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You are here Home > Beauty and Grooming > Articles
  BODY FAT - by Editor
Fat is a bad word in the world today. Gym memberships are rising day by day; so are the sale of exercycles. Supermodels are becoming thin to the point of disappearing and entire conversations are devoted to the latest diets. And it's all about battling a deadly enemy called FAT.

You hear people talk about women who have thunder thighs and men with beer bellies. This is because in the case of men, fat tends to settle around their abdominal region. Women, on the other hand, tend to accumulate fat around their hips and thighs.

But you just can't escape it. It's something that just isn't going to go away. Fat is essential in the human body as it regulates body temperature, cushions and protects the organs and is the body energy storehouse.

(Note: Body fat percentage is merely the percentage of fat your body contains). Thus, if you weigh 40 kg and your body fat percentage is 10%, it means that you have 4 kg of fat and 36 kg of lean body mass that consists of bone, muscle, organ tissue, blood, etc.

So how much fat is enough, how much is too much and how much is too littleNULL The American College of Sports Medicine has laid down recommended body fat levels for both men and women.

Male:
Low: 6-10% fat
Optimal: 11-17% fat
Moderate: 18-20% fat
Obesity: Greater than 25% fat

Female:
Low: 14-18% fat
Optimal:19-22% fat
Moderate: 23-30% fat
Obesity: Greater than 30% fat

By these standards, men who have a body fat percentage less than 3% and over 20% would be considered unhealthy. Similarly, women with body fat percentage less than 11% and over 30% would fall into the unhealthy category.

Factors affecting body fat

The amount of fat in a person's body depends on his/her body type, dietary habits and level of physical activities.

Genetic body type (somatype)

Body types fall into three basic categories: ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph. Most people are genetically predisposed to develop characteristics of one of these somatypes with secondary traits from other body types.

Ectomorph: possesses a low body fat percentage level, small bone size, a high metabolism, and a small amount of muscle mass and muscle size.

Mesomorph: possesses a low to medium body fat percentage level, medium to large bone size, a medium to high metabolism, and a large amount of muscle mass and muscle size.

Endomorph: possesses a high body fat percentage level, large bone size, a slow metabolism, and a small amount of muscle mass and muscle size.

While there's not much a person can do about his body type as it is genetically predetermined, he can do something about environmental factors within his control like his diet and exercise.

Level of physical activity

Here are some tips on how exercise can help you reduce your body fat:

  • Aerobic excercise for 20 minutes, three times a week will improve your cardiovascular system, increase your metabolism, and burn body fat.
  • Weight/strength training for 20 minutes, three times a week will increase your muscular strength, enhance your muscular endurance, result in a leaner body mass, and will have a favorable affect your bone density.
  • Stretching before and after exercise will increase the range of motion of your joints and muscles. Increasing your flexibility also decreases your risk of injury while exercising.


Diet

Exercise on its own will not make a significant difference in the battle against fat if your diet comprises all the wrong kind of food. Sensible nutritional diets are a must. You need to limit the amount of fat in your diet to not more than 20% of the calories you consume.

Thin and fat

It may surprise you to know that thin is not necessarily the opposite of fat. A thin person may have very little muscle and a high percentage of body fat. Thus, you can have a thin fat person.

Less fat is not better as people are prone to believe. Extremely low body fat, in fact, can be bad for health. Low body fat percentages reduce a person's immunity to disease. It can also lead to loss of bone density, which in turn, puts a person at greater risk of stress fractures. Low body fat can result in the disruption or the complete cessation of a woman's menstrual cycle.

Good fat and bad fat

Even fat can be separated into the good guys and the bad guys. The fat that is located right beneath our skin, known as subcutaneous fat, is the good fat. The bad fat is mostly located in the abdomen and around the internal organs. This is called intra-abdominal or visceral fat. The more visceral fat you have, the higher the level of free fatty acids in your blood. Bad body fat can clog the arteries and affect the functioning of the liver. Genetically, men ten to have about twice the amount of bad fat as women.

Fat cells and muscle cells

Muscle and fat combined usually account for about well over half a person's weight. Men tend to have a higher ratio of muscle to fat than women. A person's weight depends on the number and size of muscle and fat cells. People with more and bigger muscle and/or fat cells will weigh more than a person with fewer and smaller cells.

We are born with a fixed number of muscle cells. This number remains the same for most of our lives. As a person grows, the size of these cells increases. However, an activity like weightlifting can also increase the size of muscle cells.

