It’s a hard truth – your body loves to store fat and ramps up every effort to hoard fat all over. And why not? Our brain is made of 60% fat and all our body cells need some amount of fat content to function. It is also needed to relay signals and also for the production of all essential hormones. Our body switches to fat as an alternative source of energy when carbs run low. Fat also maintains the core temperature and keeps the body warm. Also, fat is absolutely necessary for the absorption of vitamins such as A, D, and E because these are fat-soluble vitamins. With fat playing so many important functions, it’s not really surprising that the body would like to keep a surplus of fat stored in case there’s a scarcity in future. However, the body fat percentage should remain in the range of 21 to 33% for an average person and going above 33% would push one into the overweight and obese categories, and increase the risk of lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and stroke. That’s why it becomes imperative to remain in the healthy body fat percentage bracket and find ways to discourage your body from storing excess fat and burn excess fat deposits to actually lose weight. The food we eat and physical activity determine whether the body would store fat or burn the existing stores. For losing weight, diet programs on the Rati Beauty app, not only discourage fat storage, they help tap into existing stores and burn excess fat.
The Biggest Factor Leading to Fat Storage:
It’s insulin! This hormone not only regulates blood sugar, it triggers conversion of unused blood sugar to fat form. When we eat foods with high glycemic index such as refined carbs and sugar, the body releases insulin to manage this surge of glucose. When there are frequent spikes in insulin, this hormone also hampers the body’s ability to breakdown stored fat. Excess glucose in the blood gets converted into glycogen with the help of insulin and gets deposited in muscles and liver for immediate use. When there’s too much glucose and the limit of liver and muscles to store glycogen has been reached, the extra glucose then gets converted into triglycerides (fat) and stored for indefinite use. Unlike muscles and liver, cells can store unlimited fat. So, without keeping a tabs on diet and making a change in sedentary lifestyle, the numbers on the scale would never stop crawling up!
Ways to Discourage your Body from Storing Excess Fat:
1. Cut Down Foods with High Glycemic Index: Refined carbs, processed sugar, and foods with high glycemic index tend to pump large amounts of glucose into the blood and cause sharp spike in insulin from the pancreas. As we have mentioned above, insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar and escorts sugar into cells to be utilized as energy, but this hormone also aids in converting excess sugar to glycogen and fat molecules. When you cut down foods with high glycemic index, insulin release is controlled, and the body would become less efficient at storing fat. If refined carbs and sugar form a big part of your diet, your body automatically turns into a fat-storing machine. So, avoid added sugar, refined carbs, and switch to whole foods.
2. Cut Down on the Quantity of Cooking Oil: If you are measuring food to clamp down calories, you should be measuring out the cooking oil first. A majority of cooking oils have saturated fat that increases adipogenic potential of cells (formation of fat cells from normal stem cells). Avoid pouring more than 2 tbsp for cooking and switch to healthy oils such as olive oil, sesame and coconut oil.
3. Avoid Crash Dieting: When someone goes on a crash diet, they resort to food deprivation to lose weight, but with a lack of enough food, the body lowers metabolism and increases the level of hunger and stress hormones, and the next time around when food becomes available, the body chooses to store most of it. Avoid crash dieting because it increases the body’s tendency to store fat.
4. Switch Refined Carbs with Complex Carbs: As we have explained above, refined carbs can spike insulin level and activate the fat storage mode in the body. Swap refined carbs with complex carbs instead. Here’s the list of best carbs to eat for weight loss.
5. Eat More Protein: When you amp up protein content, it not only helps to curb appetite, keeps you full for longer, and burns more calories, when adequate protein, muscle tissues are protected and generation of new fat cells are prevented. Here’s where you can find best sources of protein.
6. Eat an Early Dinner: Finish your dinner by 7 pm when the metabolism is still high and there’s a chance to torch up excess calories. A late dinner may lead to fat storage whereas an early dinner would burn stored fat.
7. Avoid Frequent Snacking: Schedule your meal and snack timings and stick to them to avoid frequent insulin spikes. The number of times insulin is pumped out, it affects fat storage. Pick healthy snacks from the Rati Beauty app to curb appetite, avoid frequent snacking, as well as to remain full for longer.
8. Eat Healthy Fats: Foods such as avocado, walnuts, tofu, fatty fish, ghee are some sources of healthy fats that actually help to burn fat and do not spike insulin too much. So, do not shy away from including healthy fats in your diet. Read more about “How Eating Fats Can Make you Thin.”
9. Cut out Transfat from Daily Diet: Transfat content in processed food raises inflammation in the body, makes body cells insulin resistant, and encourage fat storage. It also mobilizes fat from all over the body to the tummy area. Here’s the list of “15 Transfat Food Items you should Avoid to Lose Weight Effectively.”
10. Increase Fiber Content: Fiber promotes weight loss by slowly raising insulin level, keeping blood glucose stable, and also keeping the gut healthy. It’s also a nutrient that does not cause sharp insulin release. Here’s more on fiber, it can help you lose belly fat. Read about “12 Handy Tips To Add More Fiber to Diet for Weight Loss.”
11. Workout For More Than 30 Minutes: With 30 minutes of exercise, the body uses up glycogen stored in the muscles and when that gets exhausted, it reaches out to stored fat for energy. So, try to exercise for 40 minutes to 1 hour to burn more fat and lower the chances of fat storage.
These tips when along with regular exercise and a healthy diet would discourage the body from storing fat and aid in weight loss.