So, tell me: What really is the point of having to wear excess amounts of calories as fat. They would look so much better on me stored as glycogen.
I agree 100%.
Especially, if you’re planning on trying on and fitting into that sexy little bikini while sporting your diamond shaped washboard 6-er for the beach this summer.
But this objective is just a relatively selfish, individual, short-term goal. Unfortunately, your genes have something else planned for you, and on a significantly broader time scale.
Surviving through lean, cold winters and providing a continuous downstream legacy of fat and sassy little yous is their main concern. And your ability to be able to store large quantities of calories fast and efficiently is quite an advantage to this end.
It wasn’t the lean and hungry warriors out hunting, fighting, freezing & working through calories at high rates of speed in the form of readily available but relatively small glycogen stores who survived best. It was those others, those less confrontational, cleverly economical ones. Hiding out, safe in hibernation mode, allowing others to do the hard and bloody work, skulking and lustily procreating in those nice, warm caves, storing their calories far more efficiently in the form of fat; these were the ones who saw the spring sun rise over the beautiful and savage prehistoric ice-age glaciers most often.
And all that jiggly, jelly-like mass crowding around your midsection, taking up valuable space on your thighs and buttocks, is their legacy to you.
Glycogen is a relatively fast burning fuel. Most living creatures, humans amongst them, store very little of it in muscle tissue, perhaps 500–1000 kcal worth (less than a day’s rations). Fat, on the other hand, can be stored in efficient, if unsightly, parcels of about 3500 kcals per pound.
The Average Joe (or Joess) lugs at least 25–30 lbs. worth of fat around (and some considerably more). If this amount were magically reconstituted as carry on luggage, most of us would be in real danger of paying the overweight toll getting ourselves through the boarding gate and onto EasyJet.
This kind of greasy, wobbly, ungainly caloric excess will generously provide its owner with a minimum of 100,000kcals worth of stored energy to draw upon in times of food scarcity. An amount that will most likely last, even on the longest intercontinental flight, while allowing extra time for as many ridiculous and annoying delays at Heathrow as you like.
So there you have it, an oversimplified answer to your question. Having a nice, fat caloric bank balance that will provide its holder a much higher chance of survival than more readily accessible but smaller stores of available glycogen would ever allow is the reason.