Body fat is the fat tissues in your body. These are present along with lean muscles and can cover low to high portions in your body weight percentage. Too much fat on your body can cause serious health issues.
Your many daily routine bad habits can increase your body fat percentage. A sedentary lifestyle is a big reason for this issue. Engaging yourself in healthy activities can help you to get normal or healthy body fat.
Body fat percentage
Your body fat percentage tells you about how much you have fat tissues on your body. Which percentage is healthy or which is not, mostly depends on the gender and physical activity level.
Women need to have some more fat on their bodies as compared to men because they go through pregnancy and also they need to breastfeed their baby child. As fat tissues provide energy when the body need it, which is crucial for women during pregnancy, the delivery process, and during raising the child, before and after the birth, like fat tissues of women helps the child organ to grow. [ 1 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: Frisch, R. E., & Barbieri, R. L. (2002). Female Fertility and the Body Fat Connection. Amsterdam University Press
On the other hand men, the main duty that nature has assign is to perform physical works. That is why they need to have good muscle mass and less fat as compared to women.
There are some techniques that are used to find the calculation of body fat mass percentage
Studies say calculating the fat tissues on your body is more accurate to find health risks as compared to Body mass index (BMI) calculation. High body fat can cause heart problems, diabetes, obesity, blood pressure problems, bad cholesterol issues, and many more. [ 2 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: Percent body fat is a better predictor of cardiovascular risk factors than body mass index 2012Q Zeng, SY Dong, XN Sun, J Xie, Y C Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research [ 3 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: TOverfat Adults and Children in Developed Countries: The Public Health Importance of Identifying Excess Body Fat Frontiers in Public Health
BMI usually ignores your muscle mass while body fat calculation only tries to measure your fat mass on your body.
Here are some measurement that tells what is the health status of your body fat measurement:
High body fat percentage
For an average women
More than 31 percent is high
For an average man
Above 24 percent is not healthy
For women who are an athlete
More than 20 percent is considered as high
More than 13 percent is too much [ 4 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION N. D. (2009, December 2). What are the guidelines for percentage of body fat loss? AceFitness
Normal body fat percentage
For average women
Below 31 percentage is considered as normal
For average men
Fat under 24 percentage on the body is normal
For athletic women
Below 24 percent is good
Whereas for the man who is athlete experts say below 17 percent body fat percentage is good for health and fitness performance [ 4 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: N. D. (2009, December 2). What are the guidelines for percentage of body fat loss? AceFitness
Essential body fat percentage
If you are a woman and have a fat percentage below then 12 percent then you have a very low or unhealthy fat percentage on your body. If you are a man and have less than 5 percent of body fat then you are at health risks. [ 5 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: Lower limit of body fat in healthy active men – 1994KE Friedl, RJ Moore, LE Martinez-Lopez, JA Vogel, EW Askew, LJ Marchitelli, RW Hoyt, CC Gordon Journal of Applied Physiology
How to calculate body fat
Mostly body fat calliper is used for this purpose. You can check your fat percentage in your house or at work place. Only a small fat caliper tool and some related measurement knowledge is needed. Measurements guide usually comes along with fat calliper.
Others method to check fat percentage are:
- DEXA (x-ray test)
- Water submerged body weight measurement
- BMI (by applying some extra formula)
- Ultrasound etc.
Habits that increase body fat percentage
Your body can find many ways to increase the fat tissues. Most of these are linked with your daily routine. What you eat and what you do daily create effects on your health.
Human bodies are made for work, physically and mentally both. Not using body capabilities can cause a decline in performance.
Like if you avoid physical activities then your body performance to do some physical work can decline and if you are using your mental power less as your body needs then your mental power can lose improvement chances as some studies say using brainpower to solve problems improve the mental power. [ 6 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: apps.who.int [ 7 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: Hung, Tsui-Mei MSN; Tang, Lee-Chun MSN; Ko, Chen-Ju MSN How Mental Health Nurses Improve Their Critical Thinking Through Problem-Based Learning, Journal for Nurses in Professional Development: May/June 2015 – Volume 31 – Issue 3 – p 170-175 doi: 10.1097/NND.0000000000000167
Generally, your body fat increases when your body stores high numbers of calories. This happened due to some of your bad habits or ways or techniques of living. Here are some daily routine risks that can increase your fat percentage:
Not following any exercise routine
Lack of exercise or physical inactivity can be the main reason for your weight or body fat gain. When you eat food then you take calories from it. Those calories need to be burned and not using them can store them as fat tissues which can cause problems for you regarding BMI and health& fitness-related issues.
