All About Body Fat


We all need fat to provide the body with the needed energy to function. Fat is needed to help in absorption of the fat soluable vitamins A, E, K as well as prevent deficiencies of these vitamins. Fat provides insulation from the cold, protects organs and bones from shock, surrounds and protects nerve fibers, and helps transport nutrients across every cell in the body. Finally, one more function I believe everyone can relate to, it helps food taste damn good!

Fat is not the issue. We are meant to have fat. We are human, it has been determined during development we have fat cells. Our fat cell locations are already determined based on estrogen and testosterone levels and they are “kicked in' at puberty. There is controversy if we actually increase the number of fat cells as we gain weight or if we just increase their size. Generally, our fat cell count does not increase. When we gain excessive weight, we do not gain fat cells, we enlarge the cells we already have. There are exceptions. Cells can be stretched beyond their limits and processes can take place in the body to wake preadipocytes. Preadipocytes are dormant cells who wait for signals and can mature into new fat cells.


The health concern is actually in the body fat percentage we carry.Your body fat percentage is simply the percentage of fat your body contains. Body fat measurements are recognized as superior methods for measuring weight loss. As a personal trainer working with weight loss clients, Body composition (body fat percentage) is where we begin. Sorry, I bring to you the dreaded measuring tape, caliper and scale. No one likes that first day.

There are many ways to calculate your body fat percentage and here I will provide you with a simple method to calculate your own. This is close, +/- a percentage or two.

  1. Weight yourself

  2. Measure your height in inches

  3. Know your ideal weight.

             (Women) Multiply 5 times the number of inches you are over 5 ft

ex. if you are 5 ft 6 you would multiply 6(inch) x 5 =30

now add 100 100 + 30 = 130 (your ideal weight)

(Men) Multiply 6 times the number of inches you are over 5 ft

ex. If you are 5 ft 11 you would mulitply 11(inches) x 6 = 66

now add 100 100+ 66= 166 (your ideal weight).

Use the Body Mass index table to find your body fat percentage:




 and see where you stand...

General Body Fat Percentage Categories
(American Council of Exercise) 

Classification Women (% fat) Men (% fat)
Essential Fat 10-12% 2-4%
Athletes (low side could concern) 14-20% 6-13%
Fitness 21-24% 14-17%
Acceptable 25-31% 18-25%
Obese 32% plus 25% plus

Let me help you visualize. I am a big fan of visual!

Get to know your body.  How can you win the race if you don't know where the starting line is?




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