In the case of fat cells, people are usually born with between 5 billion and 10 billion of them. As we grow older, this number increases to about 20 billion for a thin person and to about 100 billion for an obese person.

Myths about body fat

Myth number 1 is that fat can be turned into muscle, or vice versa. Muscle is a tissue and fat is a substance. Therefore muscle and fat cannot create one another.

Myth number 2 is that if you weigh more on the scale, you must be overweight. This is untrue. Muscle (lean body mass) weighs approximately 75 percent more than fat. In other words, you can increase your actual body weight without increasing your body fat. You can even increase your body weight and at the same time decrease your percentage of body fat.

Myth number 3 is that the weighing scale is the best way to determine whether you are overweight. In fact, the fit of your clothes and examining yourself nude in the mirror are much better ways of checking that you haven't developed any unseemly bulges.

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Name: gayan darshana lakruwan
City:   sri lanka
Comments:   my height is 5.8 and my weightis 80kg .and i look very fat so what to doto reducemy weight.please give me suggestions so that i can reduce my weight
Name: praveena
City:   u,s,a
Comments:   my height is 5.5 and my weight is between 57 to 63. i look thin and weight is always between this . i want reduced my tummy and weight.please give suggestions
Name: Farhat Jafri
City:   Sharjah
Comments:   I am a house wife and am 40 yrs old. Two yrs have passed since my 3rd delivery and in these yrs I have ecumulated a lot of body fat especially on my stomach. Please suggest a helpful diet.
Name: sunita
City:   dubai
Comments:   I am 28 yrs old and my height is 4.11 I had a perfect body before I had a baby, during my pregnancy i gained almost 23kgs and now i weigh 72kgs...I am trying very hard to loose this extra weight that i have put on but have not been successful till date...kindly advice me, what i should do in order to loose this weight..very worried!!!
Name: mariam
City:   kuwait
Comments:   i am 28 years old.i had 2 kids.my weight is 81 kg my height is 5.5 i want to reduce my weight.after my second baby i had put on lot of weight.i am too worried & want to reduce.thanks if u advice me.i am very eager to reduce my weight.
Name: saraswathy
City:   chicago
Comments:   hi mariam, good diet and good exercise ....thats the only way to reduce weight. go to gym at least 4 days a week. Reduce taking rice , instead of that take fresh fruits and vegetables (salads).Drink at least 8 glasses water every day. If you take more water it will reduce your appetite also. good luck bye
Name: swapna
City:   kalyan
Comments:   Hello,I am swapna. My height is 5'1 and my weight 35 kg.I want to lose it as I am not tooo old now.I need your tips to lose my some weight.
Name: tanvir
City:   Dubai
Comments:   my height is 5.5 and my weight is between 66 to 68. i want reduced my tummy and weight.please suggest right workouts & diet ( idian meals )
Name: TanujaTripathy
City:   cuttack
Comments:   Hi, sunita the first mantra is a strong will power to loose weight. do all household work ,exercise 45mins a day drink atleast 2lts of water. Do aerobics 3 times a week for 20mins and ab crunches 3 times a week. Do remember to do cycling, or walking before any exercise for warm up unless any work
Name: Savita
City:   New Delhi
Comments:   My height 5'3.My weight 79. I had two children.I lookforward what to do to reduce my weight before marriage. I had meduim personalty but after having baby. I have put on wieght. I am a working woman.I am very busy. So please give me some suggestions so that ican reduce my weight.
Name: richard
City:   staten island
Comments:   I have been fighting fat for 4 years.With faid diets,and it's not a wining battle.In order to lose the fat u must change ur eating habits(change ur eating habits).What I mean by this,is stop eating the fast food,and drinking the soda,softdrinks.
Name: tina
City:   s'pore
Comments:   I'm 36 mother of 3(14-9yrs)my weight 47.I love to drink pepsi and I get addicted if I don't drink for a day.I try to stop this bad habit and try to drink 8 glass of plain water a day but I can't.Pls. give some suggestions how I can drink 8 glass of water per day.Thank you.
Name: shivangi
City:   mumbai
Comments:   hi this is me me means shivangi i am around 5 2 and i am weighieng 48 kgs give me some suggestions to become thin i want a slim stomach
Name: jk
City:   lawrence
