Dr Sylvia Tara | Why we gain weight and what to do about it! KKP: 239


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Today, I am blessed to have here with me Dr. Sylvia Tara. She holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from The University of California, San Diego, and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

She was a healthcare management consultant with McKinsey & Company and has worked for the world's largest biotechnology companies.

After an extended battle with fat, Dr. Tara became fascinated with its resiliency and embarked on a mission to better understand it. This book culminated in years of research and interviews with physicians, patients, and leading scientists. The Secret Life of Fat will forever change how you think about this misunderstood organ.

Dr. Sylvia Tara is the author of the book, The Secret Life of Fat. This new book brings together historical perspective and cutting-edge research to reveal fat's true identity: an organ critical to our health.

In this episode, Dr. Sylvia Tara reveals the inspiration behind her fat research. We usually think fat is simply storing calories. What most people don't know is that fat serves many purposes. Also, there are different types of fats. We dive into everything you need to know about fat, including what's vital about leptin and adiponectin. Later, we discuss the difference between men and women when it comes to fat loss. Plus, we talk about which types of exercises will be critical on your health journey.

/ E P I S O D E S P ON S O R S

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[00:30] About Dr. Sylvia Tara

  • Sylvia gains weight really easily. Her whole life, she watches people eat whatever they feel like, drink whatever they want, and not gain any weight.
  • So, Dr. Sylvia decided to understand fat once and for all.
  • She went on a big expedition to really understand fat. She wanted to know why she would gain fat easier than other people.
  • The Secret Life of Fat is based on all this research!
  • We think of fat as storage for calories; however, it’s so much more than that.

[02:25] What Is Fat?

  • Fat is a complex endocrine organ that has multiple functions:
    • Storing calories.
    • Producing leptin – which has a great effect on our brains, our bones, and multiple organs.
    • Creating adiponectin – which has a lot of impact on where our fat is stored.

[03:25] What You Need to Know About Leptin

  • Our fat produces this hormone called leptin. It's the biggest producer of leptin in the body, and fat releases it into the bloodstream. Once leptin goes to the bloodstream, it goes to your brain; it'll tell your brain that you’re overall satisfied. Basically, the brain will know that you are good, there's enough nutrition in the world, and you are okay.
  • Leptin will also communicate with your muscles. It tells your muscles that it's okay to expend energy because you have enough nutrition.
  • When we start to lose fat and begin to lose weight, say 10% or more, we reduce the amount of leptin we have.
  • So, people who've lost 10% or more of their body weight respond enormously to food.
  • Overall, once you've lost weight, you have to eat less than someone who's at that weight normally. It is why diets don’t work!

[07:15] The Role of Adiponectin

  • Adiponectin is more or less telling fat where to go.
  • When we have dietary fat, adiponectin will guide the fat in our bloodstream to the right parts of our body.
  • So there's different kinds of fat, there's white fat. It's right under the skin, it's in your thighs, buttocks, arms, and it's actually the safest places to deposit fat. If you're going to have some fat, those are the places to put it.
  • There's also visceral fat; it sits underneath the stomach wall. It is the more dangerous fat that's nestled against the internal pancreas organ.
  • There's brown fat – it burns calories instead of storing calories.
  • Plus, there is beige fat – it that can turn brown when we exercise.
  • Overall, adiponectin will help guide the fat you eat and put it into the right place.

[09:20] How Exercise Can Help Adiponectin

  • It’s around 20 hours of jogging a week to get adequate levels of adiponectin. That is when your body will start to shift around where your fat is.
  • High-intensity interval training will also help raise your levels of adiponectin.
  • You have to exercise a lot before it starts to affect you.
  • It's best to work with your diet and do some exercise. Don't rely on exercise alone!

[11:10] How To Get More Brown Fat

  • Brown fat is actually used to create heat.
  • We have brown fat around our heart; we have it around the clavicle areas and our spines. Having brown fat around those important areas is critical. These areas need to be heated even when we don't have exposure to cold.
  • Beige fat, which was discovered last decade, is the fat that can turn brown through exercise.
  • The more you exercise, the more you can increase your levels of brown fat.
  • Exposure to cold will also increase your brown fat.

[13:45] Women Produce 33% More Ghrelin Than Men After Exercise

  • Women are designed just to have more fat. There are many reasons for this:
    • Fat produces estrogen.
    • Fat is linked to our reproducibility.
  • When women exercise, they have a different reaction than men. Women’s bodies produce ghrelin after exercise, and it's a hormone that's released from your stomach.
  • If you burn off 600 calories or so, women produce 33% more ghrelin than men.
  • There's all kinds of dieting tips for women versus men because women are different.

[17:30] How Women Can Lose Body Fat

  • Women have to be really patient, and you have to understand where you are on the spectrum of fat.
  • Everyone has an individual fat blueprint.
  • You have to understand your fat, and you have to be really forgiving of yourself.
  • Another issue with women is that they have something called dichotomous thinking.

[22:05] The Role Of How To Use Intermittent Fasting For Fat Loss

  • Our growth hormone peaks at night. So, fasting during the nighttime will benefit your body because eating mitigates growth hormone levels.
  • You want growth hormones because it’s a great way to burn fat.
  • If you sleep adequately, you're increasing your levels of leptin, which means you're going to be a little bit more satiated the next day during fasting.

[26:30] Strategies To Keep Insulin At Bay

  • Fiber will bring down insulin.
  • Eating higher protein diets, lower carbs, and obviously not a ton of sugar will also help keep insulin at bay.
  • Fasting enables you to manage insulin, and it helps with insulin sensitivity.

[31:35] The Role of Genetics In Fat Storage

  • To manage your fat, you have to work harder if you're at a genetic disadvantage.
  • Some people tend to have a much higher appetite because they have a certain variant of the FTO gene.

[35:30] How Environmental Factors Affect Fat

  • The Four P’s:
    • Pesticides
    • Plastics
    • Preservatives
    • Parabens
  • Overall, it's important to really watch what you eat and watch what you put on your body. Think about what's really in the food that you eat!

[43:45] Testing Your Fat

  • The best way to test your fat is a CT scan.
  • Sadly, there is no easier way to find out.

[48:20] Correlation Between Stress & Fat

  • Stress is linked to abdominal fat.
  • Exercise can be a perfect solution for people to lower their stress levels.


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Disclaimer: This podcast is for information purposes only. Statements and views expressed on this podcast are not medical advice. This podcast including Ben Azadi disclaim responsibility from any possible adverse effects from the use of information contained herein. Opinions of guests are their own, and this podcast does not accept responsibility of statements made by guests. This podcast does not make any representations or warranties about guests qualifications or credibility. Individuals on this podcast may have a direct or non-direct interest in products or services referred to herein. If you think you have a medical problem, consult a licensed physician.

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