Over the weekend, I was visiting a friend who made a Velveeta cheese dip. Up until that moment, I had never tried Velveeta before and wanted to see what it was all about. Well, not long after I took a bite of that I looked down and noticed the frozen fat in the bottom on the pan. Let me tell you how silently mortified I was! Even though the cheese wasn't off the burner for a minute, it literally froze...
That's right. Take a look at the pictures below and see the Velveeta not a minute after I turned the stove off. Gross right?
This got me thinking yet again...? First, I found it in the run-off fat from my roommates sausage and now this "cheese" froze less than a minute off the burner. In order for the goop to liquefy again, I had to turn the stove back on and quickly stir the fat.
If this is what fat external fat looks like then imagine what it looks like in your body. Like I said earlier, I had to add heat and high intensity motion to the stiff dairy product in order for it to liquefy. The same concept can be applied to the human body and physical activity.
The math is quite simple...if you consume excess fat in your diet, then it will be stored as fat. Now don't get me wrong, lipids (or fats) are essential for membranes and are the starting materials for other molecules. Additionally, lipids help absorb fat-soluble vitamins and provide insulation, cushion, and lubrication for muscles and joints. You can get essential fat in your diet through olive oil, nuts, salmon, avocado, and my favorite, PEANUT BUTTER. However, high levels of fat in your diet (saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol) lead to a higher risk for heart disease, blood vessel inflammation, heart attacks, and stroke.
In addition to maintaining healthy levels of fat in your diet, physical activity is a great way to ward off the detrimental effects of the chronic diseases listed above. In fact, physical activity can help:
- Control a healthy weight
- Reduce your risk for cardiovascular diseases, Type II Diabetes, and some cancers
- Strengthens your bones and muscles
- Increases your chances of living longer
The Stairmaster and leg extension machines at my schools
Furthermore, physical activity improves your mood by stimulating brain chemicals that can help you feel happier and relaxed. In return, this improved mood may increase your confidence and self-esteem. In other words, exercising gives you a happy, energized rush. Now, contrast that to the immediate guilt that most people feel after eating a heavy, greasy meal. It sucks. You literally feel like a sloth and lose motivation. I know what some of you are thinking, would it just work to exercise BECAUSE you consume a high fat diet? NO! Exercising should accompany a healthy diet. While it is true that exercise does give us a little more leeway to splurge, keep in mind how many calories you are actually exerting while exercising. For a woman my size, I'll burn just under 300 calories during a 5K...which is less calories than a grande green tea frappucino. This strategy actually hurts your workouts because it slows down recovery. Secondly, for those who say that life's too short to not the cupcake, imagine how much shorter life will be after a lifetime of cupcakes, fried foods, and sugary drinks. I think by now you get the point. Fats, like other macronutritents such as carbohydrate and protein, are essential to the human body but when consumed in excess, it can lead to a bevy of health problems.
Continue to be a clean eating army and you'll be just fine! But if decreasing fat in your diet is too hard, then just add an extra 5-10 miles to your daily fitness routine.
-Eating Clean in College