Why do we "get fat?"

Why do we get “fat?”


Let me first preface by saying that if I see excess ‘weight,’ what I am seeing is your body signaling an imbalance.


Your body is holding excess in its adipose tissue, and you are having the experience of extra mass. There is a reason for this and it is NOT a judgement (we don’t like labels over here) it is a metabolic calibration issue (we like science.) Excess weight, obesity and metabolic disorders are seen very simply in Ayurveda. And in functional medicine too, since it comes down to finding the why and supporting the body in regulating itself.

To understand why we may hold excess weight, we have to first look at how energy (and food) is used in our system, and at what happens when it isn’t used correctly.

Food gets utilized in 3 ways in our body:

1. Energy (food -> glucose -> ATP -> energy)

2. Tissue nutrition.

3. Whatever is left over from energy & nourishment is deposited in our adipose storage reserves for a potential crisis.

Why may you become overweight or even obese?

1. Metabolism is normal but you overeat.

2. Metabolism is normal but you are sedentary.

3. You eat properly & move properly, but your metabolism is off.

In Ayurveda we first look at your Agni, or digestive fire, and analyze how much Ama (toxins, stagnation, lack of flow) you’re holding. Ama is nothing more than improper Agni, or low, inefficient fire, since your digestive system is the mechanism that processes everything that goes into or onto your body. In functional medicine, we look at your digestive system as well, and your Agni is nothing more than your hormones.

To “lose weight” therefore, we need to look at how well you’re digesting, what your hormones are doing, if you’re clearing them & if you’re storing toxins. Maybe you need a little more exercise, perhaps we can adjust your diet, but both of these won’t make much of a difference if the foundation of your digestion/hormones/toxic load is off, so I look here first. Your stress & sleep matter too.

Once we regulate these, your body will adjust naturally to where it wants to be & THAT is when the diet and lifestyle changes will have the greatest impact.

Being healthy is all about finding balance & about your body running efficiently so it doesn’t adjust to store excess, of anything. Don’t think about the fat, focus on being healthy.