December 22, 2022 in Nutrition, Uncategorized, Weight Loss

How Fat Affects your Body and Turns it into Energy

Fat is long term energy storage for the body.  It is used to protect the organs of the body, and it is used to digest fat soluble vitamins.  We are going to focus on the energy storage component of fat.  Fat storage is the last phase of energy storage in the body and the body can really pack on fat. The heaviest person recorded was 1,400 pounds.

                                               Energy Usage in the Body

So let’s discuss how energy i.e. calories enters the body, and turns into fat.  Energy enters the body through food, we need the energy to conduct our daily life activities like walking, breathing, thinking, etc.  Every person requires a different amount of energy, the amount of energy a person needs is based on their genetics. Each individual have different amounts of muscle mass, and muscle mass is one of the main source of energy usage in the body. The brain is another major energy used in the body. Fun fact, the brain is the number user of energy in the body, it uses 20% of energy in the body.  Another major factor with how much energy is required by an individual is their lifestyle, if a person is active, then the body will need more energy, but if they are sedentary they will not need as much energy.

                                    How Energy Enters your Body and Turns to Fat

There are 4 sources of food energy that your body consumes, which are carbs, protein, fat, and alcohol.  Carbs, and protein, has 4 calories/gram, alcohol has 5 calories/gram, and fat has 9 calories/gram. The body’s main source of food energy is carbs. When you eat carbs the body breaks down the carbs and turns it into glucose, and your body will use the glucose for energy.  Glucose is the first source of energy that your body uses. When your body does not use all of the glucose, it stores the excess as glycogen. If your body doesn’t use all of the glycogen, then it will turn the leftover glycogen into fat.  Your body will continue to do this process, if your body doesn’t use all of the energy that you eat, it will keep adding more fat to your body.  Any type of food that your body cannot use it turns it into fat.  For example protein, when protein is eaten, it’s main purpose is to repair the muscles, but if your muscles have been repaired and there is extra protein leftover the body will turn that protein into fat.  Alcohol and fat are both broken down by the liver and then the calories are used to maintain the body’s energy consumption, but if there are leftover calories it is stored as fat.

                                                   How Energy is used in your Body

As previously stated your body uses glucose first for immediate energy, then it uses glycogen, when no more glucose is left, then it uses fat when it runs out of glycogen, when no more fat is left, your body will use protein as energy.  Protein being used as energy is your body eating it’s muscle, and eventually you will not have any more energy left in your body to use, leading to that person’s demise.  That is why if you see someone starving, they are very skinny because the body has eaten most of their muscle for energy.  If you have a high muscle mass, your body will be in constant need of glucose and it will be difficult for you to gain fat. Muscle require a lot of energy for maintenance because it is constantly rebuilding itself to become stronger when you are working out. That is why when you see body builders, especially those on steroids, they can build a insane amount of muscle and their calorie intake is humongous.  A male professional body builder eats 3800 calories per day compared to an average male food recommendation is 2400 calories per day.  A female professional body builder eats 3200 calories per day compared to the average food recommendation for a woman is 1800 calories per day. 1 pound of muscle burns 6 calories per hour versus 1 pound of fat uses 2 calories per hour.  

How Fat Negatively affect your Body

Excess fat in the body causes high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and many other ailments in the body.  The number one cause of death in the U.S. is heart disease related to obesity. One of the main reason that your body goes through high blood pressure is because the clogging of the arteries so your arteries have to pump harder to get blood through your body, which causes high blood pressure, and in the long run weakens your heart. Obesity can also cause joint problems because of the excess weight that your body is carrying.  Obesity causes anxiety because of your lack of confidence in your balance, or not being able to get off the ground, or lacking the ability to move how you want to.  It has also been studied that being obese causes a 55% increase of the likelihood that you will experience depression. Obesity is linked to a significant likelihood of bipolar disease, panic disorder, etc.

How Fat is Burned

We have discussed the basic way in which the body uses fat and how the fat gets into our body, so let’s discussed how to get the fat out of our body.  The way to lose fat is by either significantly increasing your activity levels or by decreasing the amount of food that you eat. You can also change the content of the food that you eat.  Let’s do some math and decide which method would be the best way to burn fat.  1 pound of fat is 3500 calories, so in order to lose fat you have to burn that many calories.  The average American eats today eats about 3682 calories per day.  The average person metabolism, meaning the amount of energy the body uses without exercise, is about 2500 calories.  If we took this number, the average American is gaining 1 pound every 2.96 days, that is 9 pounds per month.  This number is a very rough estimate but it shows how eating too much will pack on weight fast. The recommended calorie intake for men is 2500 calories per day, and for women 2000 calories per day, if you kept to the recommended eating guideline you will not gain weight, and then add in some exercise you will lose weight. Building up muscles has a long term affect of keeping the fat off, by raising your metabolism.

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