CAROL’S CORNER

Welcome to the Friday Edition of Carol's Corner. Today turned out to be our hottest day so far. I don't know what the high ended up being, but I know it got at least as high as 88°. Just a funny side note. I could never figure out where the heck the degree sign was on my I Pad keyboard. I knew there had to be some way somewhere to get one. Finally I just googled the subject, and low and behold it was pretty simple to do,but wasn't something you could readily figure out. If anyone still doesn't know how it's done,you just hold a stylus or your finger over the zero and slide it up and there it is, mystery solved. Loving my outfit today. The skirt is my last piece in my repertoire of summer whites. The blouse is another of the pieces I purchased with my anniversary money. It is just the coolest blouse in every way, from the beautiful calming colors to the fabulous and interesting design. It's so light and airy and flowing. I call this “Summer Breeze”. My Royal Blue shoes are perfect with this. When I bought these shoes I bought them to go with a specific outfit but later found I have many things to wear them with. I love them.

I had the perfect set of jewelry and FitBit combo.

I was able to bring in every color tone that was in the blouse with my accessories and already had them all.

Just thought you might like to see this beautiful bowl that I used the last two days as the backdrop for my hand pictures. It is one of my favorite decorative pieces in my house. It sits in the middle of my coffee table. Think I'll take a picture when I go home, so you can see the cool pieces that go with it. If something happened to this bowl I would be crushed.

The topic I decided on for this issue of Carol's Corner is what I am going to call “The Scoop on Fat Cells and Weight Loss”.

I'm going to use some material from fitwatch.com and an article titled ” The Incredible Shrinking Fat Cell: What Really Happens When Body Fat Is Burned.”

The author is Tom Venuto, a natural bodybuilder, certified strength and conditioning specialist ( CSCS) and a certified personal trainer (CPT).

He starts the discussion on the topic in this way. He recounts how someone in his discussion forum wrote,” I haven't ” LOST” any fat …I know EXACTLY where it went! Tom said he got a chuckle out of it because he “got” the joke, but went on to say that most people don't really know how fat cells work, how the fat burning process takes place, or where the fat goes when it's burned, and that it's actually quite a complex biochemical process. He's going to explain it as simply as possible, so that by the end of the article, you'll be a ” fat burning” expert. So this will be him speaking unless I interject something. You'll be able to tell if I do.

When you lose body fat, the fat cell ( also called an adipocyte ) does not go anywhere or move into the muscle cell to be burned. The fat cell itself (unfortunately) stays right where it was-under the skin in your thighs, stomach, hips, arms, etc, and on top of the muscles-which is why you can't see muscle “definition” when your body fat is high.

Fat is stored inside the fat cell in the form of triaglycerol. The fat is not burned right there in the fat cell, it must be liberated from the fat cell through somewhat complex hormonal/enzymatic pathways. When stimulated to do so, the fat cell simply releases its contents (triaglycerol) into the bloodstream as free fatty acids(FFA'S), and they are transported through the blood to the tissues where the energy is needed.

So for this example he uses a typical young adult male.

A typical young male adult stores between 60,000 to 100,000 calories of energy in body fat cells. What triggers the release of all these stored fatty acids from the fat cell? Simple: when your body needs energy because you're consuming fewer calories than you're burning (an energy defecit), then your body releases hormones and enzymes that signal your fat cells to release your fat reserves instead of keeping them in storage.

For stored fat to be liberated from the fat cell, hydrolysis (lipolysis or fat breakdown), splits the molecule of triaglycerol into glycerol and three fatty acids. An important enzyme called hormone sensitive lipase(HSL) is the catalyst for this reaction. The stored fat( energy) gets released into the bloodstream as FFA'S and they are shuttled off to the muscles where the energy is needed. As blood flow increases to the active muscles, more FFA'S are delivered to the muscles that need them.

