Fat just has a bad rep. In fact, a horrible one.
So many people get so angry at fat that it does not seem right to say: fat is good. So, I am going to say it again: fat is good. No, I did not lose my mind
and I do understand that such a statement may be complete heresy for the ever-expanding crowd of exercise warriors so focused on eliminating fat not
only from their bodies and diet, but from the English vocabulary if at all possible!
Fat is good for a lot of stuff.
Fat is good for survival. Overweight people tend to have more physical problems than people who are in good shape because they are actually overweight, not because any amount of fat is bad. The right amount of fat is good. In fact, if we did not store some fat we would be exceedingly more susceptible to infection, less fertile, weaker in constitution, and less able to withstand any period of decreased food intake, sort of like what happens during a visit to the in-laws…
The problem lies in accurately defining what is an appropriate and healthy amount of fat versus an excessive amount of it. In general, that is not such a difficult task.
For most of us, excessive fat is any amount of fat that interferes with our current wardrobe or limits bathing suit choices. Turns out, the definition of excessive fat is not so clear, and science has been debating the issue for a while. Of course, largely overweight individuals suffer from a constellation of problems that are defined as “morbid obesity”.
These unfortunate souls live the consequences of food used as a crutch, an escape from life or psychological challenges, or in rare cases physical dysfunctions. That is clearly not healthy fat. But an adequate amount of fat is absolutely necessary for normal metabolic function and longevity.
Fat is good for fertility and reproduction. A solid equilibrium of hormone levels depends on an appropriate body fat percentage, as fat regulates their release
and functions as essential storage space. Women that voluntarily decrease their body fat percentage via training or dieting know that after a certain level their cycles stop and their metabolism slows down, a futile attempt of the body to compensate for their iron clad determination in acquiring a more masculine muscle definition than their bodies were ever intended to display. Eventually, this lack of fat tissue may cause changes in hormone balance and lead to severe problems like bone loss, thyroid dysfunction or an exceedingly high health club membership bill.
Fat is good for beauty. In fact, fat is an essential component in beautiful faces and bodies. I am not referring to fat as in the wobbly excesses of some overfed middle aged individuals. Beautiful faces are smooth, with rounded curves, and defined by peaks, not valleys. Although dimples and chin clefts have made the likes of Shirley Temple and John Travolta famous, that hardly compares to the billboard appeal of names like Angelina (does that remind you of thin lips? I didn’t think so!) or the smooth cheeks of Cindy Crawford.
Beautiful faces are made so by an harmonious sequence of curves, intersecting at critical points, and generating a musical combination of youth and attraction. Doctors dedicated to cosmetic medicine have concluded without doubt that although tightening sagging skin can improve the appearance of many weathered faces, only volume correction will actually rejuvenate those very faces that after tightening still appear as an old, tighter version of the previous self. Emerging technology in fat transfer promises a new era in cosmetic surgery that may actually open the way to more natural and healthy outcomes.
So, quit harping on it and beating old friend fat down. Learn to use it, control it, and love it. Who knows, one day it may just become your best friend!