Body fat is distributed all over your body but it’s not an even distribution. For example there is a at least a little bit of fat stored in places like your forehead and the back of your hands, but obviously this isn’t a major fat storage site.
For men the main site of fat storage is the gut/belly, and for women it is a mix of hips/thigh/butt and belly.
Each person will have a slightly different specific pattern but the general trend for men and women are more or less the same.
There are different specific locations of the fat.
Visceral fat is the fat that is stored underneath your abs and is all around your organs. This is basically what makes up a ‘gut’. Researchers are finding out that this fat is what contributes to a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes)
Subcutaneous fat is the stuff just under your skin that you can pinch. This fat also accumulates in the belly area for a double whammy on top of visceral fat. Lower body fat is also subcutaneous.
Intra-muscular fat is within the muscles themselves.
We store fat close to the middle of our bodies simply because from an evolutionary and functional perspective it allows us to still move around and use our arms and legs.
Think of it the other way around. If we stored all of our fat in our arms hands feet and legs it would be a functional disaster. We wouldn’t be able to walk or move our arms.
So as people get heavier they start to look like a sphere, with the additional fat all accumulating in the gut and butt area.
The reason it seems to take so long to burn fat from these areas is simply because more fat accumulates in there.
It takes longer to remove enough fat from these areas to see a difference. So when you’re losing weight it shows up in places with minimal fat first, such as your face, hands and arms. This doesn’t mean you’re not also losing fat from your belly or hips/butt, it just means there is more to lose from those spots and it doesn’t show as quickly.
We don’t like to admit it, but many of us have or had enough fat stored in our bellys/hips/butt that a 10-20lbs loss still doesn’t look like much…that just means you have another 20 to go before these area’s really start to look lean.
Every fitness competitor and bodybuilder I’ve known or worked with is always shocked the first time they diet down and realize how much fat they really had to lose.
It’s always more than they think, and they always end up lighter than they guessed they would be by contest time.