In order to understand why some body parts carry more fat than others, it is important to understand fat cells. There are two types of fat–white fat cells and brown fat cells. White fat cells typically accumulate in areas like the butt, thighs, abdomen, arms, and breasts… you know, all of the places we try to target to shed that fat. The function of white fat cells is to store energy and regulate our hormones. The function of brown fat cells are typically found around the neck area and their function is to heat up the body when needed.
White fat cells aren’t as active as brown fat cells. Brown fat cells are more active due to needing to heat the temperature of the body which is why the areas where white fat cells like to hang out tend to be harder to get rid of (carry more fat). We all store fat for different reasons, whether they are because of genetics, stress, environmental, medication, diet, exercise, and our age to name a few.
What is Possibly Causing Fat to be on a Specific Body Part?
- Fat accumulating on the stomach is usually associated with hormones such as elevated estrogen, insulin, and cortisol.
- Fat accumulating on the thighs is usually associated with elevated estrogen levels—the primary female sex hormone.
- Fat accumulating on the back of the hips aka love handles is sually associated with elevated insulin levels.
- Fat accumulating on the back of arms is usually associated with low testosterone levels and elevated insulin levels.
It is important to speak to your doctor to see if you have any increased insulin issues, hormonal imbalances, decreased libido, and excess stress. Certainly living an active life surrounding a healthy diet can level out imbalances within the body (but it might not be the only solution).