The secret to losing 20 pounds? You have to work with your fat, not against it. You may not love your fat, but your body certainly does. In fact, your body is actually endowed with many self-defense measures to hold on to fat. For instance, fat can use stem cells to regenerate, increase our appetite if it feels threatened, and use bacteria, genetics, and viruses to expand itself.
How can you succeed against odds like that? By using the latest scientific research.
Author Sylvia Tara’s new book, The Secret Life of Fat, brings together cutting-edge research with historical perspectives to reveal fat’s true identity: an endocrine organ that, in the right amount, is critical to our health. Although we spend $60 billion annually fighting fat, our efforts are often misinformed and misdirected. Tara, who holds a PhD in biochemistry from the University of California and an MBA from the Wharton School, expertly illustrates the complex role genetics, hormones, diet, exercise, and history play in our weight, and sets you on the path to beat the bulge once and for all.
In the book, Tara breaks down how our bodies respond to digested food by stating, “The liver converts a portion of the amino acids we ingest and uses them to create the proteins our bodies need. It takes the remainder of the amino acids, as well as carbohydrates, sugars, and fats, and turns them into three main sources of energy: glucose, glycogen and fat.
If you want to understand the way our bodies use that energy, think of money. Just as currency is used for every exchange in our economy, energy is needed for every transaction in our bodies. Money exists in different forms: cash, checking accounts, and long-term savings account. Sometimes we need cash to spend right away. Other times we just want it nearby and ready for use. And some we save for a rainy day. In the body, glucose is cash, glycogen is a checking account, and fat is a certificate of deposit.”
So how do we fight fat? Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet, but Tara recommends:
- Exercise – HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), or even a less strenuous workout of walking or backyard sports for 45 minutes a day.
- Manage your hormone levels, which means:
- Don’t overeat
- Avoid or limit refined carbs
- Balance complex carbs with protein, fat and fiber
- Eat raw vegetables and leafy greens
- Add a clear broth to a meal or in between meals
- Avoid high-fructose foods, particularly anything with high-fructose corn syrup
- Get enough sleep
- Intermittent fasting (a 16-hour daily fast for women, 14-hour fast for men) if you can. This does not work for everyone, particularly those with low blood sugar.
- Drink plenty of water
- Know your food triggers and work to fight them.
The Secret Life of Fat has received a number of positive reviews, including this one:
“For years we presumed that body fat is just a depot for energy, but current science is proving that it is actually the largest endocrine gland in our body. This enigmatic organ conveys many paradoxes and surprises; depending on its location, color and genetic makeup it might be either dangerous or protective. Sylvia Tara dove deeply in science of fat and adeptly explains it all in this fascinating book”
–Osama Hamdy, Medical Director of the Obesity Clinical Program at Joslin Diabetes Center
Reduce inflammatory process in cells, tissues, and blood vessels, helping to slow aging and reduce risk of long-term disease.
Prevents and repairs oxidative damage to cells caused by free radicals.
Support the body’s resistance to infection and strengthen immune vigilance and response.
Improves mood, memory, and focus.
Reduces risk factors for common degenerative and age-related diseases.