Personal Fat Threshold (PFT)

24/11/2022
Shaun Waso
Diabetes | Inflammation | Insulin

What does the term Personal Fat Threshold mean? Why is it an important concept to understand? Pay attention if you are suffering from being overweight, diabetes, or chronic inflammation.

What is PFT?

PFT is a hypothesis put forward by Roy Taylor and Rury R Holman in 2014 in their study:

Normal weight individuals who develop type 2 diabetes: the personal fat threshold

The hypothesis says that each individual has a genetic disposition toward fat storage. This disposition determines how likely a person is for developing lifestyle disease.

Our bodies have evolved to store energy so we can survive periods where food is scarce. Today, for most, food is quite abundant. The oversupply of food is causing humans to store a lot of energy in the form of fat. This fat storage has a limit and each person has their own limit. Your genes determine the limit.

When your fat storage capacity runs out, you have reached your Personal Fat Threshold.

What happens when I reach my PFT?

At your PFT your body struggles to store excess energy. Excess energy is the oversupply of carbohydrates and fats. Your body has to store these as too much-circulating energy causes inflammation.

The result is your body starts storing excess energy in the form of fat, in places where it should not go.

Fat starts accumulating around and inside your organs as visceral fat.

Your inflammation levels increase causing arterial damage and disease.

You develop Type 2 diabetes

The correlation between Body Mass Index (BMI) and PFT

Your BMI is a function of your height and weight. It’s an imperfect measure of one’s ideal healthy weight range, but it offers a handy guideline.

The research showed that as much as 36% of people with a healthy weight (BMI < 25) are already at their PFT.

A healthy weight as determined by our BMI will not prevent us from developing a lifestyle disease.

How to determine your PFT

You are probably wondering whether you are at your PFT. Well, it’s actually quite easy to determine whether you are at your PFT or not.

The easiest way to test is to measure your Blood Glucose levels as soon as you wake up.

If it’s over 100 mg/dL or 5.6 mmol/L, then you’re above your personal fat threshold. Measure your blood glucose over a couple of mornings as the readings will change.

You can use a simple blood glucose monitor (or a continuous glucose monitor if you already have one).

I am over my PFT, what now?

Don’t panic! You can reverse the situation by implementing a few lifestyle changes. Your body will become more insulin sensitive. You will lose excess weight and regain the capacity to manage the energy in your body.

  • Increase your lean protein intake
  • Cut out highly processed foods
  • Start an intermittent fasting routine
  • Exercise

The Take-Away

The PFT hypothesis suggests that each individual has their own personal fat threshold (PFT). Your PFT determines how much fat you can put on before problems begin to develop such as the accumulation of fat around your organs. This can then lead to insulin resistance and then type 2 diabetes.

You can measure your own PFT and act to ensure you remain under your PFT and avoid the probability of contracting lifestyle diseases.

For some excellent articles on the topic go to:

https://optimisingnutrition.com/personal-fat-threshold/

https://www.weightcrafters.com/personal-fat-threshold-pft/

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