Significance of Body Fat

Significance of Body Fat, genhealthtips

Significance of Body Fat is the amount of fat there is in the body and is often mistaken as an unwanted component of the body. Most people don’t realize that fat is essential for the body to carry out functions like regulating body temperature, cushioning, and insulating the organs and tissues. The main form in which energy is stored in the body is also fat. It is only when the quantity of fat exceeds the healthy levels that people become overweight and obese.

Body Fat Table Given by the American Council on Exercise:

Classification Women (fat %) Men (fat %)
Essential Fat 10 – 12% 2-4%
Athletes 14-20% 6-13%
Fitness 21-24% 14-17%
Acceptable 25-31% 18-25%
Obese 32% plus 25% plus

Body Fat Table Given by the American Dietetics Association:

Classification Women (fat %) Men (fat %)
Normal 15-25% 10-20%
Overweight 25.1-29.9% 20.1-24.4%
Obese 30% plus 25% plus

There is nothing complicated about body fat, it is just the percentage or amount of fat there is in the body. So if it is said that a person weighs 150lbs and has 15lbs fat in the body then the body fat percentage is 10%.

Though there is no fixed or definitive percentage of body fat classifications the two tables give above can be used as broad guidelines. These tables may not be exactly similar but they are somewhat the same. Whatever may be the difference in the figures, you must have realized that while trying to lose weight you should aim to eliminate all the fat from the body. Fat loss should be proportional to body fat otherwise it would become unhealthy.

Variations in Body Fat through the Journey of Life

Body fat does not remain constant throughout our life it keeps changing with age. The broad age specific changes have been mentioned below:

Adolescence is a period when the body is growing and changes in the composition of the body occur. It is not just body fat, even lean body mass changes. During this phase boys gain more lean body mass while the body fat of girls goes up. This is perfectly normal, even the tables given above show that girls have more body fat than boys.

During this phase the body fat percentage of women significantly differs from men. Due to the fact that women carry out the process of reproduction they require a higher percentage of body fat. There is also a rise in the body fat percentage of men, this happens with age and is normal.

There is nothing wrong with women gaining weight when they are pregnant, in Significance of Body Fat they should gain weight during this period. Normally the baby will account for almost 1/3rd of the weight that is gained. During this phase the fat gained is needed for the production of milk after the baby is born. Even the baby gains weight as the pregnancy proceeds.

You may not have known this but during lactation the body requires even more energy than during pregnancy. When a woman is breastfeeding her baby the body composition usually remains different from before pregnancy.

When we are in the latter part of our lives our body looses muscle mass and therefore there is a gain in the body fat percentage.

Eliminating Excess Body Fat

Obese and overweight individuals often try to find quick fix solutions when trying to loose weight. The most popular among these methods are fad diets, but these diets usually help in loosing weight by depriving the body of essential nutrients. As a result they often end up loosing essential body fat.

It is no secret that the best way to loose weight is by burning more calories than what is consumed. So this means that you need to eat smaller amounts and also exercise. It may not be easy in the beginning as it is hard to restrict your diet while you are getting started. To make things you can take the help of diet pills like Phentermine, Adipex or Meridia. Drugs like Phentermine are essentially appetite suppressants, so while you are using them you won’t feel as hungry as before. When you eat less and also practice exercise you will be on the fast track of loosing weight. But always remember that the goal should be reasonable and it should focus on attaining healthy levels of body fat rather than eliminating all the Significance of Body Fat.

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