What is Excess Body Fat?

Just as a car needs grease for the effective functioning of the engine and body parts, the internal organs in the human body require some amount of fats to function effectively.

The fats which protect the body from viral diseases and protect the internal organs from bruises are called essential body fats.

The additional amount of fats that do not cause any risk to the body and serves as a reservoir of fuel for use by the body is called reserve body fat.

Body fats more than storage body fat and reserve body fat are called Excess body fat. In other words, the body does not need this fat at this moment.

Women require more body fat than men. A woman typically requires 9 percent body fat while men require 6 percent. Mainly because of the reproduction and other body functions peculiar to the female folks.

Sportsmen like footballers require body fats in the range of 3 percent.


How does Excess Body Fat develop?

Excess body fat is stored in the form of fatty tissues called ‘adipose’ and used to meet the body’s energy use requirement. Several enzymes, including insulin and cortisol, regulate this process.

When the body continues to form fatty acids, it accumulates rapidly and enlarges. This formation eventually distorts the adipose tissue and lead to Cellulite.

This happens because the fatty cells release certain biochemical molecules called adipokines. Adipokines not only triggers the formation of new fat cells but also stimulate another condition known as insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance is when there’s an excess production of insulin more than the excess body fat. The abnormal amount of this hormone in the body system makes you prone to gaining weight.

In addition to gaining weight, an increased insulin level makes it difficult to lose weight. A vicious cycle begins resulting in slow metabolism leading to obvious overweight.

There are indications of know research studies that overweight individuals are six times more likely to develop metabolic syndrome. This risk is higher in obese people where makes are 32 times more likely, and females are 17 times likely.

There’s also a correlation between excess body weight and stress. When you are stressed, your body produces Cortisol (a steroid hormone).

Cortisol influences your appetite and cravings. It binds and sends hunger signals to your brain, which can cause you to overeat and gain weight.

Overweight and obesity present serious health risks to an individual. The side effects include the following amongst others:

• Heart diseases – sudden cardiac arrest, heart failure, high blood pressure

• Stroke – a condition where the regular flow of blood supply to the brain is cut off

• Gall bladder diseases – e.g. gallstones

• Body pain

• Type 2 diabetes

• Death

It is therefore important that you know how can determine if you are overweight.

The Body Mass Index (BMI) is used to measure if one is overweight. BMI is the weight in kilograms divided by the height in square meters. The focus here is on adults as there are several interplaying factors in the case of children. The following BMI Classification is generally in use:

BMI Classification

Underweight <18

Normal Weight 18.5-24.9

Overweight >or=25

Pre-Obese 25 -29.9

Obese >or=30

The BMI band is the same for all genders and regardless of ages in all adults.

Obesity is also determined by dividing the circumference of your waist, just when you breathe out by the circumference of the hips. In this approach, the indicator is any figure in excess of 0.8 and 1.0 in women and men respectively.

If you have indications of excess body fat, in addition to consulting your doctor, there are practical steps you can take like dieting and regular fitness exercises.

A reduction in weight by just 5 kg can mean a lot in the quality of your health.

Weight monitoring is essential