Your Beer Belly: Is It Really Nothing More Than a "Garbage Bag" for Excess Calories?

The average beer belly is an unpleasant sight to behold. But why do we get beer bellies in the first place? Why do we store excess fat in such very specific places, such as our thighs, chins, buttocks, and upper arms? What about these places on our bodies makes them so easy to fatten?

What is Our Fat Tissue?

Is it a merely garbage bag for excess calories? Or does it plays an active role in regulating fuel supplies for the body?

To answer these questions, again we need to examine the unconscious assumptions most of us make about weight gain. We are taught to think of a beer belly as essentially a "garbage bag" for excess calories. Somehow, when we overeat and don’t exercise enough, our bodies dump the excess energy from our food (or pints of Guinness) into the fat tissue around our abdomens. Then, when we eat less food and/or hit the gym, we somehow yank those calories out of our bellies to make up the difference and thus lose weight. In this model -- which most of us implicitly buy into and which this site's authors also used to assume was true -- the fat tissue itself plays no role. What matters is calories and calories alone.

There is another theory, however. The alternative hypothesis tells us that the fat tissue in your beer belly essentially has a mind of its own. Fat tissue plays a role in metabolism. And it plays a very active role, at that. It strives to "hold onto itself," even at great cost to you and your health (and romantic prospects). This means that, when you try to reduce a beer belly by eating less and exercising more, your fat tissue will literally prevent you from succeeding. It will stimulate your appetite. And if you somehow persist in starving yourself, it will slow down your metabolism and potentially steal calories from other tissues, such as your muscles and organs.

This concept -- that our fat is in business "for itself" -- may sound preposterous at first, like science fiction hooey. But scientists readily agree that fat tissue is metabolically active -- that it is essentially an endocrine organ, much like the thyroid or the pituitary gland. In no sense is our fat merely a "garbage bag" for unused calories. The situation is quite the opposite, in fact. Caloric balance is at the mercy of the whims of our fat tissue.

Let's look at evidence to compare the two theories:

1. Our fat tissue is metabolically active. It is not a garbage bag or piggybank for excess calories.

2. Lipoprotein lipase activity can explain many mysteries about how and why we fatten where we do; for instance, why men get a beer belly and why women develop fat thighs instead.

3. Lipophilia gives us a testable mechanism about how new fat is formed. Caloric Balance, however, offers no mechanism by which excess calories 'turn into' fat tissue.

********* Did you like that article? If so, SHARE it with ONE friend who might enjoy it! Send it to just that one person -- all I'm asking.

And while you're here... :]

10.18.11 Beyond Caloriegate Cover Art

Check this out: The Black Box: A NEW Way of Thinking about Fat Loss (Or: The Actual, Legit, For Real (Seriously!) Reason Why You Cannot Lose Fat, Even Though You Are, Indeed, “Eating Less And Moving More")

I know it sounds hyperbolic, but I believe that this Black Box concept is the key -- perhaps our ONLY hope -- for solving the obesity epidemic. In other words, without The Black Box, or something like it, our society is doomed to be destroyed by obesity, diabetes and other diet-related chronic diseases. No joke. I 100% believe this. So check it out!

Sign up for my FREE report and email series. Finally, get CLARITY on all your calorie-related questions :)