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can you gain fat cells

Can you gain fat cells

Can you gain fat cells in adulthood

The number of fat cells, also known as adipose cells, in your body generally remains relatively constant throughout adulthood. During periods of moderate weight gain, existing fat cells can expand in size to store more fat, and during weight loss, fat cells can shrink as the stored fat is used for energy. 

The process of gaining fat involves the storage of excess energy in the form of triglycerides within existing fat cells. When you consume more calories than your body needs, the excess energy is stored in these fat cells. If this pattern continues, fat cells can expand to accommodate the additional storage needs.

Genetics, age, and other factors can influence the distribution and number of fat cells in your body.


While you can't create new fat cells easily, lifestyle choices, including diet and exercise, can play a significant role in the size and function of existing fat cells. The only way to prevent excess energy being stored as fat is to have a healthy lifestyle and limit overconsumption of calories. 

How many fat cells do we have?

The number of fat cells (adipocytes) in an adult is highly variable and can depend on various factors, including genetics, age, sex, and overall body composition. Estimates suggest that the average adult has around 30 billion to 70 billion fat cells. However, these numbers can vary widely.

Gaining and losing fat cells

Can you gain fat cells as a result of significant weight gain?

The formation of new fat cells, a process known as adipogenesis, can occur during periods of excessive and prolonged weight gain, especially in childhood and adolescence. During these critical developmental stages, the body may increase the number of fat cells (adipocytes) to accommodate the extra energy storage needed for the increased body weight.

Once you reach adulthood, excessive weight gain in adults primarily involves the enlargement of existing fat cells as they store more triglycerides (fat) to meet the increased energy demands. However, there are limitations to how much fat can be stored in existing fat cells, and new fat cells will be created through the multiplication of existing cells that are pushed to their limit.

Newly created cells are identical to existing cells an become part of the body in the same way. They body does not expel these new cells once they are no longer of use as a result of weight loss. Both the original and new fat cells remain in place regardless of further weight fluctuations. The only way to prevent gaining new cells is to prevent significant weight gain.

Can you remove or reduce the amount of fat cells in the body?

There are various treatments and procedures designed to remove or reduce fat cells. Fat reduction treatments can be divided into 2 categories; those that remove or destroy fat cells, and those that reduce stored fat within the fat cell, without reducing fat cell count. 


The effectiveness and safety of fat cell and fat reduction treatments can vary, and results may differ from person to person.

Only during surgery can fat cells be removed from the body outright. Fat cells are removed through a well-known surgical procedure called liposuction. Non-surgical alternatives to liposuction where fat cells are reduced over time instead of removed include fat freezing, radiofrequency and some fat loss injections. The most common fat reduction treatment for fat reduction without reducing fat cells is ultrasound cavitation.   

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