THE SKINNY ON FAT: Beating Obesity Requires Better Understanding of Fat


by Dr. Michael Boss, DC

Last summer the American Medical Association officially designated obesity as a disease. Excess weight has become a major problem, and statistics confirm this. One out of 3 Americans is obese, 2 out of 3 are overweight, 1 out of 3 children is overweight, and 17 percent of kids are obese. 

Obesity is a chronic, progressive and unremitting issue that triggers an additional 60 or more other conditions ranging from diabetes to arthritis to sleep apnea to heart disease to cancer.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute describes obesity as “a complex, multifactorial disease,” and the World Health Organization states that “obesity is now well recognized as a disease.” Like many diseases, excess weight has complex roots and manifestations, some of which are biological, some environmental, cultural and socioeconomic. The effects are devastating and costly.

Wellness Educational Workshop Series (which I host each Saturday), we teach the “Physiology of Fat.” Fat cells (adipose cells) are their own metabolic machines that lead to multiple other dysfunctional processes. Fat cells are born of metabolic dysfunction. When stimulated, they create more metabolic problems.

The average fat cell is composed mainly of lipid in the form of triglyceride (80-95 percent). This is the same type of fat found in the bloodstream. Radioactive carbon testing has determined that the number of fat cells in a human’s body, whether lean or obese, is established during the teenage years. This is why proper metabolic function is so important from childhood on. Changes in fat mass can be attributed mainly to changes in fat cell volume (size). In other words, the fat cells become larger. Another problem occurs when the fat cells become as large as possible. This actually activates the production of new fat cells; the end result is more and more fat that alters normal bodily function.Their actual presence in the body makes it difficult for other cells to do their normal jobs, which creates a cesspool of health issues and disease.

The Purpose of Fat Cells

Fat cells do play a role in normal body function. Positive duties of fat cells include backup energy storage, protection for vital organs, insulation and some aspects of normal immune function. The problem is that most Americans have an excessive amount and volume of fat cells. A fit female adult will have 21-24 percent body fat, and a fit male will be in the 14-17 percent range. Some fat is essential; too much is unhealthy.

Negative Effects of Fat Cells

When fat cells become overly large, they stimulate and produce inflammatory cells at a high rate. The fat cells release free fatty acids that build up in the tissues of muscles, liver and even the pancreas. The formation of diglycerides and ceramides (fatty cells) lead to metabolic dysfunction.

In layman’s terms, fat cells cause other cells to work incorrectly. This leads to glucose metabolism issues (pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes), insulin resistance, cholesterol issues, chronic inflammation, liver dysfunction, cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure, gastro-intestinal issues, hormone dysregulation, premature aging and immune dysfunction, to name a few. The metabolic dysfunction leads to a vicious cycle of problems that make it difficult to lose weight, which is part of the problem in the first place.

The Typical Approach

The traditional approach of “eat less and do more” has been shown over the years to not work long term. The biggest problem with this approach is that “diets” normally deprive a body of necessary nutrients it needs to work right. When this person tries to exercise more, he or she rarely sustains it, often feels worse, and the exercise-only solution can cause other metabolic problems.

Better Approach

The more logical approach is to determine the exact issues causing the vicious cycle and devising a plan that addresses the actual causes of the weight gain. In addition, eating a nutrient-dense strategic meal plan and implementing the right types of supplements, combined with exercise and ample rest, provides the body what it needs to be able to burn the fat cells off. That is the key to truly losing weight the right way, for good.

One of our clients had been Type 2 diabetic for over 15 years, taking medication for diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol and more. She also weighed over 250 pounds at 5 feet 2 inches tall. After properly evaluating her metabolically and physiologically, we were able to devise the right process for her. She implemented the plan and has now lost 98 pounts. She is no longer diabetic, is off all medications and has sustained her newfound health for almost two years. That is long-term weight loss and complete physiological correction. That is true health and wellness.

Dr. Michael Boss, DCDr. Michael Boss, DC has been a practicing chiropractor and wellness practitioner for more than 20 years. He is co-founder of Elevate Life, and he provides treatment programs that focus on functional health care, diabetes prevention and treatment, nutrition, acupuncture, exercise, hormone function and balance, chronic diseases, nutriceuticals and more. Call 210-999- 5463 for an individual consultation, or visit to learn more.

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