Did you know that body fat is very important? A healthy amount of body fat that is. This is because Fat exists in virtually every cell in the body, therefore body fat is essential for the optimum functioning of the human body.
Fat plays several major roles in our bodies. It plays a role in regulating hormones, immune function, regulating body temperature, insulin signaling, reproduction, and nutrient absorption. Essential fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin A, D, E, and K are dependent on body fat for optimal absorption.
Did you also know that the brain is made up of 60% fat? This makes a lot of sense because fat helps to supply energy for the whole body and the brain is responsible for directing the fat to the right places.
Too much fat has been linked to diseases such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even osteoarthritis. Too little fat in the body is harmful to the body as well and can make the body not function optimally.
General body fat guidelines:
For men, 2% to 5% body fat is essential, 2% to 24% body fat is considered healthy and more than 25% body fat classifies as obese.
For women, 10% to 13% body fat is essential, 10% to 31% body fat is considered healthy and more than 32% body fat classifies as obese.
Whether you are male or female, if your body fat percentage exceeds the healthy ranges mentioned above, then trying to reduce body fat should be considered as this will be a sure positive step toward better health.
Gradual weight loss ensures greater results in the reduction of fat mass and body fat percentage as opposed to rapid weight loss regimens. Listed below are 10 Healthy ways to promote long-term fat loss.
1. Follow a high Protein diet
Eating more foods that are rich in protein may help decrease your appetite and increase fat burning in your body. Studies have shown that eating more high-quality protein foods may help preserve muscle mass and metabolism during weight loss as well as help burn excess fat lowering the risk of obesity.
2. Add Probiotics to your diet
Probiotics are a type of beneficial bacteria found in the digestive tract. These bacteria play a role in our bodies wellbeing from immunity to mental health.
Adding probiotic supplements or increasing your intake of probiotic foods may help reduce body weight and body fat percentage.
3. Be mindful of what you drink
Alcoholic drinks and beverages that contain a lot of sugar can be linked to a higher risk of increased belly fat. These should be replaced with lots of water or organic teas which are known to contain fat-burning properties.
4. Remove processed foods and refined sugars from your diet
The number one source of unwanted oils and fats is the different types of bread and baked goods and condiments. The ingredients in such foods tend to make people overeat these foods that are usuallly high in fat and low in nutrition.
5. Up your Fiber intake
Upping your fiber intake by consuming foods like fresh fruits, veggies, and legumes may boost fat loss, feelings of fullness, and weight loss. This is because soluble fiber-fiber found in plant foods- works by absorbing water and moving it through the digestive tract slowly hence helping you to feel full for much longer. Increasing your intake of high-fiber foods may protect against weight gain. When you think of high-fiber foods think of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
6. Eat more Good Fats
Although this may sound counterintuitive, research has shown that a higher intake of healthy fats, such as olive oil, avocados, salmon and nuts, is associated with a lower risk of weight gain. Such fats help in the maintenance of organs in the body.
7. Drink coffee
Coffee contains caffeine, which may boost metabolism and fat breakdown. Studies suggest that high caffeine intake may aid weight loss.
8. Add strength training to your workouts
Strength training usually involves lifting weights. It is a type of exercise in which your muscles contract against resistance. Such exercises help build muscle mass and increase strength over time. Strength training comes in handy especially if you aim to shed off excess body fat.
9. Kick Up the Cardio
Running, walking, cycling, stair-climbing, zumba dancing and swimming are just a few examples of Cardio/aerobic exercise. Cardio is any type of exercise that specifically trains the heart and lungs. Cardio exercises may be one of the most effective ways to enhance fat burning and weight loss.
Aerobic exercises may help decrease belly fat, body fat, waist circumference, and increase muscle mass.
Health practitioners recommend roughly 20 -40 minutes of cardio each day.
10. Sleep More
Research has shown that adults who sleep less than 7 hours a night are more likely to have obesity compared to those who get at least 7 hours regularly. This is because sleep deprivation is said to interfere with the 2 hormones that regulate appetite hence making you more likely to indulge in unhealthy eating habits.
11. Increase your NEAT activities
NEAT stands for Non-exercise activity thermogenesis which describes all the calories you burn by doing your usual daily tasks such as cleaning the house, vacuuming, mowing the lawn, cooking, taking out the trash, random dancing, walking the dog, washing the car… which all help to reduce body fat as they aid in burning extra calories.
A low level of NEAT (living a sedentary life of not moving around much) combined with eating junk food may increase fat accumulation in the body which has been linked to obesity.
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