WE LOVE TO HAVE FUN ON THIS SITE AS MUCH AS THE NEXT BLOG BUT LIKE CAMPAIGNS, YOU HAVE TO GO NEGATIVE…IN THIS CASE, BELLY/VISCERAL FAT IS PUBLIC ENEMY #1…LEAN UP, EAT RIGHT, EAT SMALL, AND LOSE THE BELLY FAT….
“There are two types of belly fat. One is subcutaneous, or right beneath the skin – the fat you can pinch and try to diet away before bathing suit season,” says Dr. Tim Church, professor of preventative medicine at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. “From a medical standpoint, it doesn’t concern us as much as the deeper visceral fat that surrounds the liver and other abdominal organs.The more visceral fat you have, the more at risk your health is.”
Heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes and gallstones have all been linked to visceral fat, and recent research has expanded that list to include the development of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia later in life. “Visceral fat is a toxic fat that produces harmful substances that cause inflammation, disrupting blood flow to the heart and possibly the brain, which could be one reason for its link to dementia,” says epidemiologist Rachel Whitmer of the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, Oakland, Calif., who led the study.
Making matters worse, belly fat might have the capacity to reproduce itself. Canadian researchers found abdominal blubber produces a hormone that prompts the development of cells that turn into fat.
The upside: Visceral fat responds to diet and aerobic exercise (30 minutes six days a week) more readily than subcutaneous fat, and stress reduction and adequate rest can hasten results.
“The link between stress and fat is well-established,” says exercise physiologist Tiffany Crate, TLC Fitness Consulting, Chicago. “Stress hormones like cortisol block weight loss because, despite adequate or excess calories, the body interprets prolonged stress as a famine and goes into hoarding mode.”
Her prescription for shedding that toxic spare tire is simple: Eat less, move more, rest up and chill out.