In this article I will quickly cover what body is. Body fat is an often misunderstood thing. I’d like firstly to start with what body fat IS NOT:

  • A separate, external ‘lump’ attached to the body
  • The inevitable result of calorie imbalance – consuming more calories then you burn off

Body fat is living tissue which interacts with other tissues in the body. It is produced when three molecules of fatty acid combine with Glycerol to form a tri-glyceride molecule – the stored form of body fat. This process in governed by messages given at a cellular level from hormones.


When a child grows, no one says they are getting bigger because they are eating too much. It is accepted that they are growing because their hormones are instructing cells and tissue to do so. Increased calorie requirement (increased appetite) is the inevitable results of this. If you put a child on light rations, they don’t stop growing – they just have less energy / become less active.


When a tumour develops in the body it is unconcerned with it’s host’s calorie intake. It will ‘suck’ out of the body the energy it needs and the result will be the host has to consume more calories or be less active to make up for this.


The same is true of body fat. It’s accumulation is dictated by the hormonal impulses it receives. If a body is storing more fat, it will then need to consume more calories or burn less to make up for this. The calorie model does apply – but it is just normally placed at the wrong end of the equation. People don’t do less or eat more then get fat. They get fat then have to eat more or do less because of this.


The effect of hormones on fat accumulation has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt it countless experiments. One of the most clear cut ones of these I have come across is one by George Wade and team at University of Massachusetts in the early 1970s. In this experiment they removed the ovaries of some rats so that they didn’t produce Oestrogen.

In the first part of the experiment, both rats with and without ovaries were allowed to eat as much as they liked. The rats with ovaries became progressively fatter. Based on the usual thought process you might argue these rats became greedier.

In the second part of the experiment, rats with and without ovaries were put on a calorie restricted diet. The Oestrogen-less rats became just as fat as those in the first experiment, but became less active. If you took this experiment in isolation, you might think the rats without ovaries had become lazier.

Taken together the two experiments show that the lack of oestrogen was causing a certain amount of the energy the rat had available to be stored as fat, and, to make up for this, they either had to eat more or use less energy.

In a final experiment they starved a group of rats to death. The oestrogen free rats died with their fat stores intact. Their heart, brain, etc wasted way before the fat did.


Whilst this is quite a graphic example, hopefully you will agree that it shows that the oestrogen levels of these rats were influential in how much fat they stored. Whilst we can’t perform such an experiment on humans, the most-menopausal weight gain of most women suggests that this is also the case in humans. Other experiments in humans have also shown the effect of changes in oestrogen on weight gain.


Countless other experiments have shown what happens to fat accumulation with adjustments in levels of other hormones, such as insulin, Cortisol and many more.


Once people accept that it is their hormones that are dictating body fat levels, it becomes a case of what they need to do to adjust these levels to reduce body fat and gain optimal body composition.


If people still insist that it is ‘calories in versus calories out’ ask them to explain the influence of oestrogen, Cortisol, insulin (or any other hormone) and a cellular level. If they cannot do this – ignore them. They do not know what they are talking about.


At RISE we use the Bio-Signature Modulation method to determine why clients are storing body fat and recommend protocols that will address these reasons. It is NEVER as case of ‘eat less’. This type of advice has been recommended to our clients countless times by other, so called, experts such as doctors, dieticians, personal trainers, fitness instructors, weight watcher and slimming world and rarely works.


Click here to find out more about the Bio Sig method, and if you would like to find out why you are storing body fat and what you need to do to lose weight, we offer a free consultation for Group and 1:1 Personal Training packages (which include the Bio Signature Modulation assessment) at the RISE Studio in Buxton, Derbyshire and at DW Sports Fitness in Macclesfield. Please call us on 01298 918917 or email to arrange this.


In future articles we will look at the effect of other hormones on body fat.

Jon Hall
Jon Hall

When not helping people to transform their lives and bodies, Jon can usually be found either playing with his kids or taxi-ing them around. If you'd like to find out more about what we do at RISE then enter your details in the box to the right or bottom of this page or at - this is the same way every single one of the hundreds who've described this as "one of the best decisions I've ever made" took their first step.