What is Body Fat?
Contrary to the majority of public perception, fat can be a good thing for the human body. The body cannot properly function without fat, as it is imperative to our health and longevity.
So, in what ways does fat help the body? Fat is a source of stored energy that protects the joints and organs and regulates the body. It is mostly responsible for the secretion of particular hormones within the body.
Not enough body fat can be dangerous to your immunity and body processes. Common side effects of low body fat include constipation, mood swings, fatigue, low blood pressure, dental and gum problems, poor concentration, and hair loss. Additionally, it can cause issues like Bradycardia (slow heart rate), Hypoglycemia (a condition caused by low blood sugar), muscle cramps, and Hypogonadism (poorly functioning activity of the ovaries).
Too much stored fat, on the other hand, can also harm the body. The point is that fat in itself is not bad; it is the excess or lack of fat that is.
Importance of knowing your body fat percentage
Body fat percentage is the total mass of fat present in the body, divided by the total body mass, then multiplied by 100. There are generally two classes of body fat. We have essential body fat and storage body fat.
Everyone should make it a priority to know their body fat percentage to see if they’re in a healthy range. The body fat percentage tells you how much weight of your body is fat; it is a critical factor in determining your current overall health.
Eating habits that help lower body fat
Once you realize you have excess body fat, the next thing to do is create a nutrition and fitness plan to lower it. There are a few ways to achieve this, and one of them is through diet. To get rid of excess body fat, begin by watching what you eat to identify problem areas. This will cultivate the start of better eating habits.
Eating lean proteins and a wide range of vegetables will go a long way in helping to lower body fat. Also, it’s best to try to avoid certain things such as sugar, processed foods, and alcohol. Identifying where your calories come from is essential in this process. To achieve a specific fitness goal, whether it’s losing weight or maintaining, it is vital to understand your macronutrient intake. To find out how many macros you should be intaking a day for your body, try our macro calculator.
Macronutrients are a combination of good carbs, fats, and proteins. Often, people trying to lose weight think they should eliminate all carbs. This is not true and largely depends on your body type. Make sure you identify what your body needs, because even if you lose body fat by cutting carbs, your body may be missing other necessary nutrients.
Exercises that promote body fat loss
Apart from nutrition, another way to lower body fat is through exercise. Different body types require different workouts. The same workout will not work equally for everyone in their fitness journey.
A popular type of workout is High-Intensity Interval Training, commonly known as HIIT. HITT helps burn calories in a short amount of time by incorporating compounded exercises, isolation exercises, and cardio. The longer you can keep your heart rate at 75%, the more calories you will continue to burn after the workout is complete.
How often should I train?
The expectation of getting fast results is common. However, if you are new to training or have taken an extended break, then it is advised to start with two to three workouts per week. On the other hand, if you’re already working out, then five or more workouts per week would be appropriate.
Body fat percentage should be taken seriously and used as one key factor for measuring your health.