In this episode, we discuss fat through the lens of performance and survival, and what happens when we push our energy systems to their limits. We also talk about how our bodies make adaptations via exercise to improve our ability to “burn” fat for fuel, and how our bodies conserve fuel during times of negative energy balance. Lastly, we preview the role of fat as an endocrine organ and the importance of its communication with the brain, as well as the critical role of exercise capacity for our future health.
This is our first episode on weight gain and weight loss. In this episode, we describe how, as an industrialized nation, our food supply and environment have changed in a way that, in many cases, is mismatched with our biology as humans. We explore how these changes can lead to disease and metabolic dysfunction. We discuss how the replacement of whole foods with processed foods, as well as the addition of caloric sweeteners to most of the food items within grocery stores across the nation has preceded a rapid rise in obesity and metabolic dysfunction. In this episode, we begin to discuss some of the pathophysiology related to the consumption of ultra-processed and hyper-palatable foods as well as concerns surrounding the consumption of fructose- and glucose- containing sugary drinks. We also discussed the timelines of weight gain and loss as they typically occur over the lifespan and vary according to season. This episode sets the stage for the next episodes, which will focus on the normal fat metabolism and how it may become dysregulated in metabolic dysfunction.