Why We Need Fat
We all think we need to lose some weight. If you stopped 100 people on the street and asked them if they are happy with their weight, over 90 of them would say, “No.” Why is this? In some cases it would be true that the person’s body mass index (BMI) reflects that their height versus weight ratio is out of proportion. A statement about certain parts of their bodies that are unsatisfactory would follow other people’s responses. For example, “My thighs are too big.” Another group of responders would base their opinion on the internal comparison of their bodies with the perceived standard of beauty for the culture. Regardless of the reasons, over 90 of these people think they need to diet.
The enemy being battled in a diet is fat. But do we really know what this is? The reality is that fat is not the culprit! The truth is we need fat to live. Fat is simply stored energy within our bodies. It provides essential assistance for our daily living. It provides insulation and cushioning for the internal organs. It covers and protects nerves. Without fat your body would be unable to move vitamins A, D, E and K throughout the body. It is also crucial that we consume “good” fat for proper nutrition in our diet. Unsaturated fats found in fish, soybeans and olive oil actually reduce “bad” cholesterol and increase “good” cholesterol. We should limit saturated fats and avoid trans fat in our food choices.
So why is it that a diet focuses on fat? The problem occurs when we consume more calories (heat energy) than we expend. The result for our bodies is that we store the excess energy as fat for later use. This is not an unhealthy process unless we keep storing more than what we need. The solution to this is simple – spend that energy! Unlike money in your savings account at the bank, you should not hold on to stored energy in your body. You do not accrue any interest on this, and it could actually “cost” you in the long run. Many health problems are started and continued by being overweight. Spend some energy and you will shed not only pounds but also aches and pains.
If you are in the responders above wanting to diet to lose weight, first determine your motivation. Then get moving to burn that excess energy. You will find that as you increase your activity level you will have more energy, sleep better and lose weight. Remember fat is not the enemy – it is necessary for healthy functioning of your body. It is your reserve. Just don’t let the account get too big!