Have you ever met a person who seems to be able to eat anything and everything and yet stay slim? You wonder what it takes to be so blessed. On the other side, we have the person who walks past a bakery, breaths in deep, and gains 5 pounds. Unfortunately, in our society, the later is becoming more the norm.

We will try to shed some light on this “weighty” subject. Covert Bailey made himself a very wealthy and famous man by writing the book; “Fit or Fat” back in the 70’s. The premise is; how you store food depends on whether you are “fit” or “fat”. I prefer using the terms “fit” or “unfit”. I have seen people who would be looked at as fit by the amount of exercise they can do, but they still appear to be too fat. However, the general concept Bailey detailed is very valid. If you eat a candy bar, where will the calories go? If you are fit, they tend to head more to the muscles to be stored as muscle glycogen, which is simply glucose in muscle storage to be used at a time of need. The more you exercise, and the more muscle you have, the more muscle glycogen you can store. On the other hand, the unfit counterpart will tend to store excess calories in the fat cells.

Certainly genetics play a role. If your parents are both very lean, you probably won the genetic lottery for staying thin. Those who have obese parents will have a greater potential for being obese themselves, although neither case is absolute. When you overeat, even the genetically thin person can start to add fat, just as the child of obese parents can remain thin through proper lifestyle.

When an overweight, out of shape person goes on a walk with a very trim, fit person, the one who is fit will burn up to 5 times as much fat as the overweight person. You might be thinking “that is not fair”. What we have to keep in mind is this: That is why the person is thin and fit, because their body burns fat, instead of storing it. The more fit you become, the quicker your body will tell the fat cells to release fatty acids, or in Bailey’s vernacular; “release the grease”. A fit person will start burning fat just thinking about exercise. I know someone reading this will think: “that’s what I will do, I will “think” about exercising”. The problem with that is; you have to be fit, and have actually exercised for that to work.

To quote Bailey one more time, if you want to be a “better butter burner”, start exercising!


About the Author

Dick Nunez FT

Director of the Black Hills Health and Education Center, and professional body builder.

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