Comments:   I am 16 and weigh 220 pounds I need help so i dont die eary.
Name: veena
City:   dubai
Comments:   My height 5'2.My weight 75. I had two children.I lookforward to reduce my weight. Before marriage I had meduim personalty but after having baby I have put on wieght. I am a working woman.I am very busy. So please give me some suggestions so that i can reduced my tummy and weight.please give suggestions.
Name: tania
City:   s'pore
Comments:   veena,i suggest that u can do some sit-up that can help to reduce ur tummy and after dinner at least wait for 3hrs before u go to bed.
Name: sumi
City:   india
Comments:   Hi,I am 22 yrs old and i am putting on too much weight on my tummy,Kindly suggest me to reduce the fat content .
Name: pamala
City:   secundrabad
Comments:   can you please tell me how to rediuse my stomach i look like as if iam carrying . i had operations , iam having two sons how can i put my stomach in iam 27years old .please let me know. thanking pamala
Name: uravi
City:   surat
Comments:   hi i am 25yrs old weighing about 60kgs ,ihave a 4mth old baby ...could you suggest some remedy to reduce fat arount my tummy & hipps..thanks
Name: ilora
City:   dhaka
Comments:   i m 23 years old and weight is 57 kg and height is 5 feet.my body srructure is medium..i want to reduce my weight 10 kg at least .what i have to do for that.can i maintain a good diet and can do thatNULLi dont want to do exercise and reduce my weight .help me.
Name: sujata
City:   delhi
Comments:   I have a suggestion for u. you know about for health problem or weight loosing remdies.
Name: kavitha
City:   Kerala
Comments:   I am a student and am 20 years old and weight is 56 kg and height is 5'4 feet. I have ecumulated a lot of body fat especially on my stomach.I dont want to do exercise and reduce my weight and faty stomach. Please suggest a helpful diet.
Name: Tamy
City:   Colombo
Comments:   I am a 26 year old married and having a kid and my hight is 5.1'and my weight is 55kg to 56 kgs. Is my weight too much and if its so what weight should i be and if my weight is too much what must my do. What food should I eat.
Name: eva
City:   london
Comments:   This is for swapna from City kalyan who said Comments: Hello,I am swapna. My height is 5'1 and my weight 35 kg.....and that she wants to loose weight'!! are you mad...NULLNULLNULLNULL!!! u are 35kg only already...if u loose weight u will dissappear!!!! just tone up...dont loose anymore weight!!!!
Name: eva
City:   london
Comments:   Best way to get rid stomach fat is to run...doing sit up tightens the muscle...so if u thnk by doin a 1000 sit ups ul get a flat tummy u wont...u got to get rid of the fat before u start to tone!
Name: akshata
City:   bangalore
Comments:   hey guys,my mom s doctor told her that the best way to lose fat and tone up mucsles is to walk,water and diet. now, for how long can you shun away from excerciseNULLbcuz excercise and diet go hand in hand.also,hydrotherapy works to some extent,though not permanently..so the best obviously is to combine the effects of all three--walk,water and diet. walking for twenty minutes on the treadmill or outside(10 in the morning and evening)may not be a problem for all.park your car as far as possible from ur office and walk to it..if you travel by bus or cab get down at a suitable(a little not so convenient distance)and walk.2 lts of water a day is a MUST. and as far as diet is concerned, substitue ghee with butter or margarine..avoid meat,use low calorie sweeteners (like sugar free or equal)for beverages..eg:buy a can of diet coke and two pebbles of sugar free..if it has worked for me,it will work for you.bcuz by following this,ive lost 3 kgs in one month..good luck.
Name: kavitha
City:   singapore
Comments:   Hi... i'm having fats on my hips and upper thighs how am i gonna get ride of tat but my weight and height are oki
Name: Sharimilah
City:   Kuala Lumpur
Comments:   I weigh 85kg and my height is 5'6. I gave birth to a lovely baby boy November 27 2003. I am a working mother. Recently i have joined a fitness centre. (its only been 2 weeks since i've joined) I go 5 times in a week and spend 45min in there. I am also in diet of my own, I only eat 2 slices of whole meal bread wth butter and jam for breakfast, lunch its vegetables only. thats all i feel very very very hungry after having lunch so mix a cup of coffee and drink water. My hips are big and my upper thigh is huge pls suggest a good diet whereby i wont get hungry, any slimming creams that could help to reduce inch. pls help
Name: Nalini
City:   Mumbai
