According to a study, by researchers at Oxford University, fat in foods can be converted into tissue in the body within hours.
For a large meal, containing 30 grams of fat, two to three teaspoons of fat can be added to waists in just hours, according to researchers Fredrik Karpe and Keith Frayne.
When people overeat, fat can also be moved into tissue around the hips, rear and thighs.
The study said that the first fat from any meal enters the blood around an hour after being ingested.
Karpe, a professor of metabolic medicine, said: “The process is very fast. The cells in the adipose tissue around the waist catch the fat droplets as the blood carries them and incorporates them into the cells for storage."
“If you eat too much, you don’t get into this phase of starting to mobilize it. There will just be constant accumulation and you will start to put on weight.”
In a paper published in the Physiological Reviews, the scientists sais that fit people found it easier to get rid of unwanted fat, because exercise gives them a long-term boost to fat-burning mechanisms.