Fat Cells: Why Re-Gaining Weight Can Be So Easy

Fat Shack

Good news, bad news. Fat cells can be shrunk, but they rarely disappear. Once fat cells form, they might shrink during weight loss, but they do not disappear, a fact that has derailed many weigh.

Young mice fed a high-fat diet fail to produce fat cells within a day of starting a high-fat diet. “In studying what happens before these animals become obese, we found that this fat-producing response occurs unbelievably quickly,” said Matthew Rodeheffer, assistant professor of comparative medicine.

Weight gained is caused by the creation and expansion of white fat cells, or adipose tissue. Eating healthy and exercising can shrink fat cells but not eliminate them, which is why people can gain weight back so quickly.

So the next time you have a snow day and consider going on a 36-hr pizza and ice cream binge, definitely think twice. The body creates fat cells very fast and losing (or shrinking?) them can be a much more prolonged process.

Pizza: Think Twice Before that After-School Slice

Pizza After School

So school’s out and you’re starving?  We’ve all been there.  You think to yourself — “I’ll just stop by the $1 pizza place around the corner, grab a quick bite and get home to get started on my AP reading.”  

Well stop and think before you get in that pizza line — a new study shows that a diet packed with greasy stuff like sausage, pepperoni and cheese can have a negative effect on your body for the rest of the day.  

In a small study at Loughborough University in the U.K., researchers fed 15 healthy, young adults—nonsmokers, physically active, and free of cardiovascular disease or diabetes—a diet packed with greasy stuff like pizza, burgers and cheesecake for one day. They then gave the participants a sugary drink followed by a blood sugar tolerance test.  

The finding???  After eating fatty foods, the young adults' bodies were substantially worse at handling sugar, which is linked to a reduction in insulin sensitivity.  That’s bad.

If insulin sensitivity becomes poor, we have trouble digesting carbs and absorbing nutrients, and we gain weight.  If it’s really bad for a long time, the pancreas needs to make more and more insulin because we’re so insensitive to it.   

So if we want to burn fat and avoid a host of other health issues, we want to be insulin sensitive—so think twice in that pizza line!