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If you haven’t noticed, people tend to accumulate weight in one of four different ways:
- around the belly (lower sagging)
- around the belly (higher roll)
- around the hips (saddlebags)
- around the entire body equally
I’d like to give you some insight into these different body shapes.
Fat has a useful purpose, believe it or not. Its main purpose is not insulation or cushioning. Rather, its principal purpose is to be an energy reserve. The body reserves energy to help you survive the lean times when food might not be as plentiful. This function goes all the way back to the beginning of time– before food preservation, year-round farming, refrigerators, and grocery stores – to when eating was often a feast or famine proposition. The body also uses stored sugar for energy, but this is very limited. The preferred source of fuel is sugar over fat. The body will ALWAYS use sugar before fat, so tapping into fat requires avoiding sugar, even in small amounts.
Of the four different body types, only one is really made from sugar. This is the sagging lower belly, which is the Adrenal body type. The Adrenal type will do this in two ways:
1. Turn the body’s own protein (leg muscles, just above the knee) into sugar.
2. Take out stored sugar from the muscles and liver.
These two sources of sugar then trigger insulin to change it into fat around important organs– which happen to be around your middle body.
The other body shapes usually come from other causes. For example, the higher-roll belly, which wraps around the stomach and into the back, is more of a Liver body shape. When the liver is stressed, it will either give you a top roll, as seen in many women, or a potbelly, as seen in many men. In men, this is usually water weight, not fat. I had a patient come in recently weighing nearly 400 pounds and he had only 37 percent body fat– not too bad. But his water weight was off the charts.
The hip and thigh fat is more of an estrogen fat, which is a superficial, just-under-the-skin cellulite type. Estrogen makes fat, and because women have more estrogen receptors, you see this body shape more in women. In fact, I’ve seen this ONLY in women.
The last body shape is the weight-all -ver. When the thyroid breaks down, it starts holding waste fluids in the cells all over the body; this is called myxedema. This could come from excess estrogen, too, as estrogen blocks the thyroid. It’s very rare to have a primary thyroid problem nowadays, unless the person has been exposed to radiation, has had some medications that gave them a side effect, or has had DES (diethylstilbestrol). DES was the estrogen drug given to mothers in the 50s and 60s. I have observed a mother who took it and her children were affected as well.
If you take a healthy person and start feeding them grain carbohydrates or even heavy starches like potatoes, they will put on weight either all over the body or in the stomach area. But this is superficial and won’t necessarily distort the body into an abnormal shape. It’s only after long-term use that the body really distorts and becomes very stubborn. If a person can lose weight easily with healthy eating, it means the gland control has not been damaged. It is only when gland damage starts that a person would have a difficult time.
So, figure out your body type and learn how to get healthy, lose weight, and feel great!