The human body has fat that isn’t created equally. The essential fats in your bone marrow, central nervous system and heart keep the body functioning, however, storage fat are those types that make your jeans tight to fit in. Although this type of fat helps in regulating body temperature and cushioning your organs, when your waist band doesn’t fit anymore that’s clearly a danger signal. Fortunately, this type of belly fat usually responds first to dietary and exercise efforts.
There are different types of storage fat, ranging from intramuscular fat to subcutaneous fat, to visceral fat. Visceral fat is also known as belly fat and is termed as the most deadly fat in the body. This fat surrounds the internal organs and can make the abdomen protrude forward or drape like an apron. A waist size of 40 inches on a man or 35 inches on woman indicates an excessive amount of this fat and elevates the risk for chronic disease, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.
Another type of fat you should know about is the harmful deep belly fat. Deep belly fat and visceral fat, though both threatening to your health, are more vulnerable to getting lost than other types of fat. Subcutaneous fat is far more stubborn and harder to lose. Subcutaneous fat may not be aesthetically pleasing to you, but it doesn’t carry the same health risks. Your body holds on to it as insurance in case of starvation and other physiological emergencies, or for childbearing, in women. Intramuscular fat may be used for energy; your ability to use this fat more efficiently increases with your fitness levels.
The body more or less has its own mind on where fat should be lost, and mobilizes excess fat for the purpose of energy when there is sign of fat deficit. Belly fat is mobilized first, but the longer you stay on a diet and exercise plan, you will notice weight loss in other areas too.
Weight loss is usually proportional, so your body shape will stay intact. If you’re a hefty pear shape, when you lose weight you’ll shrink to a more petite pear, but still have a comparatively larger lower body and smaller shoulders. The less belly fat you have to lose, the sooner your body will dip into subcutaneous stores for fat to dispose of.
How to Lose Body Fat
No matter the type of fat you want to burn, the techniques are same. There has to be a drop in your calorie intake far beyond what you burn daily. A deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories is usually recommended as this yields a healthy 1- to 2-pound per week loss. For petite or inactive women, a 1,000-calorie deficit may cut calories too low, so cutting only 250 to 500 calories may be recommended.
As much as you might want to achieve your goals as soon as possible, losing weight too quickly increases the amount of muscle you lose, instead of fat, and increases the likelihood that lost weight will be regained.
What you should do is determine your daily calorie needs using an online calculator or by speaking to a dietitian. From that number, subtract 250 to 500 calories to determine how many calories you should eat daily. Make those calories come from nutrient-rich foods like lean proteins, whole grains, vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy.
While these dietary tips will yield important fat loss benefits, to truly keep fit, you’re going to have to inculcate a lot of exercise into your routine. Use resistance bands, dumbbells, your body weight or weight machines to perform an exercise for every major muscle group with at least one set of 8 to 12 repetitions, inducing fatigue by the last couple of efforts. Staying active all day with simple chores also increases your calorie burn.