Body fat, or to the medical community, adipose tissue is loose connective tissue which is composed of adipocytes. The goal of this tissue is for the storage of energy in the human body. Furthermore, it also helps to insulate as well as cushion the body. The concept of obesity or being fat has to do with not one’s actual weight, but rather the amount of body fat that they have.
When it comes to body fat though, there are two different forms of this adipose tissue which includes the white and brown adipose tissues. These tissues play an important role in the production of TNFa, resistin as well as leptin. However the actual formation of the body fat is reliant on genes. The control of adipose tissue development is done by the particular adipose gene and therefore is genetic.
This tissue is located beneath the layer of skin as well as around various organs and bone marrow. The tissue itself is composed of varying types of cells which can include the adipocytes which contain the actual fat, macrophages, fibroblasts, as well as endothelial cells are the other major cell types found in body fat. Seeing as though this is also living tissue, intertwined within the matrix of body fat is a large system of micro sized blood vessels, nerves among many other tissues.
While the development of adipose tissue or body fat is genetic, this of course does not play an actual role in obesity. Our bodies require fat as a means of protecting vital organs and storing energy. However when this tissue becomes excessive, it is not actually genetic. The excess tissue is developed as a result of the fatty acids from the foods one ingests being separated by the lipoprotein lipase. If one takes in excessive amounts of fatty acids, this process occurs in an excessive amount. If you have a fast metabolism then this excessive energy can easily be burned off, however when the metabolic process is slowed down because of lack of exercise or a consistency of over eating, the extra energy is not burned off, but rather stored away for later use. This then becomes an almost snow-ball effect as one who is gaining weight also becomes more lethargic and therefore will gain even more weight.
Body Fat Analyse
One way to analyse body fat is through near-infrared interactance. In this technique, the examiner will make use of a beam of infrared light and will shine it through one’s biceps. The underlying muscle mass of the biceps will reflect the beam back. The body’s fat will absorb this light and then depending on the amount of light that is actually returned to the point of origin, a fairly accurate measurement of one’s body fat can be determined.
You then have the dual energy X-ray absorptiometry technique used to analyse body fat. Also known as DXA or DEXA, this technique makes use of two different forms of X-rays. The first X-ray will scan the body of all tissues; this includes fat, skin, muscles, bones and organs. The second X-ray will then scan the body however this particular X-ray is not capable of detecting fat tissue. Then using a computer, the first X-ray scan will be subtracted by the second one, leaving only the fat tissue in the computer. From there the actual mass of the fat tissue will be calculated and then the body fat percentage will be determined.
There are many other techniques available as well that can include things like measuring the amount of body fat inside the bones as this fat is also found within bone marrow. Then there is also a technique that can be used to determine the amount of water in the body as well as the actual volume of fat in the body through displacement testing.
However, the most refined and accurate technique that can be used is known as the in-vivo neutron activation technique. In this technique, all the different components associated with the body and its fat is analysed in order to determine the amount of fat in one’s body. Of course this method is also the most expensive and the hardest to find as well.
Body Fat Measure
When it comes to measuring body fat, there are three ways which are used in order to calculate the amount of body fat someone has. For starters, you have body fat scales, there are also skinfold calipers as well as hydrostatic weighing. All three of these methods used have both advantages to them as well as disadvantages and in order to determine which one is right for you, you will need to know a little more about them.
The body fat scales are considered to be able to measure body fat consistently as well as very quickly. These scales use Bioelectrical Impedance in order to measure the percentage of fat in your body. When using one, it will send a small pulse of electrical current through your body and measure the amount of resistance that is created. Unfortunately, while this is a quick way to measure body fat, its disadvantages have to do with the many things that can change the readings. For example, the amount of water in your body can change the results drastically as water has low impedance versus body tissue. For this reason when using a body fat scale, it is important that prior to using it, you do not eat for 4 hours or exercise for 12 hours. It is also best to use it in the morning, right after waking up and using the bathroom.
When it comes to making use of skinfold calipers to measure body fat, these are considered to be by far the most cost effective. However, in order to get the proper readings, you have to know how to use them correctly. There are a number of skinfold calipers that are available, however when it comes to obtaining a measurement of your body fat percentage from them, it is usually best to allow a professional to get those measurements. It is still possible for you to use these yourself to measure body fat, but keep in mind that you have to take the time to read the instructions to ensure you are using them properly.
However, with all of the methods available to measure body fat, the number one and most effective means of getting the body fat percentage results is through hydrostatic weighing. This unfortunately cannot be done at home though. This measurement is performed in a hydrostatic weighing tank using the Archimedes Principle. By entering the tank, the examiner will be able to tell how dense your body is based on the amount of water that is displaced in the tank. From there a formula is used to determine your body fat percentage based on your body’s density.
As stated before though, this cannot be done at home and sometimes finding a hydrostatic weighing tank is an almost impossible task. However, by knowing your body fat percentage, you will be able to deal with the task of getting rid of that excess fat. Being overweight has many disadvantages and most of them are medical. Being overweight means you are more prone to various conditions such as diabetes and heart disorders and getting rid of that fat properly means putting forth the effort to burn it off. In order to do this you need to know your body fat percentage which can be done through the ways listed above which are designed especially to measure body fat.
Body Fat Scales
When it comes to measuring body fat, while some people may turn to the scales, it is important to remember that the concept of being obese has absolutely nothing to do with one’s weight, but rather the amount of adipose tissue in their bodies. For this reason the only real way to measure body fat, is with a body fat meter. This body fat meter is the only true body fat scales available.
Basically, what these body fat scales do is that they measure the amount of fat in ones body. Adipose tissue is body fat and it is brown adipose tissue, or BAT which is the largest culprit of obesity. There are a variety of different types of body fat scales available and each one is designed to determine the amount of body fat in the person in a different way.
These scales can be both expensive as well as relatively cheap. On the expensive side you have the bioelectrical impedance analysis or BIA which gets its measurements through the passage of minute amounts of current through the body and measures the resistance of it. The concept of course is that different types of tissues resist electrical current in varying amounts and thus this body fat scale can determine the amount of fat in the body.
The amount of adipose tissue that your body carries is dependant on a lot of factors including your height, the amount of muscle mass as well as your health and overall shape. While the development of this body fat is based on genetics, the excessive development of body fat is caused by excessively eating foods which are high in fatty acids without burning them off sufficiently.
For this reason, it is completely possible to be 5’ 10” tall and weigh in at 250 pounds without being obese. Many people who work out on a regular basis can achieve this and it is in no way considered to be fat. However, this weight is based on muscle mass and not fat, the concept of being obese on the other hand has to do with the adipose tissue and its amount versus the amount of muscle mass.
This is why body fat scales and their uses to determine one’s body fat percentage is very important. Knowing how much fat your body has can help you reduce “weight” if you are obese. It is this percentage of body fat versus safe levels, that needs to be burned off and assuming that you are of a lean body style, then if you appear overweight, you could have a lot more fat to get rid of versus someone who has a larger more muscular body style and the same weight.
The use of body fat scales are the only real way of determining this body fat percentage as you cannot really see it, or weigh it. While certain tissues do have specific weights, you also have to keep in mind that because there are also other cells in the body fat like blood vessels and nerves, even if we could somehow see the fat through a scanner, estimating the body fat percentage would still have to be done through the use of body fat scales.