Lower Body Fat
We are all made up of fat, muscle, bones, organs, and more. But besides our weight, what matters most is how all of these elements are distributed. Measuring your body fat is one of the best ways to gauge the effectiveness of your diet and workout routine. Now let’s take a closer look at what is important for you to know about body fat.
What do we mean by body fat?
Body fat is one of the main constituents of your body. It protects organs, envelops the joints, regulates body temperature, stores vitamins and supplies your body with energy. To better understand its role, it is important to know that there are two different types: so-called essential body fat and so-called non-essential fat.
Your body uses essential body fat to function properly. The latter is stored in your bones, organs, central nervous system and muscles. This type of fat helps regulate your body temperature, provides a layer of protection for your internal organs, and provides you with energy when you are sick.
Nonessential body fat, also known as excess body fat, is not necessary for the body’s vital functions. This excess fat is located in the places where your body stores the energy that it uses in times of dire need. Having too much excess fat can influence your health in a big way. It is especially diets too high in calories that affect this rate of non-essential fat. Even if the foods you eat are healthy and balanced, or provide you with significant benefits, your body will store them as fat if you eat too much of it. Lack of physical activity can also be the cause of non-essential body fat gain.
How is it measured?
It is very important to measure your body fat so that you can determine your health and fitness level. Always remember that weight alone is not a formal indicator of good health. BMI (Body Mass Index), also very often used as a health indicator, is not as accurate as body fat, since it is calculated by dividing weight by height. Therefore, it makes no distinction between pounds of fat mass and those of lean mass or muscle. This is why you should measure your body fat percentage instead.
There are several ways to do this, some more precise and more complex than others. For example, it is possible to use the skin fold technique, which consists in measuring, using a caliper, the thickness of the skin folds at different places on the body. There is also the “high-tech” BOD POD, which is a rather new technique. It is a tracking system to assess a person’s body composition. There is also another approach called BIA (bioelectrical impedance analysis). The latter is commonly and mainly used by fitness establishments. The principle on which this method is based is to send an electrical signal through your body. As fat contains only a small amount of water,Each of these methods should ideally be performed by a health and athletic professional. Visit your local gym to find out what tools are available to you to measure your body fat.
What is your ideal body fat level?
For men, the overall body fat percentage should be between 6% and 24% and for women, between 14% and 31%.
Here is an overview of the existing standards for body fat ratios for men and women. The table below shows you your level of fitness based on the percentage of fat in your body:
|Essential fat||2 – 5%||10 – 13%|
|Athlete||6 – 13%||14 – 20%|
|In shape||14 – 17%||21 – 24%|
|Acceptable||18 – 24%||25 – 31%|
|Obese||25% and more||32% and more|
Please keep in mind that this rate changes with age. However, it should still be within a range considered healthy.
Why is there a difference between men and women?
On average, women have between 6% and 11% more body fat than men. By nature, this difference is normal and due to the fact that at some point in their life women are likely to get pregnant. They must therefore store energy in the form of fat in order to be able to feed a baby from their own reserves. This is the reason why women have more enzymes that can store fat and less enzymes that can burn fat. In addition, estrogen produced in women activates fat-storing enzymes and causes them to multiply.
What happens if your body fat count is too high?
It is not only a question here of the layer of fat and the bulges which envelop your thighs and your bust. This is because having too much body fat can also lead to health problems, especially if you have a poor diet and little or no physical exercise. Obesity can cause type 2 diabetes, has been linked to cancer, and increases the risk of stroke. Too much body fat can also lead to heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The higher your body fat percentage, the more likely you are to develop chronic disease. But don’t be fooled: Even if you are not overweight, your body fat level may still be too high.
What happens if your body fat level is too low?
The reverse situation is also possible, you may not have enough body fat. This is because you must have a minimum amount of it in your body, because, in addition to reducing your athletic performance, too low a body fat level will also significantly harm your health. Thus, it is possible that you are suffering from a deficiency of fat-soluble vitamins, which can only be absorbed by the body with fat. Other important factors that should not be overlooked: You are at risk of developing more diseases, such as heart disease, gastrointestinal problems, and damage to the nervous system, your organs are also at risk of shrinking, and your immune system may be affected. Otherwise, If you don’t have enough fat and are in a calorie deficit, your body will start to draw energy from your muscles, which will generally weaken you. For a woman, it can also affect the success of her pregnancies.
So, to enjoy a long, healthy, quality life, make sure you are providing your body with sufficient amounts of healthy fatty acids .
How to decrease your body fat level?
Engaging in physical activity and eating a healthy, balanced diet are the keys to lowering your body fat level. So eat a healthy, balanced diet that is low in bad fats and try to reduce the amount of food you eat each day so as to create a calorie deficit , which will help you lose weight. Also make sure you are getting enough protein to avoid losing muscle mass.
Combine your healthy, balanced diet with any kind of physical activity that is done frequently enough, and then you will be able to lower your fat levels. However, keep in mind that high intensity interval training (HIIT) is the most effective and fastest physical activity for fat loss. In addition to all this, it is essential to have regular sleep cycles, including at least 7 hours of sleep per night.
As you can see, fat is an essential component of the human body. But only in moderation. You should always keep your body at a healthy rate so that you can enjoy long-term good health and fitness. So be sure to continue to combine your workout routine with a balanced diet.