A study on a 71 membered group in which most were women found that physical inactivity or lack of exercise in daily life is the major contributor to body fat gain. The study concluded that peoples who do some kind of reasonable exercise show less risks and those who lived exercise-free life are more likely to get overweight or obese due to high-fat symptoms in their bodies. [ 8 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: bjsm.bmj
According to researches lack of exercise can increase your body weight and most of this gain can be the reason for the high fat that your body has contained. Researchers have found that a sedentary lifestyle like lack of physical activities along with the bad habit of snacking can cause a reasonable fat body. [ 9 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: Sánchez-Villegas A, Martínez-González MA, Toledo E, de Irala-Estévez J, Martínez JA, Equipo investigador del Proyecto SUN. [Relative role of physical inactivity and snacking between meals in weight gain]. Med Clin (Barc). 2002 Jun;119(2) 46-52. doi:10.1016/s0025-7753(02)73311-3. PMID: 12084369
Doing routine physical exercises can be helpful for your health. With Daily physical activities with proper planning and routine, you can prevent or reduce your body fat.
Eating foods in large quantities in a small period of time is called overeating. It can become a habit and due to it, the body can get filled with high value of calories that can boost the production of fat tissues in your body.
Especially eating sugar-rich foods and high consumption of processed and refined grain foods can cause obesity. The results of obesity are generated when your body contains a high value of fat tissues. Studies say overeating especially eating refined grain foods in high quantity is the major cause of an increase in fat people population and moreover, overeating of refined foods can cause worldwide obesity epidemic. [ 10 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: Food quality and motivation: A refined low-fat diet induces obesity and impairs performance on a progressive ratio schedule of instrumental lever pressing in rats, – Physiology & Behavior, Volume 128, 2014, Pages 220-225, ISSN 0031-9384 [ 11 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: Refined food addiction: A classic substance use disorder, – Medical Hypotheses, Volume 72, Issue 5, 2009, Pages 518-526, ISSN 0306-9877
If you are obese then your body fat will be at a high level and that body situation can become critical for you.
Main reasons when and why people overeat:
- During watching movies like they usually eat a lot of snacks during this entertainment-related activity
- During festivals or parties when they get a lot of dishes to eat
- Due to taste. Most peoples eat too much what they find tasty
- Due to stress
- For heavy calories
- Due to less sleep
- Due to the high availability of taste-rich foods in the market.
Lack of sleep
Sleep is a very healthy process of our life. To live healthily you need to take the required sleep which is 7 or more hours for adults [ C ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: Mayo clinic
Sleep deprivation means you are not sleeping as you need, it can be due to some health or work-related issues. This situation can cause high numbers of problems like fat gain or weight gain, hypertension, mental problems, risks of diabetes, urine problems, cholesterol disturbance, and many more. Medical Researchers say by taking required sleep you can decrease or lower these risks. [ 11 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: Spivey, A. (2010). Lose Sleep, Gain Weight: Another Piece of the Obesity Puzzle. Environmental Health Perspectives, 118(1)
Several studies and researches conducted by Experts found that sleep deprivation is strongly linked with many problems including weight gain. In a study, researchers found that women who sleep for 5 hours or less were at high risks of gaining too much fat as compared to those who sleep daily for 7 to 8 hours. [ 11 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: Spivey, A. (2010). Lose Sleep, Gain Weight: Another Piece of the Obesity Puzzle. Environmental Health Perspectives, 118(1)
Sleep is a very crucial natural function that your body needs
Other researchers say sleep deprivation or lack of sleep increases the fat in your body by increasing the hunger hormones and by disturbing the satiety-related hormones that play a crucial role by signaling your fullness feelings. [ 12 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: Chaput, Jean-Philippe; Klingenberg, Lars; Sjödin, Anders Do all sedentary activities lead to weight gain: sleep does not, Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: November 2010 – Volume 13 – Issue 6 – p 601-607 doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32833ef30e
Eating too many fried foods
