Belly Fat Facts – Are All Fats Created Equal?
All fat is not created equal, it’s that simple. The health industry has labeled belly fat (also called omentum fat, visceral fat, and many more) as the worst kind of fat. It has been linked in numerous studies to cardiovascular disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, premature death, high triglycerides, low LDL cholesterol, cancer, and high blood pressure. All of these diseases have one thing in common, they can lead to an early death.
MayoClinic.com says, in regards to visceral fat, “visceral fat produces hormones and other substances that can raise blood pressure, negatively alter good and bad cholesterol levels and impair the body’s ability to use insulin (insulin resistance).”
Insulin is important for blood flow within the body. From a fitness stand point, insulin helps increase blood flow and will shuttle protein (amino acids) ingested following a workout if the levels are raised within the blood. You raise your insulin levels by eating high glycemic foods (white bread, sugar, jelly, etc…). Although eating high glycemic is an important facet post exercise, it is a horrible idea to eat this way for every meal. High insulin levels lead to energy crashes, feelings of extreme fatigue, and too much of this will result in diabetes.
Belly fat is not just padding that covers our muscles, known as subcutaneous fat, but it also lies deep within our abdomens surrounding the internal organs. Belly fat (visceral or omentum fat) will drastically increase triglycerides (fat in our blood). More importantly, belly fat may serve as a feeding tube into vital internal organs, thus leading to even greater health complications.
Individuals who have a higher amount of belly fat are more prone to gain more by eating more. It is common for individuals to continue to gain fat as they get more fat. Confused, more simply stated, “some fat leads to more fat.” Realage.com states this in regards to belly fat, “the more omentum fat you have, the less Adiponectin you produce. Adiponectin is a stress and inflammation reducing chemical related to the hunger controlling hormone leptin.” All the more reason that belly fat needs to be controlled quickly.
So how do we avoid belly fat?
First, we must look at our diet. Processed foods are one of the easiest ways to obtain belly fat; any fat for that matter. Processed foods are nutrient depleted, usually high glycemic, and contain too much high fructose corn syrup or other sugar substances. A typical meal made up of processed foods will contain 2-3 times more sugar then that of a similar meal consisting of whole food alternatives; 3-4 times more saturated fat than that of a similar meal consisting of whole food alternatives; and typically processed foods can be 30-60 points higher on the glycemic scale. Bottom line, avoid processed foods to avoid unhealthy belly fat.
Second, continue with or start a fitness program. The best programs are non machine based programs. Use almost all free weights. The program should incorporate mainly complex total body movements, and less isolative movements. Complex total body movements include squats, deadlift, split leg deadlift, clean, snatch, one dmbl clean curl, burpee, and many more. Isolative movements include biceps curls, calf raises, shrugs, dmbl fly, dmbl lateral raises, and more. Lastly, incorporate some type of an abdominal routine. Preferably one that does not focus on isolative core movements, while incorporating total body movements into the routine. This routine should not have typical sit ups or crunches in it, they are not effective.
A great program to follow involving total body movements and complex core movements is the 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 Pack Abs. If you are looking for other core exercises, or videos of the exercises mentioned above, check out functionalmusclefitness.com and click on the “exercise of the week.”
Too high of a body fat percentage is dangerous, often deadly, for various health reasons previously mentioned. Too much fat will diminish our quality of life, increase our health costs, and limit our appeal. Excessive belly fat can lead to not getting a job, diminished sex life, lack of confidence, and much more. The only way to prevent this from happening is to engage in a fully functional health program. One that incorporates an efficient workout routine, an abdominal routine, cardiovascular work, and proper nutrition. Once all of these have been utilized, then results are limitless.
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