"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

A healthy strategy to take a look at body fat

You need some body fat for optimal health. However, where it’s stored can affect your risk of health problems.

Body Fat Facts

This is how your body stores fat. When you eat, the most important components of food – proteins, carbohydrates, and dietary fats – are broken down and metabolized mostly as energy to fuel the fundamental biological processes that keep you alive and kicking. They beat

Any unused fuel is stored as lipids (fat molecules) in fat cells across the body, called adipocytes. The amount of this stored fuel – measured in calories – determines how much fat cells grow. In fact, fat cells can expand or shrink in size by an element of fifty.

You lose fat cells over time, and when you develop into an adult, the number stays roughly the identical. You also cannot control where fat is stored in your body. “Factors such as body type, age, hormones, and genetic predisposition all determine where excess fat ends up,” says Dr. Upwin.

Stored fat in itself is just not bad. The body needs fat reserves for emergency energy, and fat helps insulate the body and protect vital organs. Fat cells also release leptin, a hormone that acts on the brain to scale back appetite and help regulate body weight.

It's how much fat you could have in your body, and where, that affects your health. In most individuals, about 90% of body fat is subcutaneous, meaning it’s in a layer slightly below the skin. The remaining 10% is visceral fat, which is positioned under the abdominal wall and in areas across the liver, intestines and other organs. Of the 2, visceral fat is probably the most problematic: having an excessive amount of increases the chance of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and fatty liver. While fat is practically in every single place on the body—chest, back, stomach, glutes—the midsection is where most men see (and feel) the majority.

Photo: © Creative Credit/Getty Images

Why is fat formed within the body? It's a myth that eating fat makes you fat, and in truth the alternative could also be true. “Many natural foods that are high in healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats can make you feel full faster because fat is slower to digest,” says Dr. Upwin. She explains that the strict Mediterranean weight-reduction plan, which has recently been ranked because the healthiest weight-reduction plan, is 40% to 50% fat.

Weight gain is brought on by eating too many calories, whatever the source. The biggest calorie culprits are ultra-processed foods, akin to frozen pizza, soda, fast foods, and salty snacks. According to a study published online on October 14, 2021, Americans are eating greater than ever before. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which examined the each day eating habits of nearly 41,000 adults over an 18-year period.

Another study found that folks whose diets were high in ultra-processed foods ate about 500 more calories per day than those that ate few of them. “Research shows that ultra-processed foods trick your brain into eating more calories than if you were eating whole foods or unprocessed foods,” says Dr. Upwin. . “If your body doesn't use those extra calories, they get stored as fat, and that's why people gain weight.”

Fuel consumption

There are alternative ways to burn excess stored fat. The first is to scale back your calorie intake. When you eat fewer calories than your body needs, your body turns stored fat into usable energy for fuel. As a result, fat cells develop into smaller, and also you shed some pounds.

A low-carb weight-reduction plan follows this approach because carbohydrates are the body's primary source of calories. Research has shown that a low-carb weight-reduction plan will help with weight reduction, however the effect may wear off after about six months to a yr. “Part of the problem is that it's hard to maintain a low-carbohydrate diet for long,” says Dr. Upwin.

That's why many nutritionists promote a healthy weight-reduction plan that features adequate amounts of protein, carbohydrates, and fats, in addition to essential vitamins and minerals. “A low-carb diet can help in the short term, but if you don't adjust your overall eating habits, you can gain it all back,” says Dr. Upwin.

Another strategy to burn fat and shrink fat cells is thru exercise. Moderate-intensity aerobic exercise akin to brisk walking, cycling, and swimming can force the body to tap into stored fat for energy. (The guidelines recommend that you simply get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.) However, how quickly your body burns fat is determined by your body size and exercise intensity.

Resistance (weight) training also can help older men lose excess stored fat by increasing muscle mass. “Men naturally lose muscle mass as they age, and muscle gain can cause their bodies to burn more calories,” says Dr. Upwin.

Analysis published online on 21 September 2021 Sports medicine It found that folks who engaged in 45 to 60 minutes of resistance training two to thrice per week for five months reduced each visceral fat and total body fat.

“But if you want to lose weight, you can't rely on exercise alone. You'll also need to reduce your calorie intake,” says Dr. Upwin. “And to help keep it off, you need to do resistance training at least two to three times a week.”

Getty Images