The weather has been truly gorgeous over the past few weeks. It’s getting warmer, but that oppressive summer heat has yet to hit us. We all know it’s coming soon, though. As the wardrobe starts to trend toward lighter, shorter attire, many people become more aware of those bulging bits and
pieces so cleverly hid during the colder months. So now you are panicking—hitting the gym, trying a series of quick fix diets—only to succumb to the BBQ spread at that weekend picnic. Why is it so hard? Sometimes, you need to get educated to make it easier—Or to shock you into the realization that losing weight can be hard, but is doable!
So here it is, the truth about fat…
1. There are 3 types of fat:
Structural fat, which protects the joints and organs of the body.
Normal fat reserves, which are found throughout our body and used for normal, everyday functioning.
Abnormal fat reserves, which for most of us show up in our hips, thighs, buttocks, waist, stomach, etc. These abnormal fat reserves are very difficult to get rid of and tend to be the most difficult areas in which to lose inches.
Why is losing weight so hard? Normal fat reserves are what the body normally uses for energy. Abnormal fat is only released if pregnant or in starvation mode (or with a lifestyle change to healthy eating and regular exercise).
2. Fat isn’t as evil as we all make it out to be. Everyone requires body fat for normal, healthy functioning. An average, size 10, female carries approximately 100,000 calories of fat on her body. So don’t get caught up in having a bad mental attitude about fat in general, just be aware of the types you’re consuming and focus on the “good” fats.
3. Most people gain an average of just 1 gram of extra body fat a day. That doesn’t sound like much, and it isn’t in the short term—but whip out a calculator and do some basic math. If the average person gains 365 grams a year after 25, it means that by the time they are 50 they will have gained 20 pounds of excess body fat (or that “middle-age pooch” we all dread).
4. 1 pound of body fat is equal to 3,500 calories. If you’re actively trying to lose weight through exercise and burning 300 calories per workout, it will take almost 12 workouts to lose one pound. Diet is important! If you cut your calorie intake by 300 calories in addition to burning 300, it will take you half as long to lose a pound.
5. The average adult has approximately 50 billion fat cells. However, fat cells almost never increase in number after puberty, so even if you gain weight the number of fat cells you have remains the same.
6. Breasts are composed almost entirely of fat. Almost any woman who’s lost a significant amount of weight will notice that their chest reduces in size long before they lose extra weight in other areas.
7. Fat cells live for an average of ten years. Once a fat cell dies the body makes a brand new one to take its place. However, if you do choose Liposuction, cells that are removed do not regenerate. So when you lose a brain cell it’s gone for good, while your fat cells remain. Why can’t it be the opposite?!
8. Unlike other cells, fat cells have the ability to expand. They carry hormones, fat and toxins. If you do gain weight, each fat cell gets bigger and expands up to 10 times its normal size!
9. Your gender and genes largely determine the places you predominantly store fat, and the places you lose it from first. Women tend to store fat around their hips, bottom and thighs, while men tend to carry it around their abdomen.
10. Contrary to popular belief, spot reduction—attempting to reduce fat by exercising the muscle below fat deposits—does NOT work. Overall body fat must be reduced to lose fat in any particular area. Although fat is lost or gained throughout the body it seems the first area to get fat, or the last area to become lean, is the midsection. So don’t go crazy doing 300 sit-ups a night getting ready for beach week, simply focus on the big picture!
Want to know more about the “science of fat”, and ways that you can smooth and tighten troublesome areas or detox your cells? Stay tuned for more in our new blog series, The Truth About Fat!