Body fat is a struggle for everyone. Well, ok, maybe not if you’re one of those fitness experts, personal trainers or athletes. But let’s say for most of the rest of us, it’s something that is often on our minds.
Firstly, we should address the question of why this is happening.
The answer is decently obvious for most people. When you look at different lifestyles and habits, you’ll find the reason for excess body weight and stubborn body fat. With our hectic lives and overly packed schedules, it has become easier and easier to make the convenient choices when it comes to food and activities rather than the best choice.
We spend large parts of our day sitting at the office all day, in traffic on the commute, in front of the TV or computer at home. Well, you get the picture, we’re not getting a whole lot of exercise or moving around as much as we should be.
On top of that, we reach for foods that are filling and fast instead of healthy and balanced, which is not doing out bodies any favors.
When you take in more calories than your body can turn into energy, the excess gets stored as fat. These fat cells then become increasingly harder and harder to get rid of because we are still constantly taking in more calories each day than we need.
Imagine salt shaker that is filled every day with a few grains of salt. At first, it is empty but each day gets a little more full. If this continues to happen, and the amount of salt you’re putting into the shaker is more than you use on your food, soon the amount of salt will grow bigger and bigger.
That’s the same thing essentially that happens to your body. Trying to get rid of the stubborn body fat, is like trying to get to the grains of salt at the very bottom of the shaker, when there are piles and piles of salt above it.
Types of fat
Before we get into the common areas, it is important to know that there are several kinds of fat based on where they are stored on your body.
- Subcutaneous fat– The fat that is just underneath your skin. Think muffin top or love handles.
- Visceral fat– Fat around our abdominal muscles and in the middle of our bodies around our organs. Imagine beer bellies, or areas of fat that you can’t easily pinch.
- Intramuscular fat– The fat that in and around our muscles.
By far, the hardest, and most stubborn type of fat is the subcutaneous fat under our skins. It just happens to be the type of fat we notice the most and also work to target and eliminate first.
Unfortunately, for women, this is especially more difficult to accomplish because this type of fat is more resistant in women. This is because women store fat differently than men, primarily to do with a hormone called oestrogen, which is responsible for the amount of fat women store to prepare for childbirth.
The common areas
In most cases, problem areas are the last to give in to your fat burning routine. It is also important to know that research has revealed that regional fat loss is determined by your sex and not how you exercise. Which means, there is no one miracle exercise that will work for everyone.
Women, on average, carry 6 to 11 percent more body fat than men. The most problematic areas are centered around the lower body – hips, butt, stomach, and inner thighs. It is known that the subcutaneous fat in these areas in women have 9 times the amount of alpha receptors (responsible for the slow release of fat) then men do in their lower bodies.
Men most often notice stubborn body fat in their lower abdominal area. We’re talking about- visceral, lower abs, sides of their waist and lower back would be the love handles and muffin top that are keeping you from your six pack.
Getting rid of it
Now that you know what you’re up against, you can make a plan to get rid of that annoying, stubborn body fat. Don’t just rely on the eat less exercise more conventional wisdom. Find the right method for you specifically.
Take time to research your weight loss programs, make sure they apply to you and that you’ll be able to follow through with them. Take the initiative to change up your eating patterns, so your body doesn’t just go on auto pilot digesting the same foods over and over again. Lastly, target the areas you want to work on.
For men, a proper diet and weight training is the best way to get rid of stubborn body fat. Women, stress plays a huge factor in the retention of lower body fat. If you’re still not seeing the results you want with diet and exercise, instead of spending another hour at the gym, try pampering yourself. Another hour of sleep or decompressing will make much more of an impact than the treadmill.