Is there such a thing as residual fat? That means, fat that will stay there in your belly, thighs or other place? Does your body save fat just for emergencies?

It might sound as a silly question, but this is a pretty demotivating thought of mine when dieting or doing physical exercise. I always think that I won't manage to have a flat belly, no matter how hard I try. Maybe my body only lets me reduce my fat up to x% before getting sick and leaves my belly fat untouched.

  • Why the downvotes? Given the focus on reducing body fat in fitness, knowing what the minimum for good health is is important.
    – user2861
    Sep 13, 2013 at 10:09
  • @LegoStormtroopr - I didn't downvote, but I did vote to close, as I regard it as being off topic. It's a question about fat, unrelated to exercise except for the words "physical exercise" in the second paragraph (Which is not a question). The basic questions are "Is there such a thing as residual fat" and "Does your body save fat for emergencies", neither of which have anything to do with exercise.
    – JohnP
    Sep 13, 2013 at 16:58

1 Answer 1


Your body does require a minimum amount of body fat to survive and function properly and has roles beyond simple calorie storage. In fact, your brain has a small amount of adipose tissue that is necessary for brain function. So it is impossible to have a body fat percentage of 0 and survive.

I would focus on a healthy diet and exercise plan that helped reduce your body fat to a healthy level. If you are concerned about how you will look in the future, investigate resistance training to increase your muscle mass. Often when people speak of "toned bodies" its just a low ration of body fat to muscle mass.

If you are concerned about losing fat particularly off your stomach, unfortunately, where our fat deposits are located is entirely genetic. Spot reduction is a myth unfortunately. Focus on a healthy diet, with resistance training and you will feel healthier and look better.

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