7 Things You Don't Know About Body Fat — But Should!

There are a lot of important things about fat you probably don’t know.

7 Things You Don't Know About Body Fat — But Should!

By Toni Gasparis

The subject of fat often pops up in everyday conversation. Whether people are gaining or losing it, it is a hot topic. But the understanding of fat isn't as black and white as you may think. There are many things about body fat (like the fact that it's good for your body) that you may not know about but should be aware of in order to live your healthiest life. Fitness expert and co-founder of the Transform App Chris Powell along with family physician and Associate Professor at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine Dr. Jennifer Caudle help bust myths and explain the things you need to know when it comes to your fat.

More: 7 Habits That Are Aging You

Your Body Has Two Types of Fat

There are two different types of fat in your body – white fat and brown fat. White fat, technically known as adipose tissue, is the more common type of fat. This fat is what our body collects from calories and stores until we need it. Chris Powell says that “When we consume more calories than our body burns, we brilliantly store the excess calories as this amazing ‘blanket of energy’ that covers our body. When we don’t consume enough energy for our needs, our body mobilizes the energy from the blanket and uses it. The average human can store between 90,000 to 140,000 calories of white fat blanketing their body – which is a lot of energy. In fact, that’s enough for nearly 150 hours of running.” White fat also plays a role in telling your body that you are full in addition to resisting insulin. While research is still being conducted on brown fat, there is a lot less of it in your body – a person may have 20 to 40 pounds or more of white fat but only two to four ounces of brown fat. Preliminary observation has shown that this brown fat is very active and burns calories similar to the way muscle building does.

Q: I end up overeating because it makes me feel better and I never really get full. I'd like to lose weight but this makes it hard. Any suggestions?

A: Being persistently hungry can cause big trouble. So can overeating for comfort/pleasure. These two behaviors, say researchers from Baylor University's Children's Nutrition Research Center, are controlled deep within your brain by serotonin-producing neurons, but operate separately from each other — one in the hypothalamus, the other in the midbrain. They both can, however, end up fueling poor nutritional choices and obesity.

Eating for Hunger

When hunger is your motive for eating, the question is: "Does your body know when you've had enough?" Well, if you are overweight, obese or have diabetes you may develop leptin resistance and your "I am full" hormone, leptin, can't do its job. The hormone's signal to your hypothalamus is dampened, and you keep eating.

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