What is the Point of Body Fat?

Himanshu Sharma, MD: Himanshu Sharma, MD shares a few thoughts about "body fat".

I would like you to stop what you are doing and think about the following for a minute.

What is the point of body fat? While we undoubtedly live in an incredibly divided world today, I hope all of us can agree to the fact that fat is nothing but a store hold of energy (it is definitely not there for looks). Fat is incredibly calorically dense at approximately 9 Cal/gram.

So how much energy do we have stored in us? The above is photograph of me taken in December 2021.
I weighed in at 187 pounds, and my body fat percentage was estimated about 24%, roughly 45 pounds of fat. It is equivalent to 183,000 Calories.

I do understand that for males about 3% body fat is essential (12% for females). Professional male bodybuilders are on stage at about 5% body fat give or take (12-15% for females).Lets be rather generous and give myself half my body fat as essential (roughly 12%).

That still leaves a surplus of about 90,000 Cal. It is roughly about 36 days of food, giving myself 2500 cal/day.

36 days of food, and yet if we skip a meal we get so hungry. Skip 2 meals or, God forbid, 3, and you want to eat everything in front of you. We often marvel at how magnificent our body is, but to me it seems incredibly stupid that our body would store so much energy, yet make us feel so ravenously hungry to eat. We also feel extremely lethargic and irritable. What is the reason behind this? Shouldn’t our body simply burn the fat that we store and act like it is no big deal?


We often marvel at how magnificent our body is, but to me it seems incredibly stupid that our body would store so much energy, yet make us feel so ravenously hungry to eat. Click To Tweet


For any of you struggling with obesity and have Dietitians/Physicians/Coaches helping you along this way, I would like you to challenge them with this question. I would love to hear their responses. There will be more to follow.

PS: I do not intend to disrespect anyone working in the health and fitness industry with the above post. There are a lot of incredible people that I admire and work with. Unfortunately, there is also a lot of really bad advice floating around since the advent of social media. This is designed to just separate the good from the bad.


Tweet this:

Earn CME credit:

This learning experience is powered by CMEfy - a platform that brings relevant CMEs to busy clinicians, at the right place and right time. Using short learning nudges, clinicians can reflect and unlock AMA PRA Category 1 Credit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

“Light-bulb” Moments

Robert Saul, MD explains how epiphanies, revelations, or “light-bulb” moments, are sometimes easy to recognize but, more often than not, are only noticed after the fact.

Susan J. Baumgaertel, MD FACP

Navigating Your Health (with Dr. Susan Baumgaertel)

Dr. Baumgaertel draws upon her 30 years of experience as a physician in primary care internal medicine, and uses her personal story-telling style to communicate with you as if you are sitting right across from her. Pull up a chair and enjoy.

Doctors on Walks Getting Food

Explore casual conversation between doctors walking, & then grabbing a bite, in this light knock-off of a Jerry Seinfeld favorite!

My DPC Story

Their DPC Stories

Physicians are increasingly looking to different practice models, as burnout rates continue to climb. This series explores the DPC model.

Rebecca Andrews MS MD

Rebecca Andrews MS MD

A visionary primary care internal medicine physician focused on system redesign putting physicians and patients first

Jasmine Rivas, MD

Jasmine Rivas, MD

I offer health coaching with the goal of bringing personalized, integrative and supportive physician-lead advocacy during all of life’s stages.

Support A Platform that Celebrates Real Doctors

For just $10 a month, you can help keep this openly accessible site available to all & help us sposnor in more doctors.

I acknowledge that this site is not to be used for medical advice.

Play Video
Our Founder Answers Your BURNING Question


“Why should I become a member of SoMeDocs if I already have my own space online?”