Being slim is a dream for us all, while being fat is more often than not a nightmare. However, there are more compelling reasons why you want to stay lean.
The more fat you burn, the healthier you are going to be, and the longer you are going to live. Lean bodies live longer. Carrying around a lot of excess fat is dangerous and detrimental to your long-term survival.
The human body did not evolve to run well weighed down by fat. How could a body loaded with excess fat have the speed or agility to escape a predator or run after prey? From a purely evolutionary point of view, too much fat is bad.
Countless studies have confirmed that obesity can shorten your life and make you more vulnerable to the diseases of aging at younger and younger ages.
Unfortunately, the obesity epidemic especially among children and teenagers is showing the devastating consequences of poor diet.
For the first time in history, doctors are diagnosing type 2 diabetes in obese children, a condition that is called adult-onset diabetes because it is not supposed to occur in children.
They may be children, but their bodies are “stuck” in accelerated aging mode, which does not bode well for their long-term health or survival.
If You’re Fat, You’re Burning Sugar
At any age, if you have a high percentage of body fat, it is a sign that you are not burning fat – that means you’re storing it.
If you are not burning fat, you are burning sugar, and that means you are burning through your muscle, and protein in your bones (since you make sugar out of them). You are not only aging your body faster, but you are dooming yourself to grow old in a weak, frail body.
The more fat cells you make, the more leptin you will produce, and the more leptin resistant you will become. Your body loses its ability to control hunger, you overeat, and make more fat and fat cells.
On a deeper level, high levels of leptin signal to your brain that there is plenty of nourishment around for reproduction, and not need to live longer and prosper. Genes that up-regulate maintenance and repair get turned down.
Body Fat Promotes Diabetes
Fat has a way of going to places where you don’t want it. For example, if you are leptin resistant, excess fat is often stored around your waist, right by your liver. Excess fat in and around your liver disrupts insulin signaling, leading to insulin resistance, diabetes, and a downward spiral that ages you before your time. Fat can also clog your arteries, which can cause a heart attack.
Fat, Hormones, and Cancer
Since dozens of hormones are made and stored in fat, excess fat can disrupt the normal hormonal balance in the body, which may increase the risk of hormone-sensitive cancers.
Higher levels of estrogen due to more body fat explains why obese women are at greater risk of breast cancer than normal weight women.
In men, too much body fat increases the activity of an enzyme called aromatase which converts testosterone into estrogen.
This leads to lower testosterone levels, higher estrogen levels, and an increased risk of prostate enlargement, prostate cancer, and obesity. It also makes men flabby.