Stubborn Fat and Why It Keeps Coming Back

By Roni DeLuz ND, RN, PH. D

Body fat is made up of cells called “Adipocytes”, small stores of lipid molecules, which are the ones that make up all the fat tissue. Their main function is to provide the body with energy, through fats, when the glucose reserves start to run out. Since they are cells, even though the fat is “burned” by several different processes, they will not disappear. The only way they will disappear is as a conventional cell does, through cell death or direct destruction. For this reason, even if you remove the fat at one time and these cells shrink, at any time these small stores can be refilled.

Fat was important in times past, where we spent days without eating and had to appeal to our best reservoir: lipids. However, in this modern age where we can get food around the corner, our energy reserves (from carbohydrates) are stable, so we do not need fat and therefore we start to accumulate it.

Many processes in our body regulate the formation of fat tissue. Not only hormonal, but also those mediated by our metabolism and how we process every single molecule we get from food. From our pancreas to our liver, many organs play a fundamental role in the accumulation of this molecule. However, there are some specific causes that facilitate the storage of fats, triggered -usually- by failures in the proper functioning of our body.

5 Top reasons why we accumulate fat:

A Saturated Pancreas

One of the most important hormones in fat control is insulin: the ultimate glucose regulator and the cause of diabetes. When insulin levels rise, a condition that occurs especially in patients with insulin resistance, the entire fat-burning system is blocked, so we accumulate lipids non-stop. This is a common reason we accumulate fat.

A simple way to regulate this disorder is through healthy diet and exercise. Both have been shown to act as “sensitizers” to the tissues, improving their response to insulin and preventing it from accumulating in exaggerated amounts. The better the action of each insulin molecule, the less insulin is needed.

Hormonal Decontrol

Other hormones, beyond insulin, may be altered and cause us to accumulate fat. Within this select group we have cortisol (the stress hormone), leptin (in charge of appetite) and serotonin (happiness hormone). These three directly and indirectly regulate the accumulation of fat, through the regulation of appetite and glucose levels. Example, most unhappy people eat more.

To control these hormones, we can use several different methods. For example, in the case of serotonin, it may be beneficial to consume more B-vitamins (1). To control stress, beyond psychological therapy, it has been shown that by increasing vitamin C levels we can control cortisol and improve our condition (2).

Hypo-active Thyroid

The thyroid hormone regulates almost all our metabolic processes by intervening on a single variant: speed. This is the hormone in charge of regulating the speed with which we process each of the chemical reactions that occur in our body.

In this way, the thyroid hormone regulates the speed with which you process food chemically. The less hormone you have circulating in your blood, the slower your processes will be, and there will only be one route left available: accumulation. This is what happens to fats when we have low levels of T3 and T4.

To regulate it, we need to use supplements that can help with the process of hormone formation. The first and most important is iodine, the basis of thyroid hormones.

Metabolic Disorders

Aside from thyroid problems, there are other ways to slow down our metabolism. For some people, accumulating fat is not about bad luck or a dysfunctional thyroid, but about small problems that exist within our metabolism when it comes to burning calories.

When we consume more calories than we use in a day, our bodies – and our metabolism – become saturated. This leaves only one escape route: accumulating excess calories, especially in fat tissue. Some people get saturated faster than others, and this is the real difference.

The best way to regulate our metabolism is through customized diets, adapted to each person’s metabolic needs. One diet does not fit all people. Super nutrition based on blood work determining the deficiencies for each person individually.

Toxic Liver

The liver is a crucial component in the elimination of fats. Although several processes are mediated by this organ, the most relevant is the production of bile, a greenish substance that degrades fats and helps cleanse toxins from our body.

To improve the health of our liver, and help it improve the digestive and metabolic process, it is necessary to decrease or eliminate processed foods, regulate the amount of meat we eat regulate stress, eat green vegetables and take antioxidants.

Solutions that make sense

  • Stop going on different diets that create an imbalance, nutritional deficiencies and stress in the body that causes a rebound effect of accumulating larger fat cells.
  • Decrease toxic burden in your body through yearly organ detox.
  • Request from your doctor comprehensive blood work that address nutritional, metabolic, integrative, biomedical blood work.
  • Have your diet customized based on the blood work analysis to determine metabolic and nutritional needs.

Gaining fat back over and over may not be your fault. Are you taking in enough nutrients? Are your hormones imbalanced? Are stress hormones making you fat? These are only some of the reasons why fat doesn’t come off of the body. Decreasing fat is an important goal in the pursuit of longevity. For more information, visit

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