Why Do We Get Fat?

burger beside potato fries

We eat food to provide us with energy for day-to-day tasks. When we wish to answer the question why we get fat, we must first answer the question: why do we eat? When we analyze the entire process of eating, we realize that it is our cells that do the eating. We simply put the food in our mouth to have it digested and transported to the cells which need it for energy. So, it is really our cells that are seeking energy from food and ‘eating our food’.

In reality, cells only require 2 types of foods: Sugar and Fat. Therefore, our overall health and leanness only depends on which fuel is burned by the cells.  Thus, if the cells burn greater quantities of fat than sugar, our body will no longer store fat. This will help us answer the question, why do we get fat? Though before you go on you should first review ketosis as it might help you understand the material below.

 The fact that we have been attributing obesity to overeating is all wrong.

There is a fundamental idea behind obesity: that we get fat because of the number of calories we take in but do no expend. In short, we eat too much but exercise very little.  However, this does not answer the question, why we get fat? And, to answer it we first need to analyze: why do we overeat?  The explanation is simple; we overeat because we have an underlying disorder that prevents the regulation of the fatty tissue.

Simply explained, we overeat because our hormones and insulin accumulate all the fat in our body tissues. By simply decreasing the levels of insulin, we can liberate all this fat so that the cells burn that fat for fuel.

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So how do we control the insulin levels?

Simple: by reducing the carbohydrates we eat. This will force our cells to seek other fuel sources, namely fats.  The greater the amount of carbs we consume, (and the sweeter and denser they happen to be), the more insulin would be secreted.  So all these years, we have actually been reaching out for the wrong foods which are only making us fatter. Research has now shown that people who actually consume more fats per day while completely eliminating carbohydrates actually tend to lose weight which they have been finding hard to lose.

Fat Storage Science

So, steaks, sour cream, cheese and butter can actually help us lose weight!

Diets that ask you to “eat less and exercise more” do not make sense: they only make matters worse by making us hungrier. The reason why more and more doctors advise bariatric surgery to help people lose weight is to alter their digestive system. The same is true for all those trying to lose weight:  There is no need to count calories, nor is there a need to cut calories. The need is to cut down on carbohydrates drastically.

Fat storage: A vicious cycle

Thus, the explanation to ‘why we get fat’ is because of sugar obtained from carbohydrates. Our body weight has very little to do with the total amount of food we eat. Fat storage and its removal, on the other hand, are linked to Glucagon and Insulin. While we cannot control fat metabolism, we can treat food as if it were a drug so that it is taken only as prescribed.  This means that we must lower our insulin levels by reducing the amount of sugar and carbs consumed.

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Our food is mainly made of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. However, 90% of our diet is typically carbs. Most of us do not get adequate proteins or healthy fats- both of these are extremely necessary to lower insulin.  As a result of eating carbohydrates, we tend to increase our blood sugar levels which, in turn, increase our insulin.  Higher levels of insulin mobilize the sugar into muscles for burning as fuel. Excess sugar is stored into the fatty tissues. When levels of insulin remain chronically high, the body becomes a fat storing machine. When the body becomes a fat storing machine, the energy we get from consuming food tends to keep on getting stored with only little energy left behind for daily activities. The result is we feel very tired and drained and in no mood for exercise. This makes the fat storage a vicious cycle.

Keto Metabolism

Thin people tend to exercise more because they are thin; they are not thin because they exercise. Unfortunately, we have been drilled with so many wrong principles regarding why we get fat that we have got this metabolic cause and effect backwards.

The bad effects of carbohydrates

Let us assume that we are eating plenty of what we believe to be good carbohydrates.  Even these so called good carbs get ultimately converted into sugar. So our blood sugar levels are now rising and are elevated at all times. During the daytime, our body is also continuously producing insulin –therefore, it is now having high sugar as well as high insulin levels. At the same time; the body does its hormonal balancing act with the insulin busily storing much of the food as fat. Naturally, we tend to feel very tired and in no mood to exercise. Still, we force ourselves and this further depletes our energy levels as well as our calories so that we feel hungrier.

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At night, after a few hours of sleep, the blood sugar levels go down.  However, by midnight, the body again needs sugar to keep our brain functioning. However, the insulin levels are low and production is also off for the night. So the body proceeds to the sister hormone of insulin- glucagon. This in turn, knocks on fat cells of the body to give energy. Thus, insulin is low, glucagon is high and the body becomes an ideal fat burning machine at night. However, the moment we wake up we start the day by eating carbs-cereals, toast, sugary coffee etc. So, we again start losing the battle of the bulge and do not win back enough at night.  This see-saw action of the body of balancing insulin and glucagon continues throughout. Imagine what a few years of chronically elevated insulin levels will do to us: we will put on 20-30 pounds in a few years.

Therefore the secret to weight loss is to eat more proteins and fats and only eat limited number of carbs enough to give us energy. Some people would naturally need to drastically reduce their carb intake while others might need only a few adjustments to take off the final few pounds.

In conclusion

We get fat because of carbohydrates and not because of overeating or lack of exercise. So, we must watch our ultimate carbohydrate consumption to achieve ideal weight. This is where the ketogenic low carb diet comes into the picture. The good news regarding this best weight loss diet is that one need not limit one’s food intake; on the contrary we can continue to enjoy food and not go hungry at all.