Q:

How do you gain fat?

A:

Quick Answer

The body gains fat when the liver sends excess sugar passing through the bloodstream to fat cells for storage. Stored fat accumulates if it cannot exit the cells to be burned off.

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Full Answer

The process begins when the body uses the food it consumes, especially carbohydrates, to make a kind of sugar called glucose. If too much glucose circulates through the bloodstream, the body can be damaged, so it produces a hormone called insulin that is responsible for storing the glucose.

The insulin moves the glucose out of the bloodstream and into storage as glycogen molecules. When the maximum amount of glucose that can be stored in this manner is reached, some is sent to the liver, and the rest is routed to the skeletal muscles to be stored as glycogen fuel reserves.

If these reserves are not used, they remain in the muscles. Once they reach full capacity, the muscle and liver cells refuse to accept any more glucose. As the level of glucose in the bloodstream increases, more insulin is secreted.

The liver must then send the excess glucose to the fat cells. If insulin levels remain high, the fat is not able to leave the cells and eventually there is a buildup of fat in the body.

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