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BODY FAT

 

Our Body Fat Composition

Our fat composition is a factor of both:

The number of fat cells we have - is genetic and cannot be changed no matter how much we diet or exercise.

The amount of fat contained in those fat cells – can be changed with diet.
These fat cells are either:

  • Subcutaneous - under the skin, surrounding the body
  • Visceral fat - invisible fat within the body cavity. This is dangerous fat, as it collects around the body organs, inhibiting their functioning, particularly the heart

For most people the amount of visceral fat seems to be directly related to the amount of subcutaneous fat.

 

Number of Fat Cells

The number of fat cells are established by mid puberty, based upon our genetics and childhood lifestyle. The number of fats cells is rarely reduced, but can be increased through excessive weight gain due to overeating and inactivity during:

  1. Late childhood and early puberty
  2. Adulthood when extreme amounts of weight are gained
  3. Pregnancy

And only when all present fat cells become full. When all existing fat cells are filled to capacity, new fat cells can be created to provide additional storage.

A typical overweight adult has around 75 billion fat cells; with this number increasing to 250 - 300 billion in obesity.

 

Amount of Fat in Cells

When we burn fat, the amount of fat stored within each fat cell decreases, rather than the number of fat cells reducing. The fat cell simply shrinks in volume. When you restrict your calorie intake to that below your daily requirement, fat is emptied from the fat cells, and no further fat cells will be produced.

 

Fat Cell Distribution

Each person distributes their fat cells proportionately in different regions, by varying amounts. As such, when you ‘put on weight’ you may notice that more fat appears to be on one particular part of the body. In reality the fat has been evenly distributed amongst the fat cells, its just the volume of fats cells that gives the impression of localised fat deposits.

A women with very low body fat [10%] may have a high number of fat cells around the stomach. This may make her look fatter compared to a woman with 15% body fat, where the fat cells are more evenly distributed over the body.

How to measure body fat

 
125 x 125 Firm Tummy Square Button
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