An important enzyme called lipoprotein lipase(LPL), then helps the FFA'S get inside the mitochondria of the muscle cell, where the FFA'S can be burned for energy. If you've taken a biology class, then you've probably heard of the mitochondria.( once upon a time many many moons ago, LOL). This is the “cellular powerhouse” where energy production takes place and this is where the FFA'S go to be burned for energy.

Me speaking,( despite all the scientific and technical language I'm finding this quite interesting)

When the FFA'S are released from the fat cell,the fat cell shrinks and that's why you look leaner when you lose body fat-because the fat cell is now smaller. A small or “empty” fat cell is what you're after if you want the lean,defined look.

It was once believed that the number of fat cells could not increase after adulthood, only the size of the the fat cells could increase or (decrease). We now know that the fat cells can indeed increase in both size(hypertrophy) and in number (hyperplasia) and that they are more likely to increase in number at certain times and under certain circumstances , such as 1) during late childhood and early puberty, 2) during pregnancy, and 3) during adulthood when when extreme amounts of weight are gained.

Some people are predisposed to have more fat cells than others and women have more fat cells then men.( Gee how did I know that women get the wrong end of the stick yet again.) An infant usually has about 5-6 billion fat cells. This number increases during early childhood and puberty, and a healthy adult with normal body composition has about 25-30 billion fat cells. A typical overweight adult has around 75 billion fat cells. But in the case of severe obesity, this number can be as high as 250-300 billion.

The average size ( weight) of an adult fat cell is about 0.6 micrograms, but they can vary in size from 0.2 to 0.9 micrograms. An overweight person's fat cells can be up to three times larger than a person with ideal body composition.

Remember, body fat is basically just a reserve source of energy and fat cells are like the storage tanks. Unlike a gas tank in your car which is fixed in size, however fat cells can expand or shrink in size depending how “filled” they are.

Picture a balloon that is not inflated: it's tiny when not filled with air-maybe the size of your thumb. When you blow it up with air, it can expand 10 it 12 times it's normal size, because it simply fills up. That's what happens to fat cells: they start as early empty fat storage “tanks” (when you are lean), and when energy intake exceeds your needs, your fat cells “fill up” and “stretch out” like balloons filling up,with jelly.(not a pretty picture, is it?)

So you don't actually “lose” fat cells, you “shrink” or “empty out” fat cells.

Now to the bottom line( me speaking)

TAKE-HOME LESSONS

1.) Calories count! The signal that triggers your body to release adipose from fat cells is an energy defecit…you have to burn more than you eat.

2.) Cut calories conservatively. Starving yourself may cause quick weight loss at first, but never works long term because it actually decreases the activity of fat burning enzymes that release fat from the cells. To avoid this “starvation mode” use exercise to BURN THE FAT, not very low calorie crash diets.

3.) Get control of your weight now. If you are gaining weight, and especially if your weight is climbing upwards out of control, make a decision to STOP RIGHT NOW. Your fat cells might be multiplying , making it more difficult to burn fat in the future. NOW is the time.

4.) If you've already lost weight, you must be forever diligent. Your fat cells are not gone, they have merely “shrunk” or “emptied” out. Fitness is not a 12 week program, it's a lifestyle. To stay lean you have to eat clean and stay active.( I'm great at the active part , but not so great at the clean part.)

5.) Genetics are only a minor factor. You may not have control over how many fat cells you were born with, but you do control the major factors that determine how much fat you store: lifestyle, exercise, nutrition, mental attitude.

Genetics are not an excuse. The past is not an excuse. Your present condition is not an excuse. You can either make excuses or get results, but you can't do both.

So now you have the “skinny” on fat cells. Kinda like his tough love approach in his ending. We live in a society where we hear excuses for everything, but our body is going to get tired of our excuses and cease to function the way it was intended, and the consequences could be devastating. So let's start taking charge and start getting the results our body needs us to, and along the way all kinds of wonderful things await us. I can attest to many of those things. I am far from perfect, and I'm a little off track in my diet right now, but have increased my workouts and will be working to get my diet more in line a little each day. I hope you found this as educational and really quite interesting, despite the scientific jargon as I did. Till next time, God Bless.

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