These days so many health issues are coming up and the prime reason for it is of course the unhealthy diet plan and the lifestyle which a person is living up these days.

Things You Need to Know About Body Fat & Unwanted Body Fat

April 21, 2023 by Dr. Sandeep Bhasin0

Body fat is an important component of our body, and maintaining a healthy level of it is crucial for our overall well-being. Body fat serves as a source of energy, protects our organs, and helps regulate our body temperature. However, excessive body fat can lead to various health problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some cancers. This article aims to provide you with comprehensive knowledge about body fat and unwanted body fat, including their causes, effects, and ways to manage and reduce them. In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about body fat and unwanted body fat. We’ll discuss what body fat is, why it’s important to maintain healthy levels and provide an overview of the article’s contents.

What is Body Fat?

Body fat is an important component of our bodies that is necessary for many bodily functions. It refers to the adipose tissue in the body that stores energy in the form of fat. Body fat is essential for maintaining overall health and wellness, but too much body fat can lead to obesity and related health problems.

There are two types of body fat: essential and non-essential. Essential body fat is necessary for the normal functioning of the body, while non-essential body fat is not required for survival.

  • Essential Body Fat: This type of body fat is required for the normal functioning of the body, such as insulation, shock absorption, and hormone regulation. For men, essential body fat ranges from 2-5% of total body weight, while for women, it ranges from 10-13%.
  • Non-Essential Body Fat: This type of body fat is not necessary for normal bodily functions and is often referred to as excess body fat. Too much non-essential body fat can lead to obesity and health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. The recommended body fat percentage for men is between 10-20%, while for women it is between 20-30%.
what is body fat

The Dangers of Excess Body Fat

Excess body fat not only affects the physical appearance of an individual but also poses severe health risks. Some of the health risks associated with having too much body fat are:

  • Heart Disease: Excessive body fat increases the risk of heart disease by elevating cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and triglycerides.
  • Diabetes: Obesity increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by reducing insulin sensitivity and affecting glucose metabolism.
  • Cancer: Research suggests that carrying excess body fat increases the risk of certain types of cancer, including breast, ovarian, and colon cancer.

Moreover, excess body fat also has a negative impact on self-esteem and body image. Individuals with high body fat may feel unhappy with their appearance, leading to low self-esteem, and negatively affecting their mental health.

It is essential to maintain healthy body fat levels to reduce the risk of developing these health issues and improve overall well-being.

Factors that Affect Body Fat:

When it comes to body fat, there are several factors that can affect its distribution and accumulation. Genetics, diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices all play a role in how much body fat a person has and where it is stored. Understanding these factors can help you make more informed decisions about how to manage your body fat levels and maintain a healthy weight.

  • Genetics: Genetic factors can influence body fat levels, as some people may be predisposed to having a higher or lower body fat percentage.
  • Diet: Diet plays a significant role in body fat levels. Consuming a diet high in calories, unhealthy fats, and sugars can lead to an increase in body fat.
  • Exercise: Physical activity is important for maintaining a healthy body fat level. Lack of exercise can lead to weight gain and an increase in body fat.
  • Lifestyle Choices: Smoking, alcohol consumption, and poor sleep habits can also contribute to an increase in body fat.
  • Hormones: Hormonal imbalances can affect body fat distribution. For instance, an excess of estrogen in women can cause fat to accumulate in the hips and thighs, while men with low testosterone may experience an increase in body fat.

Overall, understanding the factors that affect body fat is essential for anyone looking to maintain a healthy weight and body composition. By taking a comprehensive approach that includes diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, and hormone optimization, you can achieve a healthier body fat level and improve your overall health and well-being.

healthy and unhealthy lifestyle infographics

Measuring Body Fat

Accurately measuring body fat is crucial to understand your overall health status. There are several methods available to measure body fat, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Below are the most common methods:

  • Skinfold Calipers: This method involves measuring the thickness of a fold of skin at different points on the body using calipers. It is a simple and inexpensive method but can be less accurate than other methods.
  • Bioelectrical Impedance: This method involves passing a low-level electrical current through the body to measure resistance. It is a quick and non-invasive method, but factors such as hydration level and food intake can affect the results.
  • DEXA Scans: This method uses a low dose of X-rays to measure body fat, bone density, and muscle mass. It is the most accurate method, but also the most expensive.

It is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each method before choosing which one to use. For example, skinfold calipers may be a good option for those on a budget, while DEXA scans may be necessary for athletes or individuals with specific health conditions.

Healthy Body Fat Percentage:

To maintain a healthy body fat percentage, it is important to know what is considered healthy for both men and women. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) suggests that a healthy body fat percentage for men is between 6-24%, and for women, it is between 16-30%. However, these percentages can vary based on age, fitness level, and other factors.

  • A healthy body fat percentage is the amount of body fat that is neither too high nor too low for an individual’s age, gender, and height.
  • For men, a healthy body fat percentage typically ranges from 10% to 20%. For women, a healthy body fat percentage typically ranges from 18% to 28%.
  • Maintaining a healthy body fat percentage is important for overall health and well-being. Excess body fat can increase the risk of developing health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. On the other hand, having too little body fat can also be dangerous and lead to health complications.

To maintain a healthy body fat percentage, it is important to focus on both diet and exercise. A diet that is high in nutrient-dense foods and low in processed foods and added sugars can help to reduce body fat. Regular exercise, including both cardiovascular and strength training, can also help to reduce body fat and improve overall health.