Fried foods are those which are prepared by deep-frying. These foods come with huge numbers of calories. Moreover, overeating fried foods for a long time or routinely can increase your body fat but also boost the risks of bad cardiovascular incidents. [ 13 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: Fried Food Consumption and Cardiovascular Health: A Review of Current Evidence – doi:10.3390/nu7105404
A study on a large group of peoples including men and women conclude that peoples who eat fried foods more than 4 times a week show more signs of overweight fat bodies as compared to those who eat less than two times a week. [ 14 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: Consumption of fried foods and weight gain in a Mediterranean cohort: The SUN project, Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, Volume 23, Issue 2, 2013, Pages 144-150, ISSN 0939-4753
Due to the unhealthy risks of fried foods, researchers are trying to find ways to reduce their effects on human health. There is a solution that according to experts can help to reduce the fat absorption in foods during the frying process. They say soy film protein coating on food before frying can be helpful to reduce the high absorption of fat in foods. This coating which contains gellan gum is helpful in this regard. [ 15 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: Rayner, M., Ciolfi, V., Maves, B., Stedman, P. and Mittal, G. (2000), Development and application of soy-protein films to reduce fat intake in deep-fried foods. J. Sci. Food Agric., 80: 777-782
Consuming less fiber
Fiber is very essential for your body and its enough consumption reduces the risks of many health issues. Fiber-rich foods can keep you full and can raise your satiety feelings which in return may decrease overeating incidents. Thus it helps you to prevent overeating and as result risks of your fat gain can be reduced. Many scientific studies and researches have recommended the peoples to eat fiber-rich foods for good health and for the purpose of body fat loss. [ 16 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: Alfieri, M.A.H., Pomerleau, J., Grace, D.M. and Anderson, L. (1995), Fiber Intake of Normal Weight, Moderately Obese and Severely Obese Subjects. Obesity Research, 3: 541-547 [ 17 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: James W Anderson, Pat Baird, Richard H Davis, Jr, Stefanie Ferreri, Mary Knudtson, Ashraf Koraym, Valerie Waters, Christine L Williams, Health benefits of dietary fiber, Nutrition Reviews, Volume 67, Issue 4, 1 April 2009, Pages 188–205 [ 18 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: Ludwig DS, Pereira MA, Kroenke CH, et al. Dietary Fiber, Weight Gain, and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Y
Heavy soda drinks consumption
Soda drinks are selling on a large scale. There are many health risks associated with soda or soft drinks consumption. If you make it a habit to drink daily, you may get fat in little time.
Studies say sugar-rich soda drinks cause significant fat or weight gain if someone makes it a habit to consume these drinks or beverages. Researchers say due to the large availability of such drinks, many dangerous health risks like unusual fat gain, obesity, cardiovascular issues, etc are rising towards dangerous levels. They say by limiting or avoiding these carbonated drinks can help you to live better and your risk scale of diseases may also lower due to your prevention behavior towards them. [ 19 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: Wolff, Emily, and Michael L Dansinger. “Soft drinks and weight gain: how strong is the link?.” Medscape journal of medicine vol. 10,8 (2008): 189
Children usually take more interest in these drinks. Many scientific studies have concluded that high consumption of sugar-rich drinks like soda or sports drinks is increasing the child obesity rate. By controlling access to these drinks child obesity can be decreased. [ 19 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: Sichieri, R., Paula Trotte, A., De Souza, R., & Veiga, G. (2009). School randomised trial on prevention of excessive weight gain by discouraging students from drinking sodas. Public Health Nutrition, 12(2), 197-202. doi:10.1017/S1368980008002644 [ 20 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: Field, A.E., Sonneville, K.R., Falbe, J., Flint, A., Haines, J., Rosner, B. and Camargo, C.A., Jr. (2014), Association of sports drinks with weight gain among adolescents and young adults. Obesity, 22: 2238-2243
Too much sugar consumption
Sugar especially white sugar that is produced through artificial methods is not so good for your health. This sweet product comes with high calories but with almost no nutrition benefits. Its high consumption is associated with many health risks like type 2 diabetes, body fat gain, heart problems, etc. [ 22 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: Vasanti S Malik, An Pan, Walter C Willett, Frank B Hu, Sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain in children and adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 98, Issue 4, October 2013, Pages 1084–1102
