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All About Body Fat

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Everybody Has it, Nobody Wants it!

overweight man measuring his body fat with tape measureLearning all about body fat is the first step to being successful at losing weight and toning up.  If you are reading this webpage you most likely have tried to lose weight and reduce your body fat in the past.

Why do most People want to Lose Body Weight?

There are many reasons, the most common being our society generally associates beauty with being slim, slender or athletic. People also want to lower their body fat is because of the problems associated with being overweight such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers and the list goes on and on.

Read on and you will learn why body fat should be the target of your weight loss and fitness goals. You will also learn that losing body fat is a natural side effect of a healthy exercise program and proper diet.


What to do with Body Fat

Body fat serves many functions in our bodies. First and foremost fat serves as our body’s largest energy source.

Each gram of dietary and stored fat contains 9 calories per gram it. Protein and Carbohydrate is only 4 calories per gram.

Fat stores are Limitless Whereas Muscle and Protein Stores are Limited

Unsightly Body FatWhen we are at rest or performing low intensity (low heart rate) activities, our body is burning body fat as its primary fuel source.

If we intake more calories than we burn off, your body will store the excess calories as adipose tissue, or body fat.

Your body does not care where the energy is coming from. Fat, carbohydrates and protein can all be converted to body fat.

Genetics and sex primarily determine where your body stores excess fat. Body fat is stored all over the body although some areas collect more body fat than others.

There are 2 Primary Patterns of Fat Distribution

understanding fat distributionAndroid pattern of fat distribution

  • Characterized by increased fat deposits in the abdominal area.
  • Most common amongst men.
  • Commonly referred to as the Apple.

Gynoid pattern of fat distribution

  • Characterized by increased fat deposits in the thighs and butt.
  • Most common amongst women.
  • Commonly referred to as the Pear.

Everybody has body fat. The problem is excess body fat due to lack of exercise and a high calorie diet. Stored body fat is primarily sub-cutaneous which means under the skin.

Since the skin is about 1mm thick, if you pinch a section of your skin and it is 10mm it means that your are pinching 8mm of fat. This is one of the ideas which body fat measurement uses to determine the percent body fat of an individual.


Why is it so Hard to Lose Body Fat?

Losing body fat has been made out to be more difficult than it actually is. The process of losing body fat all boils down to a simple scientific law. The law of conservation of energy states that energy can never be created nor destroyed.

Simply put, if you consume more calories than your body uses, the excess will be stored as body fat. If you consume less calories than you expend, you will burn body fat as energy.

If you are the average healthy person with an average diet, you do not have to worry too much about burning muscle. Much is made in the media about losing muscle mass, but your body burns muscle mass as a last resort.

People who really need to worry about using muscle for fuel are people with extremely low body fat percentages, such as bodybuilders. If you are vegetarian, vegan or consume very low amounts of protein you may also want to monitor your protein intake to ensure you are not burning protein as fuel.


More On Dreaded Body Fat


All About Body Fat: Exercise

Have you tried exercise to burn body fat before? You have probably tried numerous methods of to burn body fat and know that is not easy.

Many people take the wrong approach to burning body fat. Taking the approach that you are burning fat while sweating on a treadmill is not only the incorrect approach, but a bad approach.

The best method to go about burning body fat is using a complete exercise program which includes weight training and cardio exercise.

Nutrition is of the utmost importance as well. If you do not know why nutrition is so important, you can learn the basics here.


All About Fat Loss? Burn it with Exercise!

Author Profile: Mike Behnken

Mike Behnken is a personal trainer who holds multiple NASM certifications and a MS in Exercise Science. Mike loves fitness, travel, and photography among many other interests.

Disclaimer: The views of the author are his or her own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Ask The Trainer.

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Post Category: Physical Fitness, Weight Loss