Body Fat, what?

What is Body Fat:

Training Aspects Lose Body fatTo continue from lasts week’s article of focusing on body fat over the number on the scale, this article addresses the what and how of body fat, and some effective ways to reduce it. Too many times, people focus on their problem area, such as the abdominal region doing crunches in order to lose their body fat in that specific region.  This technique is called spot training.  The thinking goes that if you have fat in your abdominal region, crunches would reduce the fat in that area.  In reality, this is not the case.  Lets jump into it.

What:  Although it is considered annoying today, not too long ago, body fat was essential for survival.  1 gram of fat yields 9 Calories compared to its sister nutrient, the carbohydrate,  with 1 gram yielding 4 Calories.  This means more than double the energy.

In today’s world, it would be nice to do spot training to rid us of body fat in a specific area.  In reality, our bodies do not work this way.  If you take a look at the figure, you’ll see a bunch of fat cells (the black dots), and an arrow that points to the same amount of fat cells, but smaller in size.  These fat cells are a replica of what occurs in your body.  Once you accumulate fat cells in your body, they are there for good.  This is why when you begin a training program, it must be a lifestyle change!  While the fat cells will decrease in size, you must maintain your exercise regimen in order to keep them small.  In regards to spot training, when you only exercise a certain area in the belief that it will reduce fat there, the body fat will not decrease any quicker in that specific area. Why?  Body fat cells decrease in size at the same time throughout your whole body.  This is why multi-joint exercises (exercise which include various muscle groups) are usually recommended to lose weight.

Now that we know the what, next week we’ll talk about the how. Top ways in losing body fat!

By: Kirill Vaks
Fitness and exercise specialist
BA, CSCS, ACSM-cpt, NFPT-sns 
 

Suggested Articles:
* Top training Myths
* Macro Nutrient density

Suggested Video:
* Effective training 

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