After 30 years, researchers have learned a great deal about the fat stored in the body, and the old idea of fat acting simply as a source of energy has been abandoned. Fat’s far reaching effect on an individual’s health is now recognized, and the fact that accumulated fat in specific areas has a more detrimental effect than fat in others has been confirmed. Belly fat, in particular, the fat that forms around the internal organs, has a far reaching, negative influence on a person’s well being.
This inner fat, known as visceral fat, increases the threat of a variety of medical problems, including diabetes (type 2), dementia, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and more. Although it cannot be seen without specialized equipment, body shape can indicate its presence. Someone with a hefty, round belly, considered apple or pear-shaped, probably has too much visceral fat.
A weight loss as small as ten or twenty pounds can reduce the risk of health troubles, but how does a person lose belly fat? Fortunately, deep belly fat is a ready source of energy for the body. Losing pounds and inches through exercise and dieting means a loss of surface and inner belly fats as this energy source is utilized. What’s more, a basic exercise regime will help keep visceral fat from returning.
A healthy diet works. For example, switching from refined grain to whole grain foods while increasing activity decreases harmful abdominal fat. Further research indicates that a diet with polyunsaturated fats like those found in nuts and heart healthy oils, like safflower and peanut oil, are less likely to contribute to belly fat than foods with saturated fats like palm oil.
Living an active life with a heart healthy diet will help an individual avoid the accumulation of belly fat as well as help those willing to turn their lives, and health, in a new and better direction.
Whether you have been pregnant, find small amounts of weight creeping up on you as you get older, or sometimes overindulge in food or alcoholic beverages, you may have some excess weight around your midsection that you would like to get rid of. For many, having a flat stomach or “six-pack abs” is a dream that is seemingly just out of reach. Is there a way to get rid of your belly fat? Do you need to eat more or less of a certain food, or should you perform specific exercises to tone this area of your body?
Why Should I Lose Body Fat?
The visceral fat that sits around your midsection is more dangerous than the fat in your hips and thighs. It is also worse than the subcutaneous fat that nestles under your skin. Large amounts of excess belly fat can lead to inflammation, hardening of the arteries and a higher risk of developing serious health conditions including metabolic syndrome, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
How to Do it
The good news is that belly fat is the first type of body fat that you lose when you shed weight. However, there is no magic potion, pill, drink, food or exercise that is going to specifically target that area of your body. Regardless of your body type, whether you are an “apple” shape with body fat only around your middle or a “pear” shape with larger thighs and hips, most people lose the fat around their midsections first and more proportionately than anywhere else.
The type of fat that makes up larger bellies, visceral fat, is more active in terms of metabolism than the subcutaneous fat that is located under the skin around other areas of the body. Experts say that the more fat you have to lose, the faster you will lose it.
Eat More Grains
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study that showed when whole-grains were added to a calorie-controlled diet, obese individuals tended to lose weight faster from the abdominal area than those who consumed refined grains. Consuming a similar diet, while reducing the amount of refined carbohydrates, changes the body’s response to glucose and insulin, making it easier to move the fat storage areas of the body. Whole-grains are also higher in fiber, which can leave people full for longer periods of time and decrease hunger levels.
Refined grains, on the other hand, elevate the body’s blood sugar levels and insulin response, causing the body to deposit fat more quickly.
What about Exercise?
It is a known fact for exercise enthusiasts but a source of frustration for those looking to trim certain body areas: you cannot spot reduce weight. While butterfly crunches do in fact target your lower abdominal muscles, you cannot perform hundreds of crunches with the hopes that you will see a flatter midsection. These exercises will not help you lose weight, although they may strengthen them and give a tighter and thinner appearance.
Along with a healthy, calorie-controlled diet, you must also get roughly 60 minutes of moderate exercise every day. The more intense your workouts, the more abdominal fat you may shed.
Weight cycling, commonly called yo-yo dieting, refers to the give and take battle of the bulge many Americans face. We lose weight only to put it back on and find ourselves dieting again. The public perception of yo-yo dieting is tainted with suggestions of mental illness and eating disorders. The truth is that weight-cycling happens to most dieters and now we are learning that it is not as harmful as once believed.
