By: Rose Lu

The Meaning of Fat

How a person’s fat is distributed in the body can actually say a lot about the person. Body fat distribution is based on four factors: genes, gender, age and hormone levels.

According to Health line, a health organization, 50% of body fat distribution is determined by genes, for example, if a family is heavy set on the buttocks or the hips, that individual will most likely inherit those.

Healthy male body fat levels range from 6% to 24%, while females’ healthy body fat levels range from 14% to 31%. Men are more prone to getting fat around their midsection, or stomachs, while women are more likely to gain bigger buttocks and hips.

Eventually when people age, they tend to gain higher levels of body fat overall because of a slower metabolism and the loss of muscle tissues. According to Better Health Channel, hormone imbalances also cause belly fat, which can be avoided by exercising.

There a three types of body fat: Subcutaneous, which is all over the body but mainly around the buttocks, hips and thighs. Visceral, which is around the abs, the organs or the stomach area; and brown, which is around the shoulders and chest.

The subcutaneous stores energy used for later. Visceral fat is the unhealthiest as it can induce insulin resistance  and cause diabetes. According to a study performed by Kaiser Permanente, people with large amounts of fat in their stomachs have a higher chance of getting dementia. Brown is fat that can stimulate calorie loss, one of its few jobs.

BMI (body mass index) isn’t the best predictor for weight levels. According to TIME, the BMI reader can’t differentiate between fat and muscle. If the person’s BMI is in the overweight or obese category, it’s most likely that that person has an unhealthy amount of visceral fat. According to Healthline, 22% of men and 8% of women that are considered normal actually have high amounts of visceral fat.

It’s easy to gain visceral fat by eating too much junk food or saturated fats, sitting down all the time, and letting stress take control. Which is almost exactly what many of us do in school. Junk food and saturated fat is easily absorbed into the bloodstream, causing a spike in insulin or a fat deposit hormone.

Sitting also causes an immense amount of visceral fat in our bodies. Fat surrounds our organs after sitting down for long periods of time, according to a study conducted by Obesity Society.

Stress forces our bodies to produce cortisol and adrenalin, two stress hormones. Cortisol and adrenalin prompt the body to release glucose and stored fat in preparation to run away from danger. This pertains more to the cavemen who needed these two hormones to get away from predators, whereas we are sitting and releasing the hormones. Since we don’t actually burn the hormones away, they stayin our bodies and store.

Therefore, don’t forget to also manage stress. Turn non-constructive worry into constructive and tackle the assignments and issues at hand. If it’s out of your control, let it go. Remember to also take breaks between studying and working. Many of us forget to do that and it strains our system and ourselves.

There are many other ways to also decrease visceral fat production within our bodies.

One is to choose complex carbs and proteins over sugar and junk food. If food is digested at a slower rate, less insulin will be produced.

Exercising is another great way to reduce fat as it increases muscle mass and reduces body fats. It gets the body working and pumping. Last but not least, sleep early. Studies show that those who slept for five hours have a 32% increase in visceral fat while those who sleep for six to seven hours only got an increase of 13%.

 

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