Do Fat Cells Die?

I have been following Drew’s progress on Fit2Fat2Fit and it makes interesting reading.  It is actually rather exciting to read about his weigh-in’s each week to see how much weight he has lost.  If you haven’t been following his story, he went from being ripped to extremely fat over 6 months, so that he could experience what it is like to go from being obese to ripped.  So the goal is for him to get back to his “ripped” state.  When he was ripped he weighed 193 pounds, and at the turnaround point of 6 months of no exercising and eating what he liked he got up to 265 pounds.  Now, approximately 3 weeks into his “back to fit” stage, he is at 250 pounds – so he has dropped 15 pounds!  His weight loss so far has been pretty text book, i.e. obese people usually lose a lot of weight at the beginning of a lifestyle change, and that gradually lessons as the body adapts, to a point where if one can lose 1-2 pounds of fat per week then they are doing really well.

The equivalent amount of fat takes up much more space than muscle, so one can keep the same weight, but actually shrink in size.

I am really interested to see if Drew can get back to his ripped state – just to know if it can actually be done.  You see, I was reading the other day about how our fat cells never ever die or fade away.  That is, once you have a fat cell then you have it forever – unless I guess one has surgery or liposuction and physically removes the cells.  Dieting and exercising however will not remove the cells, only shrink them so that they are barely noticable.  So I’m guessing that Drew in his “fit2fat” stage created a whole lot of new fat cells that he didn’t have before, and I’m really keen to see if that will affect his ability to return to his previous state.  For more info. about fat cells you can read here, here, here and here.

“During weight loss, fat cells shrink in size, but the fat cell will never die or leave the body.”

The big question.  Will Drew be able to get back to that ripped state, and can he do it in 6 months?

The other reason why I am keen to know the answer to this question is that this last week I read an interesting article on the Brinkzone which shed light on a dark secret of the weight loss industry, that is many companies use faked or untrue “before and after” photos to sell their product!  Wow.  I never knew this, but apparently it is very common.  What happens is that people who are in excellent (i.e. ripped) shape take some photos and then eat lots of garbage to get fat (like what Drew has done) and then sell the photos as before and after, even though it is the other way around!  Also, some bodybuilders will take pictures of themselves the day before a competition and then take some pictures a few months later when they are bulking up, and sell them as before and after.  Apparently this is quite a big industry and people with great photos can make a lot of money, and if you look at enough products you may find the same photos used!

There is a lot of shady practices, witch doctory and old wives tales in the industry, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that this kind of deception also exists.  Be careful out there people and really look into any claims made before purchasing products!

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