Fat is the body's way of storing excess nourishment for later use. Our bodies need a certain amount of fat for insulation, energy storage, hormone production, and other functions.

Function of Body Fat:

  • Provide us with warmth. It acts like an insulator trapping heat in our bodies.
  • Supplies our body with energy.
  • Act as a storehouse for essential vitamins such as Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Vitamin E, which are soluble in fat.
  • Acts like a padding that protects the vital organ like the liver, kidneys and heart, and helps our body to stay at the right temperature.
  • Important in the production of some hormones. When a woman’s body fat drops too low, she will stop menstruating.
  • Produces chemical messengers that are important for fertility (we need a certain amount of fat on our hips and thighs to stay in tip-top reproductive shape).
  • Can help the nervous system function effectively; the brain is mostly made of fat.
body fat chartCredit: bodyspex.comCredit: bodyspex.com

Body Fat Fact:

  • Two people can have the same height and weight, but very different percentages of body fat.
  • Women need more body fat than men. Breasts are almost all fat, and women have more fat around their hips.
  • As people get older, their muscles tend to shrink, and they tend to accumulate visceral fat (fat that surrounds the inner organs). This is at least partially related to the decline in testosterone and other hormones.

Causes of Fat Accumulation:

  • Genetics. Some people are just genetically programmed to store more fat; but they can overcome this with a strong program.
  • Diet. Most people just want to eat those foods high in calories but low in nutrient and fiber. Example: burgers, fried foods and soda.
  • Hormonal imbalance. Most women have hormonal imbalances such as high estrogen and/or low progesterone levels. If your hormones are out of balance, your metabolism is messed up. In addition, blood-sugar imbalance meaning blood-sugar that goes up and down stimulates the release of insulin, which causes fat storage.
  • Toxins. If your body is full of toxins, your systems cannot work properly. As a result, your body stores fat and retains water. That’s why detoxification is very important for people with weight problems.
  • Stress. Emotional problems are a major contributor to weight gain. For example people eat junk food and drink alcoholic beverages because they are filling a void for their loneliness, depression, or some other emotion.

How Reduce Body Fat:

  • Exercise.  It is very important exercise to burn that fat and speed up your metabolism. Studies found that women who dieted and engaged in brisk walking for 30 minutes or more, three times a week, reduced the size of their abdominal fat cells by 18%, compared to women who only dieted. Weightlifting can also help reduce the fat, because lifting weight can help build muscle and muscle burn fat. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn in a 24 hour period.
  • Water. Drinking enough water is very important for weight loss. Even a slight dehydration will cause the body to store water, and water retention is a large factor in weight gain. You should drink at least eight to twelve 8-ounce glasses of water daily. Also, avoid substances that cause dehydration such as caffeine (coffee), salt and alcohol.
  • Diet. A good diet is not about reducing the amount of food you eat but about learning what to eat and how to eat wiser. Ideally, instead of three large meals, try to consume six smaller meals in the day. By eating more meals of lesser calories in a day, you are likely to use up the calories between meals than store them. Also eat food that supplies important nutrient in the body and aids in the removal of toxin in the body.