Comments:   Hi, I am 25years old having 9 months baby my height is 5.3 my fat is around tummy & hip Please suggest me some lotion or some treatmeant I am working woman. Please mail me if there is any solution. As people see my tummy they think i am carrying it looks too bad as i am having good look everything but because of tummy & hips it looks to bad. I am requesting you please mail me. eagerly waiting for your mail
Name: mary
City:   karachi
Comments:   Hi, I am 32years old my height is 5.1 my wheight is 140pound i have 3 kids i am good looking but still i am thinking that becase of my fat is around tummy & hip Please suggest me some thing I am working woman. Please mail me if there is any solution. As people see my tummy they think i am carrying it looks too bad as i am having good look everything but because of tummy & hips it looks to bad. I am requesting you please mail me. eagerly waiting for your mail please reply me ASAP. i will be very thankful to you. mary
Name: jyoti
City:   usa
Comments:   Hi, i am 5'4" and my weight is 145pounds. can you tell me the percentage of fat. I have a fat around my thighs, hips and more on my stomach
Name: Umber
City:   lahore
Comments:   hi...im 18 yrs old and my weight is 65kg......ive got fat on my thighs, hips and tummy.....i need to reduce it as soon as i can...plz help
Name: waseem
City:   karachi Pakistan
Comments:   i am 30 year old, height is 5.3". I want to increase my height up to 2" what should i do. Please replay me as soon as possible thanks and regards
Name: iya
City:   philippines
Comments:   please give me simple exercise to loose fats
Name: Vandana
City:   India
Comments:   I am 5 feet. my weight is 50kg. I have bulgy tummy after having baby. What should i do to be in shape.I am in a joint family with lot of work to do.
Name: Vandana
City:   India
Comments:   I am 5 feet. my weight is 50kg. I have bulgy tummy after having baby. What should i do to be in shape.I am in a joint family with lot of work to do.
Name: chandni
City:   lahore
Comments:   i lose my weight specialy on my bally and upper parts of legs.i wanted to lose 20 kg help me thanxz
Name: shifali
City:   india
Comments:   hi, i got married in end of 2003 now i have gained weight around my thighs .ialso have tummyi want to get rid of as soon as poss. give me some good suggestions
Name: rayhana
City:   toronto
Comments:   Hi,i am 21yrs old. i am 5 feet and i weight 55kg my problem is my i look really short. i no u r gonna say try some high heel but i look really short. If i loos some weight would i look tallNULL
Name: iaiaz
City:   lahore
Comments:   My age is 28 years and hight 5.3" i want increase my hight min 2 to 4 inches if possible then plz help me thanks
Name: elaine
City:   malaysia
Comments:   hi, i'm 25 years and 155cm and 46kg. i wanna to know how to take away the fat around tummy in short period in effective way? pls help me. thanks.
Name: sweety
City:   Mumbai
Comments:   Hi,i'm 25 years and my weight is 50 kg from past few months my weight is increasing like any thing esp. the lower portion,i had not increased my diet but dunno why i am putting so much of weight can anybody please help how shud i reduce my hips and thighs
Name: mili
City:   ahmedabad
Comments:   reply me on beauty
Name: savitha
City:   bangalore
Comments:   my height is 5.5 and my weight is between 57 to 63. i look thin and weight is always between this . i want reduced my tummy and weight.please give suggestions
Name: vaishali Rao
City:   Hyderabad
Comments:   I am 26 yrs old girl. I weight is 55 kg and my height is 5.2. I want to reduced my tummy and thighs. what Type of excercise i should do. pls advice me
Name: bhargavi
City:   Chennai
Comments:   I am an employed woman.I weigh 60Kg.My age is 22yrs.I am married.I want to reduce my weight.I would like to know is there any solution for this .
Name: elena
City:   deltona
Comments:   i weight 115. and i am 13 year old. i would like to loss 10lb.
Name: MR NO IT ALL
City:   LONDON
Comments:   HI PEOPLE, THE BEST AND ONLY REALISTIC WAY OF LOSING WEIGHT AT A DRAMATIC PACE IS THROUGH EXERCISE, DONT BOTHER DIETING BECAUSE NOT EATING FOOD ONLY MAKES YOU BIGGER,(SCIENTIFICCALY PROVEN FACT.)
Name: Snehal
City:   Mumbai
Comments:   I AM 50. HEIGHT 5".WE-60Kg I WANT TO REDUCE MY TUMMY& LOSS WEIGHT.PLEASE GUIDE ME.
Name: fairygal
City:   london
Comments:   gd article ppl are so fat conscious u need to go on smart diets where you eat fruit instead of snacks, but still eat meals and drink water instead of fizzy and get and exercise vid they r fun!!
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