easily than others if they're not very careful and diligent with their diet and exercise programs.

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