Workout of the Day

Fat

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It’s rather unfortunate that we use the same word for the macronutrient that comprises things like avocados, butter, olive oil, and nuts as we do for the unwanted extra stuff on our body, or for the body-type with an abundance of this extra stuff.

FAT.

It’s almost a bad word.
On the one hand, this shared nomenclature makes sense. The stuff that accumulates on your midsection when you move too little and eat too much ice cream is, at its roots, chemically the same as the stuff that’s in food: they’re all triglycerides.

Perhaps the demonization of dietary fat would be less prominent if we referred to the macronutrient as “triglyceride” and the stuff on one’s body as fat, or the macronutrient as “fat” but the stuff on one’s body as “adipose tissue”; but the fact remains that although the word carries some heavy baggage with it, fat is an absolutely essential nutrient. The body cannot function optimally without fat -- specifically, the essential fatty acids (EFAs), alpha-linolenic acid and linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid and an omega-6 fatty acid, respectively), which the body cannot synthesize on its own and can only obtain through ingestion. In addition to these EFAs, dietary fat serves as a nutrient-dense source of fuel, and supports absorption of vitamins, controls inflammation, supports nutrient transport, builds tissues, and more. In short, while excess body fat may be a health risk and something that we aim to avoid, consumption of dietary fat is a necessity for a healthy human body.

I have to stop myself before I get into a full-length dissertation on the qualities of dietary fat and approaches to healthy consumption of this macronutrient (I’ll save that for a later date), but I want to focus in on one point here: fat doesn’t make you fat.
Fat certainly can make you fat, in the same way that protein and carbohydrates can make you fat if you eat too much and move too little. But this is an issue of energy consumption and expenditure, not an issue of a macronutrient’s shared name with a body shape.

Fat is a necessary nutrient, and while there are some fats that certainly should be avoided at all costs (trans-fats for example), the fact that something is “high in fat” is not sufficient to qualify it as good or bad, healthy or unhealthy, “fattening” or not. Avocados and french fries, for example, are both “fatty” or “high-fat” foods; but one has many health-promoting properties while the other is a far cry from a healthy dietary choice, and the number of grams of the macronutrient “fat” has nothing to do with the health-promoting properties or lack thereof.

Want to make a better decision for your health, functioning, and body composition? It’s your duty to understand that there’s more to fat than good or bad -- that there’s much more than just the number listed under the “fat” category on the food label.

- PS


6/12/17

  • Back squat - 1,1,1,1,1

  • 3 rounds for quality:

    • 100’ hand-over-hand rope sled pull (AHAP)

    • 15 DB Z press (AHAP)