The human body is made up of different types of body fat. The three best-known types are subcutaneous, visceral, and gender. Recent research suggests incorporating three more: the intra-abdominal, pectoral, and lower abdomen. (6)
The concept that all body fat is the same is long gone. Eliminating body fat is possible; however, other methods are required to improve burning the different types of body fat.
This article describes the different types of body fat and methods to eliminate each one.
Types of Body Fat – What Are They?
Science has confirmed at least six types of body fat; scientists have classified them according to the area where they accumulate, their causes, and the characteristics of the calls they get. (6)
The leading causes that influence the accumulation of different types of body fat are genetics, hormones, diet, and lack of physical exercise. Causing changes in any factors will affect the different kinds of body fat percentage.
The types of body fat and the most effective methods to eliminate it are described below:
- Visceral or internal fat
The visceral fat or internal is the type of body fat that is located on the mouth of the stomach and is what gives the typical balloon effect. Increasing this type of body fat is the most dangerous.
A direct relationship between visceral fat with an increased risk of heart attacks and coronary events has been confirmed. People high in visceral fat are at higher risk for heart disease. (5)
Aerobic exercises are the most effective method to eliminate visceral or internal fat. This is explained because it is a type of fat sensitive to adrenaline. (6)
- Subcutaneous fat
Subcutaneous fat is found under the skin and represents approximately 40-60% of total body fat.
Eliminating subcutaneous fat is an aesthetic problem. It is relevant for those who want to tone and mark their muscles.
When the body fat percentage is 20-25% in men and 25-35% in women, the muscles are not visible. Thirty minutes of physical exercise at moderate intensity is enough to burn this type of body fat.
- Gender fat – hips in women and lower back in men
The third type of fat is related to gender. This is because it is the type of fat most susceptible to hormones and is distributed differently in men than in women. It is located in the lower back; it is concentrated in the hips and buttocks in women.
To eliminate this type of body fat, you must limit simple carbohydrates in the diet. In other words, excess sugar and honey should be limited. Sweet foods can create hormonal changes that lead the body to accumulate this type of fat.
- Grasa intra-abdominal
Intra-abdominal fat is between the abdominal muscles. It is one of the most difficult to eliminate—this is one of the types of fat that must be eliminated with cardio at high intensities.
Eliminating intra-abdominal fat is the first thing a person considers when starting the gym. Fighting against this type of body fat can be quite a challenge for fitness enthusiasts.
- Chest fat
This is the type of body fat that accumulates in the chest area. One of its most frequent causes in men is an imbalance in the hormones testosterone and estrogens.
- Fat in the lower abdomen
The fat in the abdomen is similar to the subcutaneous in terms of danger. This is one of the types of fat that can be eliminated with a classic low-calorie diet.
Remember that a maximum of 400 to 700 g of all types of body fat should be eliminated per week (4). This is equivalent to having a caloric deficit of 500 to 900 KCal per day. Removing a more significant amount of fat can cause a rebound effect.
How do we reduce the percentage of body fat?
While there are differences between different types of fat, it is important to know that completely isolated fat removal is not possible. Studies have shown no methods other than surgical operations to locally remove love handles or abdominal fat. (1,2,8)
To decrease the percentage of body fat, which in the end is what will lead to the burning of all types of body fat, it requires the combination of a correct diet and physical exercise. The best workouts to lose body fat are HIIT, Tabata, and functional movements.
Also, the accumulation of different types of body fat is affected by the effects of hormones. For example, leptin, the hunger hormone, regulates the ability to say enough! when eating. As well as the impact of sex hormones such as testosterone and estrogens on the accumulation of abdominal fat and hips. (1.6)
What is the effect of abdominal exercises?
Ab exercises are not the best method for burning fat. About 30 minutes of abdominal exercises will only burn a few grams of body fat.
Different types of fat must be burned through diet and exercise. The abdominals are adequate for developing the middle zone or core muscles.
Fitness and bodybuilding professionals often burn belly fat in the later stages of training. (1) To achieve this, they are not concentrating on the effect of abdominal exercises but rather on combining high-intensity workouts and a low carbohydrate diet.
Tighter diets like the Dukan diet or the keto diet effectively reduce different types of body fat. However, they should not be prolonged for periods longer than 6-12 months because they can cause long-term side effects.
Skin Flaps: What Kinds of Body Fat Are They?
Skin flaps are empty subcutaneous fat cells. Unfortunately, fat cells do not die or disappear from the body once created. What is emptied is the internal fat content, and it is replaced by water.
Even if the different types of body fat are permanently eliminated, the flaps will continue to be there.
Removing flaps from the skin is practically impossible without a surgical operation. For this reason, people who are overweight or obese after burning fat often have flaps on the skin. The fatty tissues, once they grow, cannot be eliminated.
- There are at least six types of body fat.
- To fight against every kind of body fat, you need a different strategy. Combining diet, exercise, and knowledge of the body somatotype is essential.
- Visceral fat is the one that presents the most significant health danger. Therefore it is one of the types of body fat that must be attacked first.
- Eliminating subcutaneous fat is an aesthetic problem because it hides the muscles.
- Flaps are empty fat cells. Once created, they are impossible to stop either with diet or exercise.
- High-intensity exercises, intermittent fasting, and a low-carbohydrate diet; are the most effective methods to eliminate all types of body fat.