Body Fat Facts You Need To Know
Body fat facts are separated from fiction today. These 10 facts you need to know:
Body Fat Plays an Important Role
Most of us demonize body fat, but first on our body fat facts list is the important role of body fat.
- Body fat stores energy for later use
- It helps regulate our body temperature
- Our organs are protected by body fat
- Hormones and proteins talk to each other within our fat to keep our body running (growth & immune system functions happen here)
So before you poo-poo your fat too much, it’s important to know these important body fat facts!
Disease (“Diss-Ease”) Comes From Too Much Fat
On the other end of the spectrum, some people are too accepting of fat. There is a point where too much body fat is unhealthy. Here are some of the ailments that can result from too much body fat:
- heart disease
- high blood pressure
- sleep apnea
- some cancers
Body Mass Index Is a Tool You Can Use
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a general scale based on you height and your weight. A body mass of 25 – 29.9 means you are overweight. A BMI over 30 means you are obese.
Healthy BMI is between 19 and 25. A good goal for optimal health is to be on the lower end of the “normal’ range when it comes to Body Mass Index. Some symptoms or ailments may start to creep in as your BMI number increases.
Exercise Can Help Weight Loss
There is a common myth that lifting weights and building muscle will impede weight loss. Quite the opposite is true, in fact! You can read more about fat loss vs weight loss here: NRF: Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss
Generally speaking, when you exercise, you utilize or “burn” more calories. It’s essential not to give yourself permission to eat more just because you exercised. Keeping your calories in a healthy range – and eating quality, real food – while adding fitness to your routine is a great way to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
Belly Fat Tends to be Most Dangerous
An easy measure on our body fat facts list is waist circumference. Storing fat in your belly tends to lead to a higher risk of trouble such as:
- diabetes (type 2)
- heart disease
For men, it seems to keep the waist below 40 inches. For women (who are not pregnant) it is important to stay below 35 inches for better health.
Weight Loss Is Not Linear
One of the most frustrating things in weight loss is that the journey is rarely (if ever) linear. It’s common to lose weight quickly at the beginning of the journey (especially if you have a lot of weight to lose), and then more slowly as you get closer to your healthy weight. It’s common to plateau along your journey.
Scientifically, a pound of fat consists of 3,500 calories. If you cut out 500 calories per day out of your diet, you can lose a pound a week. Studies are consistently showing that losing weight more slowly tends to be healthier and longer lasting results. Take your time losing weight. Give your body time to adjust. Work on replacing habits, just small changes, one at a time.
Fat is an Important Component To Hair & Skin
Before we go too far on the path of thinking fat is all bad, let’s keep our body fat facts real. Fat is an important component to keeping healthy hair, skin, and nails. Consuming healthy fats is also good for heart health and brain health. Some healthy fats include:
- avocado and avocado oil
- nut and seed butters
- olives and olive oil
Obesity In Children Has Skyrocketed
Since 1980, obesity in children has tripled. The latest statistic shows that about 17% of children between the age of 2 and 17 are obese (and more are overweight). This leads to higher risk of those diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Living with these conditions longer causes a longer stress on the body. You may have heard that this may be the first generation that doesn’t live as long as their parents’ generation.
Cholesterol Plays a Role, Too
Cholesterol may be inherited. The LDL (“lousy” or “bad” cholesterol) can certainly come from your genetics. However, excess body fat and poor eating habits also raise the level of LDLs. Unfortunately, many people wait until their doctor tells them to eat better, get regular exercise, and lose weight before they seek out a healthy routine. (Hey, at Narrow Road Fitness, we support you on this journey!) 🙂
Your Social Network Is Important To Your Health
Friends and family tend to share similar health habits. If your friends encourage you to exercise, you are more likely to exercise. If they convince you to have seconds of dessert, you are more likely to indulge. Healthy habits (and poor habits) are contagious. You are also likely to share similar views on what a healthy body composition looks like. The stronger the relationship, the more effect you have on each other.
Connect With Us
Narrow Road Fitness provides fitness and nutrition curriculum, training, and support for you (yes, you!) to host a fitness and nutrition program at your church or organization. Fitness and nutrition are just the vehicle. More importantly, we help your group grow meaningful relationships, stay rooted in Bible Scripture throughout the week, and give you the opportunity to invite the community into your building, get to now you (and your organization), and begin a new relationship with Jesus!