Friday, 01 Feb 2013, 11:00pm
Electronic City, Bangalore

It was Day No 43 at Gym (M70: M4W15D43). My Body weight remains in the range of 76-77. It is somewhat tough(er) to lose the second last and last layer of UNWANTED fat. We must remember in order to remain fit and healthy, fat is equally required, which protects body in adverse circumstances. I wish to discuss (and get aware on) few more facts about WANTED fat in our body. Courtesy: Internet 🙂

What is Body Fat?
Fat is one of the basic components that make up the structure of our body. The other components include muscle, water, bone and your organs — the brain, liver, kidneys, spleen, stomach, pancreas, and intestines. etc. All are necessary for normal, healthy functioning.
Body fat can be divided into two categories: Essential fat and storage fat. As its name implies, essential fat is necessary for normal, healthy functioning. It is stored in small amounts in our bone marrow, organs, central nervous system and muscles. In men, essential fat is approximately 3% of body weight. Women, however, have a higher percentage of essential fat — about 12%. This is because their essential fat also includes some sex-specific fat found in the breasts, pelvis, hips and thighs. This sex-specific fat is believed to be critical for normal reproductive function.

Storage fat is the other type of body fat. This is the fat you accumulate beneath your skin, in certain specific areas inside your body, and in your muscles. It also includes the deep fat that protects your internal organs from injury. Men and women have similar amounts of storage fat.

It is desirable to have some storage fat due to the protective role it plays in our body. However, most storage fat is considered to be “expendable”. Storage fat: increases when we gain weight, this is what we want to lose when you lose weight.

Healthy Range of Body Fat:

Age                       Female                  Male

18-39                     21-32%                 8-19%

40-59                     23-33%                 11-21%

60-79                     24-35%                 13-24%


Professional and superior amateur athletes often have a body fat percentage much lower than the average person. For example, male marathon runners have been found to have body fat as low as 3.3% and female Olympic swimmers have been found to have body fat as low as 14.5%.

What happens when our percent body fat goes above the desirable range? Our risk for developing heart disease, high blood pressure, gallstones, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, certain cancers and for an early death increases. In some cases, the excess fat becomes a mechanical barrier to breathing properly. This condition is called sleep apnea.

Where our excess fat is located is even more important than the amount of body fat we have. Recent studies have shown that if we carry our extra fat around our waist, we are at a higher risk for developing the diseases mentioned above than if we carry the same amount of extra fat around our thighs and buttocks.

What Is Lean Body Mass?

Lean body mass is commonly used to describe the muscles in our arms, legs, back, neck and abdomen. But actually it also includes our heart muscle, and the tissues of our other internal organs as well as water, and bone. This is the part of our body we want to preserve or expand.

How much lean body mass we have is the most important factor in determining our metabolism (the rate at which we burn the calories). The higher the amount of our lean body mass, the higher our metabolic rate and the more calories we will burn when we are sitting or lying down. This higher metabolic rate makes it easier to maintain our weight. 

Want to build up your lean body mass? The good news is that we can increase the amount and the strength of our muscles through a regular program of strength training — also known as “resistance” training.


What Happens When We Lose Weight?
When we lose weight, we lose water, lean body mass and storage fat. To replace lost water, it is important to maintain proper hydration. From a health standpoint and to maintain our metabolic rate, it is better to preserve as much lean body mass as possible as we reduce our body fat.
How much fat and lean body mass should we lose when we lose weight? Experts have determined that:
    during the early weeks of weight loss, at least 75% of the weight we lose should be fat loss and not more than 25% should come from lean body mass.
    as we continue to lose weight, especially if certain types of exercise are included in our weight loss plan, fat loss should be about 90% of the weight we lose and lean body mass should be about 10%.
What is the Best Method to Lose Weight?
The best method for losing weight is to follow a program that helps we to maintain hydration, lose more storage fat, and lose as little lean body mass as possible. Such programs promote a balanced eating pattern and a well rounded program of physical activity that includes some strength training to build or preserve muscle.

Balanced eating means including foods from all food groups and portion control.

Physical activity not only boosts metabolic rate and burns calories, but strength training also plays an important role in building and preserving muscle as we burn fat. Finally, weight bearing activities such as walking help to maintain and improve bone density.

The average rate of weight loss should be no more than two pounds a week. If the calories we eat are too low and we lose weight too fast, we will lose a greater percentage of lean body mass than is desirable. Some dietary strategies may allow we to lose pounds faster; however they promote the loss of both lean body mass and body water. Therefore, even though the pounds we lose may be higher, we will be losing the wrong type of weight.                


Looking forward to the month of February with much enthusiasm and hope. The next 2 days, I am going
to take the most wanted rest (after 2 weeks of non-stop working weekends.)
Narendra Gupta