We cannot live on lean muscles alone. We need fat to store and expend energy. Fat is one of the most basic components of the human body. And just like nerves and organs, the body needs fat to work properly.
Types of Fat
There are two types of body fat: essential or brown fat and storage or yellow fat. In men, 3% of their body weight is comprised of essential fat. For women, it’s 12%. That’s because essential fat is a gender-specific fat. It means women has more of it because it plays a role in normal reproductive processes.
Storage fat is accumulated under the skin. It can also build within the muscles and internal organs. Unlike essential fat, storage fat is not gender specific. Men and women have equal amounts of storage fat in the body.
Fascinating Facts about Fats
Some Foods Can Trigger Fat Burning
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can increase the weight loss hormone leptin in the body. Leptin breaks down fat deposits, turning them into energy. Salmon, herring, sardines and other oily fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Grains and nuts are also packed with essential fatty acids.
Foods that are harder to digest may also accelerate fat burning. These foods include lentils, legumes, nuts, lean meat, and eggs.
Is Muscle Heavier than Fat?
Contrary to popular belief, fat and muscle weigh the same pound for pound. But, because muscles are leaner and more compact, they take less space than fat. To illustrate, a 140-pound person with more body fat will look fatter, lumpier than a 140-pound person with more lean muscles.
Do Muscles Burn More Calories than Fat?
Yes, muscles burn off more calories than fat. How? Unlike fat, muscle is designed for movement. This means, muscle fibers require more energy as they move. On the other hand, fat is meant to conserve energy. So it does not burn calories at all. This is the reason why you can burn off calories even when you’re at rest as long as you have more lean muscles than body fat.
Where Does Excess Weight Go After Slimming Down?
If you lost a lot of weight, where does the fat go? It goes nowhere. The fat you burn will be absorbed by the body. Then, the body converts fat into carbohydrates. When this occurs, the carbs from fat are used as fuel. Then, it’s metabolized into carbon dioxide, water and heat. Do note that as adults, you will retain the number of fat cells you have as a child. Fat cells do not increase nor decrease. They only change in size.
How does Fat Works?
White and brown fat have different purposes. White or yellow fat is made up of stored energy reserved for future use. It’s derived from the food we eat. When our fat cells become bigger, the body expands and that’s the hallmark of weight gain.
On the other hand, brown fat is meant to generate heat. According to a clinical test published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, brown fat only burn calories and produce heat when the body is exposed to a cold environment.
Unfortunately, not much is known about brown fat. It was only recently discovered that unlike yellow fat, brown fat contributes to certain body function in adults.