Belly Fat – What Is It?
Do you have too much belly fat?
Everyone knows at least one person that has too much. No matter what it is called; a spare tire, a pot-belly or a beer belly, it’s very dangerous and it causes too many health risks.
The health dangers of belly fat are quite serious and can be quite alarming.
The Health Dangers
Belly fat is not like any other fat on your body. It is far more serious and the health dangers can increase your chances of getting some serious health problems.
If you carry too much fat around your waist, you are far more likely to develop health problems than if you carry fat in your hips and thighs.
Belly fat can increase your chances of developing a number of serious health issues, including:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Breast cancer
- Sleep apnea
- Gallbladder problems
Types of Belly Fat
Belly fat is the accumulation of abdominal fat that results in an increased waist size. It is also known as central adiposity or abdominal obesity. It increases as you get older, mainly after pregnancy or when you start to drink too much. That’s why they call it a “beer belly!”
Excess abdominal fat, abdominal obesity, or belly fat is linked with a higher risk of insulin resistance and is one of the main causes of metabolic syndrome. But not all abdominal fat is equal. As a matter of fat, there are two types of belly fat, subcutaneous fat and visceral fat.
The fat that rests between your skin and abdominal wall is known as subcutaneous fat. It’s the type of fat that you can pinch. It is located under your skin, between your skin and muscles. Subcutaneous fat is not directly linked to metabolic risk, and with small amounts of this type of fat, will not increase your risk of disease.
The next layer of fat, the fat that surrounds your internal organs is known as visceral fat. It is linked to metabolic syndrome and other health conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease. Visceral fat is very dangerous because it releases dangerous compounds into your body that is biologically active and can produce an excess of hormones.
Many studies have been done on visceral fat. And many researchers describe it as an active organ in the body that creates hormones and inflammatory substances.
According to one researcher, Dr. Lewis Kuller, MD, PHD., visceral fat turns into fatty acids that can seep into the liver and muscle of the body. In his study on Visceral fat, Dr. Kuller says that this type of drainage causes various changes in your body such as an increase in bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
Along with this reaction, insulin can stop being effective in controlling blood sugars, which in turn, results in insulin resistance. This insulin resistance often lead to Type 2 Diabetes and other conditions such as heart disease.
Belly Fat in Men
Men are more likely to have heart disease because they tend to collect more belly fat than women, and they tend to get it earlier in life. A recent study showed that too much of this type of fat in men is a risk for “all-cause mortality”, which means death from any kind of cause. Men who have too much of this kind of fat are more prone to have erectile dysfunction when they over the age of 60.
Belly Fat in Women
Belly fat in women can cause a severe hormonal imbalance. For example, after a woman goes through menopause the hormonal changes that take place can cause fat to gather in the belly. In addition, the hormonal imbalance caused by this type of fat, can also lead to breast cancer in women, where the risk is 1/3 higher than that in women without it.
It can also cause inflammation in the body. Not only does it cause inflammation, but this inflammation can lead to a variety of different health conditions and diseases. According to one Danish study, women are five times more likely to die from heart disease when they have lots of belly fat, large waists, and high levels of fat in the blood stream.
There are many factors that cause someone to have excessive amounts of belly fat. We usually put on more belly fat when we get older, especially when we become middle-aged, after pregnancy, or we drink too much alcohol. But regardless of how we put it on, we want it off and we want to eliminate it.
Heredity plays an important role with having belly fat. If your parents or any other close relatives have/had a lot of it, you will have a better chance in having a lot of belly fat. The problem with it is that it can be inherited and be passed down from generation to generation.
Probably, the most common causes of belly fat is that we have poor dieting habits and we exercise very little We eat too much sugar, processed foods, drink too much alcohol, and we don’t eat enough protein and fiber. These days people live on a fast food diet and never take the time to go to the gym.
So now the question is how can you get rid of belly fat?
The best ways to lose belly fat are simple, natural, and safe. People who have unwanted belly fat should consider changing their diets by eating more protein, reducing their carbs, and eating more fiber. And finally, begin an exercise program.
Change Your Diet
Good nutrition is the key to losing belly fat. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym. “This is very true because you must eat a healthy diet to lose belly fat and keep it off!
First, to eliminate belly fat, you must reduce your intake of processed foods which are commonly packed with sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. Because eating too much sugar can cause you to gain weight, thus, belly fat, and you increase your risk of metabolic diseases.
Second, consume higher amounts of protein. Studies which have been conducted on high-protein diets, say that if you consume higher amounts of protein, you have greater feelings of fullness which may mean a lower calorie intake. Recent studies have concluded that overweight and obese men who made protein 25% of their daily calorie intake, their appetite control and feelings of fullness increased by 60%. A protein intake of around 25 -30% of your daily calories may increase your metabolism by up to 100 calories per day.
Third, make sure you increase your fiber intake. Vegetables high in soluble fiber have shown to help with weight loss and the reduction of stomach fat. Taking vegetables high in fiber may increase your feelings of fullness and decrease your calorie intake over time.
Fourth, you should control your portions of food intake. Eating less food portions will lower your calorie intake and eventually allow you to lose weight and fat.
But it’s not just enough to get your diet right. You also need to start exercising. Exercising and eating right will help keep your metabolism revved up. And the best part is you don’t have to workout a long time to see the results. All it takes is 30 minutes a day of exercise and you would be surprised how fast your body starts to change. When you workout be sure to incorporate resistance training. The more muscle you build the more fat you will burn during a 24-hour period.
So, ladies don’t be afraid to increase your muscle mass. It will go a long way towards helping you shed those extra pounds.
No matter what you call it, spare tire, pot-belly or beer belly, having excess fat in your abdominal area is not a good thing. As a matter of fact, it presents a very serious danger.
If you have too much belly fat you definitely need to get your diet in check. No more eating unhealthy fast food, 5 nights a week. It’s time to start cooking and start consuming whole foods, more fiber, more protein, control your portions, and cut out sugar. Your need to start eating lots of fresh veggies, fruits and proteins. Your daily diet should include things like: broccoli, spinach, carrots, oranges, pineapples, mango and chicken are all great for losing weight. Before long, you start seeing a big difference in your weight and belly!