Obviously, overweight adults can improve their health by eating nutritiously and exercising regularly. Good physical habits and activity are crucial achieving and maintaining a stable, healthier weight throughout life. In a perfect world, no one would become obese in the first place. In reality, losing weight and keeping it off is hard.
No Evidence against Yo-Yo Dieting
There is no solid evidence to show that yo-yo dieting creates health problems. In fact, Dr. Louis Aronne, an expert on obesity at Weill-Cornell Medical College in New York City, believes yo-yo dieting can actually prevent disease. He explains that fat cells produce hormones that increase inflammation and blood sugar levels, leading to a host of obesity-related illnesses. When people lose weight, the body produces fewer of these harmful hormones. This benefit continues even if individuals regain some of the weight they once lost.
Studies Show Benefit
In 2002, a study targeted people at risk of developing diabetes. Researchers found that losing 7 percent of body weight reduced the potential of developing diabetes by 58 percent. Men and women in the study regained some of the weight, maintaining a weight loss of 4 percent. Still, the participants showed improved health overall. Based on this, Aronne claims that even short term or mild weight loss benefits health.
New Research Shows Little Harm
New research shows that weight cycling may not be as harmful as the public perceives. A recent study put mice on yo-yo diets. The yo-yo dieting mice lived just as long as those on a low-fat diet. The mice on a high-fat diet experienced shorter lifespans. Animals on the high-fat diet ate more, had higher body fat percentages and blood sugar levels, and weighed more than the mice on low-fat diets. Mice on the yo-yo diet also experienced problems like those of the mice on high-fat diets, but during their low-fat periods were healthier. The animals on the low-fat diet and the ones on the yo-yo diet lived for about two years. Those on the high-fat diet lived about 18 months.
The new research suggests that yo-yo dieting is healthier than not dieting at all, and remaining obese long term is a sure way to shorten lifespan…at least in mice.
Jessica Bosari writes about nutrition and fitness research for LowFatDietPlan.org. The site offers tips and advice for including the latest research into your diet plan.
People are now becoming conscious on their quest for weight loss. Many of these are practically achieved with the help of exercises and diets. In the recent quest for more natural ways in losing weight, researchers have stumbled upon the benefits of green tea.
Certain health benefits like slowing down the process of aging, blocking the absorption of fat in the body, boosting the immune system, promoting healthy skin, increasing metabolism, and increasing energy were discovered by Chinese from using green tea. Such benefits became accepted in the world of Western medicine after many studies were conducted. Teas come from one common tea plant, with the scientific name of Camellia sinensis. The oxidation process dictates the kind of tea such leaves are going to produce. If you want a more flavorful and aromatic tea, go for one that is darker, since it has undergone more oxidation. Green tea does not have the aroma and caffeine present in other types of teas since this does not undergo much oxidation. But green tea contains more of the antioxidants and nutrients which are needed by one’s body. You can get green tea by brewing tea leaves or by infusing green tea teabags. You can also take pleasure on green teas hot or cold because of its quenching properties.
Green tea and weight loss is not seemingly popular across the globe. You can find these in slimming capsules, bottled slimming teas, slimming capsules, and many more. Here is how green tea aids in weight loss. Polyphenol presence is one big factor. Enzymes that stimulate the burning of triglyceride in the body are stimulated by such polyphenols. Also present in green tea is the EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). This is believed to speed up metabolism that would in turn initiate the process of reducing weight. EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) also aids in the “thermogenesis” process, where body fats are prompted to be released by the central nervous system to be used up as fuel for the body. A general overview of the green tea weight loss. Recent studies have also shown that a human being’s endurance to rather rigorous physical activities improves with the help of the nutrients present in green tea. To preserve the carbohydrates for further energy usage, the liver and muscle cells are prompted to release fatty acids. This helps one to lose weight and reserve energy for other things all at once.
More importantly, one has to remember that he should not rely only on the green tea weight loss. This merely aids in burning excess body fat. Drinking green tea products alone will not guarantee your weight loss. For better results, make it a practice to have good health habits.
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