Getting the skinny on fat might seem complicated, but once you understand the different types of it, why you need it and why some of it is so stubborn, you’ll be better able to know what you can do about it.
Types of Fat
Not all fats are created equal. There are dietary fats and there are body fats. The amount of dietary fats you eat can influence the amount of body fat you have, but other factors can increase the overall amount in your body as well.
Body fats include white, brown and beige fats. You can also divide body fats based on where you find them. For example, fat can be either subcutaneous or visceral.
White fat is, as you might guess, white in color. It’s the primary type of fat in the body and is responsible for cushioning your organs, providing back-up stores of energy and producing hunger-regulating hormones. People with too much white fat might actually develop something known as leptin (a hunger hormone) resistance, as their system produces enough of the hormone to decrease sensitivity to it.
Other types of body fats include brown and beige. Brown fats burn energy, instead of storing it. It’s also responsible for maintaining body temperature. Although you might think that beige fat is a mix of white and brown, it’s actually its own type of adipose (fat) tissue. It burns energy like brown fat. It’s also possible for your body to convert white fats to beige fats, increasing your fat burning ability, thanks to cold or stress.
All types of fats can be located in one or two areas. Subcutaneous fats are located right below the skin. Visceral fats, on the other hand, are stored around the organs, particularly around the organs in the abdominal area. High amounts of visceral fats are connected to health issues ranging from diabetes to dementia.
Why You Need Fat
Your body needs fats for a few reasons. For one thing, your body is only able to process certain vitamins, such as vitamin D, vitamin A and vitamin K when those vitamins are first dissolved in fats. Fats also help you regulate your body temperature and provide padding and cushioning for your organs.
You also need fat to help regulate feelings of hunger and for energy. Your body has stores of fats that it can use when it needs fuel. Certain fats also produce the hormones that help your body burn that energy and control your metabolism.
Your appearance also depends on having an adequate amount of fats in your body. When you don’t have enough fat, your skin doesn’t get enough oil and moisture and ends up looking dry. Dry skin can add years to your appearance.
Why Some Fat is So Stubborn
Fats in certain areas of the body, such as around the stomach or the thighs and hips, can seem to be more stubborn than other fats. There are a few reasons for that. One is that people often try to “target” fats in particular areas. All the crunches or squats in the world won’t necessarily get you a flat stomach or slender thighs. When you lose fat through diet and exercise, you tend to lose it all over, versus in one spot.
Some people are also more likely to store fats in certain areas, as well. For example, women might have unwanted fat in the hips or thigh areas, even if they are a healthy weight and otherwise in good shape.
Getting Rid of Excess Fat
If you do have unwanted, excess fat in certain areas and you’re at a healthy weight, you have options for getting rid of it. If the fat hasn’t responded to dietary changes or an increase in exercise, your best bet might be to choose a fat removal option. Coolsculpting is one choice.
During Coolsculpting, your surgeon fits a special application over the area you want to treat. The applicator chills the area, destroying the fat cells. After about four months, many people notice up to a 25 percent reduction in the amount of fat in the treated area. The results aren’t visible right away because your body needs time to flush away the destroyed fat cells.
Coolsculpting isn’t your only fat removal option. But it’s non-surgical, has a short recovery time, with pretty much no downtime required, and it lets you target specific areas of unwanted fat. To learn more about the treatment and what you can expect during and after it, call 281-810-9083 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Paul Vitenas and the staff at Mirror, Mirror Beauty Boutique, in Houston, Texas, today.