Why some people do not get fat?

Surely more than once it has been called your attention why some people can eat more than others and not get fat, causing envy for many other who fight and fight with various diets and exercise to stay thin. An explanation for this would be given by a special type of proteins that are located inside the cells: uncoupling proteins known as UCP (uncoupling proteins).

These proteins are located in the mitochondria of the cell and its function is to decouple the chemical reactions that normally lead to storage of food energy as ATP,  or dissipate that energy into heat. This effect is known as thermogenesis.

To date, five types of these proteins have been reported.  The three mains are:  CPU 1, that is the most studied (in rodents) and is found mainly in an adipose tissue type known as brown adipose tissue. Another is  CPU 2 that is found in most human tissues, and  CPU 3 located in the skeletal muscles.

It has been studied that people with visceral obesity have little amount of  CPU 1. And people with morbid obesity have less CPU 2 and 3. The lack of such proteins would favor accumulate food energy as fat. While people that have a higher amount of these uncoupling proteins dissipate energy as heat.

To date there is no test being performed in clinical laboratories to determine how much CPU you have. People prone to obesity have lower expression of genes that produce such UCP. This would explain in part the genetic cause of obesity.

Investigations are continuing and it is not weird to think that in the future we could  have  some medications that precisely do this shift at the  mitochondria, thus dissipating the energy contained in food into heat and not accumulate it as fat.

The best exercises for women

Exercises are essential for good health. However it is necessary to make it clear that not all kinds of exercises are recommended for different ages, or that all types of exercises are useful for those who want to lose weight.

Exercises that are performed against a resistance, such as those that involve lifting heavy weights, shock absorbers (bumps) or where the body itself acts as a weight, are not effective for losing weight. However, they are particularly recommended for those who want to increase muscle mass.

To better understand this, let’s take a look at two examples:

Women who practice hockey are likely to end up with bigger buttocks and legs. In contrast, ballet dancers keep their legs strong and thin. Why is this?  Women hockey players are permanently doing “squats” where the resistance applied to the legs is their own body weight. The body responds to this overload causing a hypertrophy of the muscles. Ballet dancers stretch their legs without making such “squats”. An obvious conclusion is that if you want to keep your muscles firm, simply contract them, without subjecting them to weight.

Age is another determining factor in choosing the type of exercises. Over the years, various structures of the body, such as joints, start to wear down. Then, it is not prudent to increase damage, as it occurs with jogging. From a cardiovascular point of view, jogging is recommended, but from the joints´ point of view, it is harmful for people over 40 years old, especially if they are obese. We must not forget that jogging places a strain on the joints of the hip and knees which is equivalent to more than double the weight of one’s own body.)  This can swell up the cartilage of these joints, and in the process of cartilage repair, this tissue is usually replaced by scar (fibrosis), a tissue that is not able to carry out the same functions as the cartilages, and over the years, this will lead to osteoarthritis of the hips and/or knees.

Therefore, I recommend the following exercises that can be useful as a reference. I would like to point out that this is not a rigid schedule and it is intended for those who wish to do exercise on a regular basis: daily or every two days

Exercises not recommended for women over 30 years old:

  • Weights heavier than 8 pounds for each arm
  • Weights heavier than 18 pounds for each leg
  • “Weight Machines” involving high loads (shock absorbers, gums, weights)

Recommended exercises for women over 30 years old:

  • Jogging (occasionally)
  • Pilates
  • Slow walk
  • Cycling  at minimum load
  • Tennis, golf and most sport

Most recommended exercises for women over 30 years old:

  • Fast walk
  • Swimming
  • Cycling with some degree of resistance
  • Dance
  • Gym with weight less than 4 pounds for each arm and less than 9 pounds for each leg

For women over 50 years old, it is necessary to assess whether she is experiencing a decrease in bone mass. If this is the case, cycling and swimming are not  desirable because they do not result in the benefits that are required to maintain an adequate bone mass and prevent osteoporosis.

For them, a fast  walk for of at least 30 minutes a day is enough.  Streets, parks, beaches, and even in shopping centers, known as “walking mall” are a good place for this and believe it or not, the latter is a good exercise, although for some this may end up being a rather expensive exercise due to the temptation to buy.