Thursday, March 24, 2016

What builds fat & what gets rid of fat

Most people think their body fat is a reflection of how much they eat and how little they move.
That’s true to a certain extent, but there’s more to it than that—because there are forces behind the scenes that are helping to build your blubber supply.
Here are five factors that accelerate fat accumulation, as well as five ways you can fight back.

Five things that make you build fat

1) Getting too many Omega-6 fatty acids
How they build fat:  These are converted into another fatty acid called arachidonic acid, which makes your fat cells divide.

Our typical diets are loaded with processed foods, corn, soy, meat from grain-fed animals and vegetable oils—all of which are heavy in Omega-6 fatty acids.  So it's easy to see how the average person gets way too many.

2) Abnormal insulin level
How it builds fat:  It increases the number of fat cells you have.
Signs that you may have abnormal insulin levels include dark patches of skin in the creases and under your arms, central obesity (fat collecting around your waist or under your chin) and irregular periods.

3) High intake of sugar
How it builds fat:  It increases your blood insulin level, which in turn leads to number 2) above.  It also triggers your fat cells to "pop up" and start making fat from sugar in your bloodstream.

In addition to table sugar, heaven knows sugar is hidden in practically every processed food imaginable and in the truckloads of soda the average person drinks.

4) Thiazolidinediones (a diabetes medication)
How they build fat: These stimulate fat cell division and increase fat storage.  They've also been associated with a higher rate of heart attacks.
If you are on this type of medication for diabetes, talk to your doctor about alternatives.

5) Trans-fats
How they build fat: They encourage the formation of free radicals, damage cell membranes and promote inflammation--all of which lead to fat deposits while impairing the healthy functioning of your cells.

Although the world is catching on that trans-fats are basically a death sentence, they’re still in many processed foods in the form of hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.

Now, in an attempt to recoup the lost revenue from people getting wise to trans-fats, food companies, and fast food restaurants are instead using vegetable oils, but this is no better.  When heated to high temperatures, vegetable oils degrade into dangerous oxidation products which, like trans-fats, can stir up inflammation and increase your risk of heart disease as well as Alzheimer’s.

So you’re trading one poison for another.

Fast food restaurants obviously deep fry at high temperatures, but note that vegetable oils are also heated during food manufacturing, especially when margarine is made.

So don’t be fooled by the “Trans-fat free!” exclamation on margarine labels because it’s still just as deadly.

The flip side
Just as there are factors that build fat, there are some that help your body eliminate it!

Five things that help you eliminate fat

1) Exercise
How it eliminates fat: It reduces insulin levels and various inflammatory and fat-promoting chemicals.

So get your doctor’s OK, put on those walking shoes, dust off that treadmill, sign up for that dance class, hit the gym or pump some iron.  Pick an activity you like and DO IT--at least 3-4 times a week.

2) Sleep
How it eliminates fat: It increases levels of immune system chemicals that reduce inflammation.

Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night, but many aren't getting nearly that much.  So if you're guilty of being a nighthawk, start turning in earlier.

3) Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha
How it eliminates fat: It reduces your number of fat cells.
Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha is a small cell-signaling protein that is produced while you sleep.  Yet another reason to get your Zzzzzz's.

4)  A proper Omega-6: Omega-3 fatty acid ratio
How it eliminates fat: Having an imbalanced ratio of Omega-6: Omega-3 fatty acids sends a barrage of mixed signals to your cells, one of which tells them to store fat.  So it's essential to have a ratio between 2:1 and 5:1.

Our typical diets are heavy in Omega-6 EFAs but severely lacking Omega-3 EFAs.  Although Omega-3’s are found in fatty fish like salmon, most of the salmon available are farm-raised and contains high levels of contaminants like carcinogens, PCBs, and pesticides like dioxin and DDT.

So for most people, a quality fish oil formula is the best way to go.

5) Retinoids and carotenoids
How they eliminate fat:  They help reduce your number of fat cells as well as curb your appetite.

Retinoids include vitamin A (in animal fat and meats) and vitamin A precursors (carotenoids) in vegetables.

If your diet is less-than-stellar, in addition to beefing up your consumption of whole foods, a top-notch multi-vitamin formula can help fill in the blanks where you may be lacking in nutrients.

Fight back at fat and win!


  1. How does one get enough sleep when suffering from severe insomnia for years and years?

    1. I ended up getting a low dose prescription sleeping pill from my doctor, and going to bed at 9.30 or so. I have gained 20 pounds in the past 3.5 years Not what was intended! But I am getting better and more sleep.

      Get off all screens & TV before dinner. Their blue light keeps you awake.

    2. We definitely recommend looking into natural sleep aides such as melatonin. Prolonged use of medications, especially for sleep, is not necessarily the safest option. Often times the person will not reach REM sleep, which can wreak havoc in other areas of life and the body. Additionally getting regular exercise will also help sleep patterns since not only will you feel mentally tired, but also (in a healthy way) physically tired. We hope this helps!

  2. How do I gain weight in a healthy way?

    1. Often times being improperly nourished will result in appearing to lose and not be able to gain back weight. We definitely recommend eating in a way that promotes nourishment from foods, typically by combining your meals for efficient digestion as we teach in Great Taste No Pain. You will also want to speak with your physician about any underlying causes as well, such as a thyroid issue. You can learn more about what we offer for vitamins and eating plans on our website Thank you!

    2. I suggest you give your body the nutrition it needs and allow it to regulate your body weight. You shouldn't have to tell your body how much it should weigh. You also might want to make sure you don't have parasites feasting on you.

  3. I have used your probiotics and fish oil formula for years. I think I will try your vitamins. Thanks for all the information you share.

    1. Thank you so much for your awesome feedback! We love to hear it. Cheers!

  4. I understand from my GTNP book that Rice or Potatoes are nor recommended to eat with fish. Are a tossed salad or vegetables the only things to used with fish?

    1. Hi Margo - Yes, this is detailed in your GTNP manual that when eating protein it is best to do so with high water content foods. Thanks for reading!

  5. I understand from my GTNP book that Rice or Potatoes are nor recommended to eat with fish. Are a tossed salad or vegetables the only things to used with fish?

  6. I understand from my GTNP book that Rice or Potatoes are nor recommended to eat with fish. Are a tossed salad or vegetables the only things to used with fish?

  7. How on earth could fresh fish contain carcinogens?

  8. Is there any way to get rid of flabby arms once you start losing weight?

  9. Informative breakdown! Your exploration of what builds fat and what eliminates it is enlightening. Clear insights into nutrition and fitness provide valuable guidance for a healthier lifestyle. Great post!
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