fat

what the fat

There are few subjects out there that are shrouded in more mystery, distorted with more bad information, and more coveted by the general public than body fat. Well today we are going to help you learn a little bit more about body fat, and maybe shed some light on a few really interesting – and life altering – facts about that porous, squishy, yellow tissue inside all of us.

Did you know??

We have the potential to develop an increasing number of fat cells into our early 20’s, but after that point we have the number of fat cells we will have for life.

Fat is essential for brain functioning, hormone production, and protection of our organs, however body fat over 25% for men and over 30% for women can become a health hazard! Especially when stored around our internal organs, excess body fat increases our risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Did you know??

Obese children produce up to twice the number of fat cells as non-obese children. Obese 2 year-olds only have a 1 in 4 chance of NOT being obese by the time they reach the age of 35.

That means basically 25% of obese children will grow up to be obese! It’s vital that we introduce our children to healthy foods and the joy of movement when they are young. Go out and buy 1 new vegetable or fruit this week, one that even you have not tried before, and have the whole family try it! Make it exciting whatever way you can!

Did you know??

An abundance of fat cells directly leads to a deficiency of leptin – the hormone that tells our brain that we should stop eating because we are full!

As fat cells shrink, they produce less leptin which would make us tend to eat more because we are not being told as loudly that we are not hungry, making this a larger problem for people who were significantly overweight or obese as children and/or teenagers. Fat cells want to be filled with lipids. Help your body receive that “full” signal by eating whole/unprocessed foods at regular intervals while being aware of physical hunger vs fullness cues. Sometimes when you body tells you it’s hungry, what it really is asking for is water! If you haven’t had any water for a little while try drinking an 8 oz glass and wait 10 minutes to see if you still want to eat.

Here’s what you need to know for your weight-loss goals:

It starts with the liver: The liver is used to store glycogen (sugar) for reserves. As we eat, our body fills those reserves. It’s when we eat too much (simple or complex sugars) and the liver is at capacity that the remaining glycogen floating around gets moved into our fat cells.

If you want to lose fat, don’t engage in extreme diets! Stay consistent with your healthy habits and make little changes that you will be able to maintain for the long term. Fad diets and quick fixes that yield 30 pounds weight loss in 30 days for instance almost always result in your body losing mostly water and muscle in the process. This is why you often “rebound” back to your original weight shortly after quitting the diet, and sometimes even end up gaining more than you lost because your body is not happy with the yo-yo trend!

What happens when we “lose fat”? Through a series of chemical reactions, fat leaves the body through sweat and urine, but fat primarily leaves the body through respiration (breathing)! Help lose and or maintain body fat percentages by incorporating non-exercise physical activity every day like parking in the furthest spot at the store or at work, taking the stairs, or just playing with your kids and grandkids more often!

Deflating fat cells CAN be done! Two quick hitters to get started are to exercise at least 5 hours per week and get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. You might be one of those who think you only need 5 or 6 hours, and while that may be true for you to live and generally function, burning fat is hard work. Rest is key!

Italian Sausage Sauté

Hi Everyone,

The average brat has about 19-24 grams of fat!  That is nearly the amount of fat you want to have in your diet in an entire day.  A great swap for a regular brat is a chicken brat/sausage.  Most likely you can find them in the frozen section of your local grocery store.  Otherwise, we have found great varieties at Sam’s Club, Woodman’s, and Trader Joe’s!  This recipe is a great way to incorporate the chicken sausage into your diet without putting it on a boring ol’ bun!

Italian Sausage Sauté

4  Chicken Sausages

2  Cups Whole Wheat Rigatoni Noodles, cooked

1  Tbsp. Olive Oil

2  Cloves Garlic, minced

1  Large Red Pepper, chunked

1  Zucchini and/or Squash, sliced

1  Cup Mushrooms

1  Small Onion, sliced

1  Jar Hunt’s Reduced Sugar Spaghetti Sauce

2  Tbsp. Parsley, chopped

Directions:  Cut sausages into 1″ pieces, warm over medium heat in a sauté pan, and keep warm.  Cook the rigatoni according to package directions, keeps warm.  In a large saucepan, place olive oil and garlic, sauté lightly for 30 seconds.  Add peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, & onions and cook until crisp-tender.  Combine cooked sausage and pasta sauce with veggies and heat until warm.  Mix with the pasta or serve separately.  Top with fresh parsley.

Serves:  4

Total Calories: 296   Carb=33g Prot=21g Fat=8.3g

Ellipse Tip:  Great pasta choices are a whole wheat noodle, Barilla Protein Plus Noodles, or Shiritaki Tofu Noodles!

Egg White Scramble by Ellipse

Hi Everyone,

Add a little dazzle to your egg whites by adding loads of your favorite veggies!  Another great veggie to add to this recipe is asparagus.  If you prefer, you may also substitute Egg Beaters instead of the egg whites as well.  Enjoy!

Egg White Scramble

  • 4   Egg Whites
  • 2   Tbsp. Chopped Onion
  • 2   Tbsp. Chopped Green Pepper
  • 2   Tbsp. Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2   Tbsp. Chopped Mushrooms
  • 1/4 Cup Reduced-fat Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper

Directions: Spray a cooking skillet with non-stick cooking spray and sauté vegetables for 2-3 minutes over medium heat until vegetables are tender.  Add egg whites to vegetables and scramble until cooked through.  Sprinkle with cheese (if desired) and place cover on skillet to melt cheese.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Serves:  1

Total Calories: 149   Carb=7.7g Prot=20g Fat=4.2g

Ellipse Tip: Want to bump up your protein?  Add a couple more egg whites!  On average, an egg white has only 20 calories, 5 grams of protein, and NO fat!  The yolk of the egg has approximately 5 grams of fat per yolk, so choose wisely!