Understanding the Female Fat Cell
I have heard the statement quite often (from women while working in the fitness/health field) “why can my husband, boyfriend, brother, uncle eat whatever they want, not exercise and not gain weight! I workout all the time, I don’t eat and I gain weight looking at food! Its just NOT fair.” When I reply about why and provide the reasons they are not always happy with me. However I always try to explain the differences:
- Women have larger Adipose Cells (Fat Cells) and as a result have the ability to store more fat because they have more fat storing enzymes (Lipogenesis is the storage of fat in the fat cell).
- Men have smaller Adipose Cells and more Fat Releasing Enzymes (Lipolysis is the release of fat from the fat cells).
- Women’s hip and thigh Fat Cells are at least twice as efficient at storing and enlarging than they are releasing and shrinking.
- The female hormone Estrogen plays a huge role in fat storage. Estrogen helps to ensure there are enough calories are stored for a future pregnancy.
- A fat cells sole purpose is to store fat when you don’t need them and release then when you do.
- Males are born with more muscle mass then women; 40% more muscle mass than women.
- Muscle/Lean tissue is metabolically active tissue. Lean tissue burns calories even at rest (Fat tissue is not metabolically active tissue). Think of fat as an insurance policy.
- Fat cells never die. They can shrink (fat reserves are used as energy) and expand (fat is stored as a reserve) but do not dissolve.
- The best way to shrink fat cells is to eat smaller meals more often throughout day and exercise. Eating actually boosts your metabolism. If you eating enough to fuel yourself for daily functioning those calories are used as fuel.
- If your overeating and not exercising, those extra calories may be stored as fat.
- Exercising produces the fat releasing enzyme, this enables the body to burn fat as fuel and shrink your fat cells.
- The best way to expand your fat cells is to be on a diet. Dieting produces the fat storing enzyme and will expand your fat cells for this diet and a future diet.
- Dieting actually tells the body to store more fat. The body senses dieting as starvation.
- Your body produces the fat storing enzymes as a survival mechanism. Starvation equals death. It does make perfect sense to go on a diet to lose weight. Unfortunately, our bodies do the exact opposite of what we want. Eating smaller meals 5-6 times a day, exercising and balancing carbohydrates and protein at your meals will enable you to lose weight.
Next month I will discuss how you can shrink your fat cells and lose weight.