The challenge with eating fat to stay thin, is excess fat consumption can actually cause us to gain more weight, but we need enough of it to allow our body to use fat for energy instead of storing it. How do we do this?
Here’s a little story to illustrate:
There once was a kingdom called Body. A wise messenger (hormone) named Leptin, who resides in the great kingdom, hangs out, while he’s on call, with some friends near their kingdom’s storage facility. Leptin’s crucial role is to keep the kingdom (body) from starving to death by bringing news to King Hypothalymus (our master gland in the brain) about the state of the fat stores in the kingdom. The storage facility holds a hero named Fatman (the body's fat). Now, this hero is not largely recognized as such just yet, and he gets dissed because he’s very jiggly, slimy, and chunky. People tend to look up to the firm, muscly types as heroes. Even though Fatman’s job is crucial to the kingdom’s survival, usually the princesses strive to banish Fatman because they believe the bad stories they hear about him from the town criers. So, Fatman’s down these days. He’s feeling rejected and misunderstood, but he takes his job very seriously anyway because that’s just what real heroes do.
Leptin, however, understands Fatman’s crucial role for the survival of the kingdom, so he hangs out right outside Fatman’s storage facility keeping tabs on Fatman, making sure his stores don’t get too low.
As long as the princesses don’t try to get rid of too much Fatman, and no one attacks him, Leptin tells King Hypothalymus, “Hey, everything’s okay. Keep that metabolism humming. No need to bring additional fat into storage, our hero is healthy and strong.”
But, if the enemy of Fatman (Diet/Famine) comes in to destroy him, Leptin runs to King Hypothalamus with the mayday signal. “Fatman is weak and dying. Bring more Fat before he dies!” So, King Hypothalymus alerts Queen Thyroid to slow down the entire Kingdom (metabolism) and to convert everything that comes in (all food ingested) to fat, until our true hero is back.
Since Fatman is our hero, King Hypothalamus greatly increases the greediness of the peasants (appetite) so they’ll be really motivated to find food and eat LOTS of it to replenish the storehouse.
Once food starts entering the kingdom (your body), it is ALL stored as fat, to be ready for the next famine (diet).
But there’s more trouble ahead. Just like chronic carbohydrate and sugar consumption cause insulin resistance, it also causes Leptin resistance. So when Leptin runs a message to King Hypothalymus, he’s thwarted by the Resistance, so the king doesn’t receive the message! So, even though the fat stores are full, the kingdom keeps working to build up more fat stores, and the peasants never feel full so they keep on eating.
Are you getting the picture? We need our Hero Fatman! But how do we know how much to consume? Does this mean I can scarf those McDonald’s burgers and fries? Tune in next time to find out!
Click here to go to Fat: What's the Right Amount for Me?
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