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How is fat stored in the body?


Fat is stored all over the body in fat cells called adipocytes. The individual number of fat cells is determined early in life. A person has developed their total number of fat cells often by late adolescence. Although it is possible to increase the number of fat cells during adulthood, it is not likely.
 

Fat cells increase and decrease in size depending on how much fat they are storing. When someone gains weight these cells get bigger and when weight is lost the cells shrink in size. You cannot reduce the number of fat cells in your body. We also have no control over which cells decide to release their fat for energy during exercise. In other words, performing leg lifts will not stimulate fat to be released from the fat cells in the legs. Performing abdominal crunches will not help you lose fat in and around just your stomach. Fat from all over the body will be used to fuel your exercise.
 

 

Stephen D. Ball, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Nutritional Sciences, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri Extension

 

Jo Britt-Rankin, Ph.D., Associate Dean, State Specialist, Associate Professor, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri Extension

 

Candance Gabel, M.S. R.D., Assistant Program Director, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri Extension

 

 

 

 

 

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Last update: Thursday, December 04, 2008

 

 


 
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