Whether you’re thin or full-figured, you need to pay attention to where you store the fat in your body. That’s because it’s giving you important health signs which need your attention in order for you to live a wholesome life with a captivating silhouette to match.
How to spot the “extras” around your body
- Breasts and arms: Your white fat cells can be stored around your breasts and arms due to genetic reasons and burn off only through full body weight loss. That’s why you should be aware of your body mass index first. BMI can be calculated by dividing your height by the square of your height. You can use a BMI calculator of NIH to find out yours. A BMI of 30.0 is considered obese and is a call for weight loss.
- Abdomen: For females, a waist size of more than 35 inches or 88.9 centimeters is considered obese and for males, a waist size of 40 inches or 101.6 centimeters is considered an important marker of extra fat around the abdomen.
- Hips and thighs: To understand if you have extra weight around this area, you’ve got to check your waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) which can be calculated by your waist size divided by your hip size. According to the World Health Organization, the ideal WHR should be 0.9 inches or less for men and 0.85 inches or less for women.
A recent study shows that a thick waist is a sign of a potential heart attack or diabetes down the road. The fat around the waist area is called visceral fat which is actually stored around your vital internal organs. That’s what makes it dangerous. Mayo Clinic suggests that apple and pear-shaped bodies are more inclined to have heart problems because of the visceral fat.
- A pear shape has a narrower waist and shoulders than the hips. If you have a pear-shaped body, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re at risk. However, pear-shaped women have a tendency to gain weight and become an apple shape, especially after menopause.
- An apple shape has a larger waist than the shoulders and hips. That’s the one to avoid.
Once you start exercising with a high fiber diet, your waist area will be one of the first body parts to show good results. However, even if you do lots of ab exercises, you won’t be seeing any definition without some overall weight loss. Focus on cardiovascular exercises like running and cycling before getting ready for your 6-pack. Also, don’t forget that stress and irregular sleeping patterns may add to the extra fat around your waist.
Breasts and arms
Although overall weight loss is commonly suggested, you can benefit from spot fat reduction where you burn fat in specific areas and tone the muscles underneath. Also, you may want to get your insulin levels checked if you suffer from obesity.
Drinking a lot of water and eating high-fiber food along with bodyweight exercises like push-ups, planks, and tricep dips can help while trying to slim down your breasts and arms. Do more cardio to tone your muscles for a balanced figure.
Hips and thighs
The fat around the hips and thighs is considered subcutaneous fat. That means these acids don’t get in the bloodstream and harm internal organs by accumulating right under the skin, making it comparatively safer than waist fat. A study conducted by Oxford University shows that a large bottom may help to prevent heart disease and diabetes because the fat stored in the thighs, bottom, and hips has fatty acids from the food we eat.
Reducing fat around the hips is possible through full-body weight loss. Replace processed foods and sugar with fresh, seasonal meals and natural sugar. Once your body gets used to the new diet, you will start burning stored fat to make energy. That’s the best time to start exercising! You can likely benefit from high-intensity interval training which can give you efficient results. For this kind of workout, you’ll do short periods of intense exercise and rest for a specific period of time.
Bonus: Meet the “good” kind of fat!
There’s another type of fat cell known as the “brown fat cell.” Science is still revealing the mysteries of it, but it’s safe to refer to it as beneficial. Mostly stored in small deposits like the neck, shoulders, and collarbone areas, it’s packed with iron which gives it its color. When a brown fat cell burns, it produces heat but without producing “shivering.” That means this is the kind of fat you don’t want to burn. However, you may want to convert your white fat into brown cells to lose weight and to achieve a healthier body. Christian Wolfrum, PhD says, “Creating just 2 ounces of active brown fat could increase your calorie burn by 20%.”