This is a debatable issue. According to Swedish researchers, fat cells in the body remain the same during adulthood. Losing or gaining weight only affects how large those cells become, not their number. Even when fat cells are removed by liposuction, the body would produce fat cells to replenish those lost . The body’s natural processes renew about 10 per cent of fat cells every year.
The only exception to this is significant weight gain , during which the body produces new, additional fat cells. This happens when the fat cells have expanded and have reached their limit. The actual stretching of the fat cell stimulates the release of chemicals, which signals the body to make new fat cells from dormant cells . These cells mature into normal adipocytes or fat cells.
The question remains, what determines the number of fat cells an adult body has. The process that takes place up until puberty, which determines how many fat cells you end up with, is still a mystery.
How much weight gain is required to produce new fat cells?
This depends on the person. An average man with a 15% body fat has 24 pounds of body fat which is about 84,000 calories of stored energy or so, and burns around 2,400 calories per day. Obese individuals may have upwards of 50 pounds of stored fat with 175,000 calories of stored energy. Exceeding one’s calorific limit may trigger the body’s response system to produce more fat. Thus how much weight gain a person needs to produce new fat cells depends on:
- Current number of fat cells
- Current percentage of body fat
- Metabolic rate