A scientific study on a large group of woman concludes that moderate or heavy consumption of sugar-rich foods are strongly linked with obesity or with too much unhealthy fat on the body. They also found that even healthy weighted peoples can face these issues like obesity or type 2 diabetes if they makes the habit of eating these sugar-rich diets. [ 21 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: ugar-Sweetened Beverages, Weight Gain, and Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes in Young and Middle-Aged Women – JAMA – 2004 – 10.1001/jama.292.8.927 – JAMA – 292 – 8 – 927-934 – 0098-7484
Moreover, huge numbers of studies and researches have called too much sugar consumption an unhealthy way that disapproves the health and life qualities of both adults and children. [ 22 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: Vasanti S Malik, An Pan, Walter C Willett, Frank B Hu, Sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain in children and adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 98, Issue 4, October 2013, Pages 1084–1102 [ 23 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: Small Changes in Dietary Sugar and Physical Activity as an Approach to Preventing Excessive Weight Gain: The America on the Move Family Study – Susan J. Rodearmel, Holly R. Wyatt, Nanette Stroebele, Sheila M. Smith, Lorraine G. Ogden, James O. Hill – Pediatrics Oct 2007, 120 (4) e869-e879; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2006-2927
Rest friendly routine
Too much rest can cause the fat tissues to gain in your body. Exercise or physical works build your muscles and also burns the calories that you eat from foods for your survival. Muscles that you achieve by exercises can use your extra energy in a positive way like by burning calories in large numbers during physical works and also improves your performance at work, not only this, your muscularity burns more calories as compared to if you have fat tissue rich body. Your muscles burn calories during exercise and also at rest body rest position.
Resting for most of the day can prevent these benefits as not losing calories or without any physical work can cause huge body fat gain. Always try to keep your body physically engaged. Don’t always lay on your bed or sofa for most of your daytime. If you do a job that requires a sitting position or most time then after every 15 to 20 minutes try to take a little walk in your office or lounge area.
Many scientific studies and researches say that too much rest can increase the risks of body fat gain or obesity and different diseases like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, and many more. [ 24 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: Sánchez-Villegas A, Martínez-González MA, Toledo E, de Irala-Estévez J, Martínez JA, Equipo investigador del Proyecto SUN. [Relative role of physical inactivity and snacking between meals in weight gain]. Med Clin (Barc). 2002 Jun;119(2) 46-52. doi:10.1016/s0025-7753(02)73311-3. PMID: 12084369
Medicines side effects
The last one is medicine side-effects that can also cause your body fat to go up. It is not your habit but it can become a serious weight gain if you are taking some of the ones which increase body weight.
Many medicines especially those which are used to treat mental illnesses are strongly associated with weight gain. Due to these drugs, your body fat can goes up and you may find it difficult to lose it during your treatment. Drugs or medicines that usually used to treat severe mental diseases like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are strongly correlated with high body fat gain. Many studies find that these drugs not only increase body fat but also increase stress, diabetes, kidney, and many other health-related issues risks. [ 25 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: enetics of antipsychotic treatment emergent weight gain in schizophrenia – 2006 – Pharmacogenomics – FutureMedicine [ 26 ]High Authority ✔️ CITATION: psychiatrist
How to reduce body fat
Here are ways to lose the body fat ratio. These tips are also beneficial for you to reduce the risks of high-fat storage in your body:
- Do physical activities daily like running, jogging, weight lifting, bicycling, etc
- Eat healthy foods like those which are rich in natural nutrients
- Take proper protein, fiber, fat, and carbs from your foods
- Consume carbohydrates and fat-rich foods in the limit or avoid overeating them
- Avoid processed or refined foods like refined carbs
- Avoid fizzy or soda drinks
- Avoid added sugar or white sugar that peoples generally consume by adding to their foods
- Limit alcohol intake
- Prefer walking over riding a vehicle if the distance is suitable for a walk
- Talk with your doctor if you are facing body fat gain after taking some medicines.
Many of your daily routine habits can increase your body fat. Inactivity is the major cause of this gain. You may feel a reasonable disturbance in your life regarding this issue. Many prevention and tips can be used to make a suitable weight management effort. Some physical and mind-related work is needed and you can get a healthy body weight.