When most people think of weight loss, they think of losing excess body tissue. However, in reality, fat isn’t just an overabundance of tissue but in fact is an organ that is capable of communicating with other organs in the body. It also has an antagonistic relationship with another organ: Muscle. Fat can invade muscle, but muscle can also battle fat. Fat’s status as an organ is one of the reasons that so many people fail to reach their goals with diet and exercise alone and ultimately succeed after bariatric surgery. Here is what you should know about the role that fat plays in your body.
Fat as an Organ
Fat has a complicated relationship with the rest of the body. Subcutaneous fat, or sub-q, is the kind that is more plentiful when you are younger. It makes the skin look plump and helps to shield the rest of your organs, plus, it produces a hormone that helps to manage your metabolism and protect you from cancer. As you age, sub-q fat levels decline, while levels of visceral fat increase. This is the kind of fat that builds up around your midsection and entangles itself deeply into your other organs, so that it cannot be easily removed by liposuction or other fat-removal procedures.
Visceral fat releases cytokines, which are proteins that can cause, among other things, chronic inflammation and tumor necrosis factor, which is associated with certain kinds of cancers. It also makes your body less sensitive to leptin, the hormone that tells you when you are full.
Fighting Weight Gain
As an active organ, fat protects itself and pushes back against your efforts to lose it. Bariatric surgery makes it possible to achieve the calorie deficit that is necessary to fight fat, especially in people who have high BMIs, and therefore, more weight loss resistance.
After weight loss surgery, exercising and adding muscle can also help, as muscle contains mitochondria that help power cells for fat loss. Fat contains almost no mitochondria.
Get the tools for success in your weight loss battle at Bariatric Care Centers. In addition to weight loss surgery in Houston, our team will support you throughout your post-surgical lifestyle change. Make an appointment by calling (713) 339-1353.
Disclaimer: This is only for general information. All patients should consult their doctors prior to following any of the recommendations in any articles and videos. Every patient has individual needs and limitations that only their treating physicians can be aware of.