But wait, fat makes me fat, right?! Now you should already know the answer: it’s all about the calorie deficit at the end of the day and like carbs, fats are neither good nor bad. Nevertheless, fat is really energy dense: 10 gramms of fat (approx. a tea spoon) have huge 90 kcals. This means that, you should not indulge in those tasty “healthy” low-carb-paleo-keto-raw-gluten free-vegan nut bars if you are trying to lose body fat ;). So what’s the deal with fats, now? Let’s have a closer look through the biochemist’s googles.
…or are they evil?
Currently, it is a real hot topic, especially since many countries have introduced a sugary drink tax and low-carb and keto diet are becoming very popular among the broad public. Is it the right way to go in order to lose fat? Yes. And no.
Metabolism in a nutshell
As I already told you in my last post about macros, no matter if you are eating low carb, low fat or low-whatever, if you are in a calory surplus the body start to store fat. Why? Let’s have a closer look at the picture below and follow the way of the macros:
- Carbs: in a very simplified way, carbs are broken down into pyruvate in a process called glycolysis. Pyruvate‘s fate depends on the body’s needs, it is either:
- turned into energy and CO2 or
- converted into fats through acetyl-CoA or
- converted into aminoacids through oxalacetate or
- turned into glucose again through oxalacetate in case of low body sugar.
- Fats: to keep it simple, dietary fats are broken down into acetyl-CoA, which can be either oxidized into energy and CO2 or used for synthetis of (other) fats.
- Aminoacids: simplified aminoacids can go two ways:
- either through pyruvate into acetyl-CoA (energy and fat synthesis) or
- some of the aminoacids can be used for glucose synthesis through oxalacetate.
Acetyl-CoA is the reason why everything you eat can be converted into fat and stored in the adipocytes (=fat cells). Therefore, the key for fat loss is not omitting one of the macros from your diet, but to be in an energy deficit (=eat less calories than you need). Nevertheless, it can be crucial to eat enough protein and useful to have more or less carbs and more or less fats in your diet depending on your needs (it is NOT the same for everyone!).
I will cover every macro in my future posts. Hope you enjoyed my small biochemistry lesson. See you soon!
For overweight people, and sadly a lot of us are overweight, losing weight in form of fat is probably the best thing to improve health. Some of us already lost a lot of bodyfat and keeping it off is a very good idea and already difficult enough.
Nevertheless, even if you never had problems with excess bodyweight, not gaining fat mass is one of the most relevant factor for a healthy lifestyle which can be traced even to the molecular level. Now it may be quite easy for you: you have good genetics and/or a lifestyle that helps maintaining your physique. But as life goes on, things can become more challenging…