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How much body fat do you really need?

A goal of absolutely zero body fat is impossible and I have to be very clear about that because, quite simply, a fat free body wouldn’t survive. Essential fat, storage fat, and female specific fat are absolutely vital on a day-to-day basis.

ESSENTIAL FAT makes up the fat that forms your cell membranes, brain tissue, bone marrow, nerve sheaths, and the fat around your organs (liver, kidneys, heart). This is crucial because it provides protection and cushioning against potential injury.

STORAGE FAT is the second fat component in the body and is a very important energy reserve that is stored under the skin (adipose tissue) and also around the organs. Adipose is the body fat we all see and want to keep at lower levels for that “lean look” by CONTROLLING OUR DIET AND TRAINING. Storage fat is distributed around the body by your genetics and hormonal balance so, unfortunately, we can’t control where we hold our fat nor can we “target” body fat with specific exercises.

Examples:
– doing ab crunches will do nothing for you to get rid of the fat sitting on top of your mid-section
– if you hold body fat primarily in your legs (i.e. cellulite) you can’t get rid of it doing leg curls

What about body fat on women? Unfortunately we are also predisposed to hold more body fat than our men counterparts due to another essential fat requirement called SEX-SPECIFIC FAT which is stored in the breasts and around the hips and is used for estrogen production. This type of fat ensures normal hormonal balance and menstrual function so if these stores fall too low, the risk of hormonal imbalance and menstrual irregularities increase which is actually common among elite female athletes. Thankfully this can be reversed when body fat levels return to normal levels.

So…THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS HAVING ABSOLUTELY NO FAT ON THE BODY! We all need some fat.

What-is-Subcutaneous-Fat1

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