Reducing Body Fat

If you are looking to reduce your body fat, there are several strategies you can implement. Here are some tips:

  • Diet: A balanced and healthy diet is crucial when it comes to reducing body fat. Focus on consuming whole, nutrient-dense foods and avoiding processed foods and added sugars. Incorporate plenty of vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats into your diet.
  • Exercise: Cardiovascular exercise is essential for burning calories and reducing body fat. Incorporate activities like running, cycling, swimming, or dancing into your routine. Strength training is also important for building lean muscle mass, which can boost your metabolism and help you burn more calories throughout the day.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Making sustainable lifestyle changes can also contribute to reducing body fat. Some examples include getting enough sleep, reducing stress levels, and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption.

By combining a healthy diet with regular exercise and sustainable lifestyle changes, you can achieve and maintain a healthy body fat percentage.

Unwanted Body Fat:

Unwanted body fat refers to the excessive amount of fat stored in the body, which can cause various health problems. It can be challenging to get rid of unwanted body fat as it takes a lot of time, patience, and discipline.

Unwanted body fat can accumulate in different areas of the body, such as the abdomen, hips, and thighs. This excess fat can result in obesity, diabetes, and other health problems. People often struggle to lose unwanted body fat, even with regular exercise and a healthy diet.

However, there are ways to target and eliminate unwanted body fat. Regular exercise is one of the most effective ways to reduce body fat, especially high-intensity interval training (HIIT), strength training, and cardio exercises. Additionally, making changes to your diet, such as reducing processed foods, sugar, and saturated fats, can aid in weight loss and reduce unwanted body fat.

Another strategy is to increase your metabolism by eating small, frequent meals throughout the day and consuming metabolism-boosting foods such as protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Moreover, drinking plenty of water and getting enough sleep can also help reduce unwanted body fat.

In conclusion, unwanted body fat can be harmful to your health and well-being. By incorporating regular exercise, healthy eating habits, and lifestyle changes, you can effectively target and eliminate unwanted body fat, leading to improved overall health and confidence.

Medical procedures to reduce unwanted body fat

Sometimes diet and exercise may not be enough to get rid of unwanted body fat. In such cases, medical procedures can be considered to help reduce excess fat. There are several medical procedures available that can help reduce body fat. Here are some of the most common procedures:

  1. Liposuction: Liposuction is a surgical procedure that removes excess fat from different parts of the body. The surgeon inserts a thin tube called a cannula into the area where fat needs to be removed. The cannula is then used to suction out the fat. Liposuction can be used on various areas such as the abdomen, thighs, hips, arms, and neck.
  2. CoolSculpting: CoolSculpting is a non-invasive procedure that uses controlled cooling to eliminate fat cells. The procedure works by freezing the fat cells, which then die and are eliminated by the body over time. This Cryolipolysis treatment is usually done in a few sessions and is effective on different areas of the body, including the chin, abdomen, thighs, and arms.
  3. SculpSure: SculpSure is another non-invasive procedure that uses laser technology to destroy fat cells. The laser heats the fat cells, which then break down and are eliminated by the body naturally. This treatment is effective for areas such as the abdomen, thighs, and love handles.
  4. Tummy Tuck: A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen. The procedure involves making an incision on the lower abdomen and tightening the muscles and skin. This procedure is recommended for people who have lost a lot of weight and have excess skin and fat in the abdominal area.
  5. Gastric Bypass: Gastric bypass is a surgical procedure that reduces the size of the stomach and reroutes the digestive system. This procedure is recommended for people who are severely overweight and have not been able to lose weight through diet and exercise. The procedure reduces the amount of food that can be eaten, leading to weight loss.

Before considering any of these procedures, it is important to consult with a qualified medical professional to determine which procedure is right for you. It is also essential to have realistic expectations regarding the results of the procedure. These medical procedures can be helpful in reducing unwanted body fat but are not a substitute for a healthy diet and regular exercise.


In conclusion, understanding body fat and its impact on our health is crucial for maintaining a healthy and happy life. We have learned that not all body fat is bad, but excessive amounts can lead to numerous health problems. By implementing a healthy diet and exercise routine, we can work towards achieving a healthy body fat percentage. Remember to regularly monitor your body fat levels and seek professional guidance if needed. By making small changes to our lifestyle, we can improve our overall health and well-being. Let’s prioritize our health and work towards a healthier future.


Here are some related medical journals and articles about body fat and unwanted body fat:

  1. “Body fat measurement in clinical practice” – American Society for Nutrition Link:
  2. “Body fat, waist circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio as predictors of cardiovascular disease in Korean adults” – Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health Link:
  3. “Strategies for reducing body fat mass: effects of liposuction and exercise on cardiovascular risk factors and adiposity” – Journal of Obesity Link:

I hope these references help you to further explore the topic of body fat and unwanted body fat from a medical perspective.

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Dr. Sandeep Bhasin

Dr. Sandeep Bhasin is a highly skilled cosmetic surgeon and the owner of Care Well Medical Centre in Delhi. With extensive expertise in cosmetic and plastic surgery, he is dedicated to providing exceptional care and transformative results to his patients. Dr. Sandeep Bhasin obtained his MBBS and MS in General Surgery from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and served as a consultant at Bhaktshreshtha Kamalakarpant Laxman Walawalkar Hospital, Diagnostic & Research Centre. Specializing in various procedures such as face-lifts, rhinoplasty, liposuction, breast augmentation, hair transplant and many others, Dr. Sandeep Bhasin is committed to enhancing his patients' natural beauty and self-confidence.

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