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Friday, October 21, 2011

Your Belly Fat Is Dangerous!

Belly fat, we all don't want it. It can also be a problem with thin people. Losing weight in abdomen can be the hardest thing to do for most people.

Belly fats are formed by 2 types of fats:
Subcutaneous fats - fats under the skin in the thigh, hips, buttocks and abdomen.Visceral fats - fat surround the vital organs such as heart, lungs stomach and liver.

Body Mass Index measurement does not show where the fats are stored. For women, waist circumference greater than 35 inches and men greater than 40 inches are considered as high belly fat.

The other way to measure is the waist to hip ratio; over 0.8 for women and over 0.9 for men

How do you get belly fat?

As we gain weight, both subcutaneous fat and visceral fat increase. Where does the body store these fat depends on the gene, lifestyle, age and sex.

Men below 40 years old have higher visceral fat to subcutaneous fat. Women tend to store more visceral fat after menopause.

What's wrong with belly fat?

Belly fats are "biologically active", producing hormone and other substances that affect our health:
Cytokines, an immune hormone, that produce low-level of chronic inflammation and affect the cells sensitivity to insulin, blood pressure and blood clotting.Increase LDL ( bad cholesterol) and cut HDL (good cholesterol) and increase the risk of developing insulin resistance, which will lead to type 2 diabetes.Increase the risk of colon cancer.Increase the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease.

How to reduce belly fat?

1) Exercise

Forget about spot exercise such as sit ups. It may reduce and tone the subcutaneous fat but it does not reduce visceral fat.

As you lose weight, you lose all types of fat. Aerobic exercises help to trim subcutaneous and visceral fat. Walking is the easiest form of aerobic exercise and we only need to do brisk walks 30 minutes everyday, is enough to give health benefits.

2) Eat a healthy diet

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. WHO (World Health Organization) recommends 5-7 portions of fruits and vegetables daily. Eat also complex carbohydrates from whole grains instead of refined carbohydrate from cakes, biscuits, pasta and white rice.

Ensure you have 25-30 milligrams of fiber each day. Fiber slows down the absorption of sugar into the blood as well as absorption of cholesterol in the intestine.

Reduce intake of saturated fat from meat, diary and seafood. Increase intake of food fats such as Omega 3 from nuts and seeds.

3) Get optimum sleep

Sleeping too much or too little can increase the build up of visceral fat. 6-7 hours of sleep is the optimum for adults.

4) Manage stress

Stress can be found in the environment, social and physical. The body responds to all types of stress by storing visceral fat.

Belly fat is difficult to remove, but if you follow the above tips plus be consistent and persistent, you should be able to achieve the results.

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