Jelly Belly. Love Handles. Muffin Tops. Belly Fat. Call it what you wish, the truth is that unwanted stomach fat, or “Visceral Fat,” is more seriously harmful than the silly names we refer to it as. Think you know all there is about that unwanted weight around the midriff? Here are some facts that may not only surprise, but SHOCK you as to the dangers of excess weight around the abdomen.
1. Drop the Spare Tire, and Spare Your Life
Belly fat, when hidden under the muscle and surrounding the organs, is known as visceral fat. Unlike the abdominal fat that jiggles when you jump up and down, this visceral belly fat actually turns into an “endocrine organ”. The belly flab you can see on the outside is visually unappealing, but it is not as dangerous as the belly flab you do not see, the visceral belly fat. Visceral fat surrounds vital organs and is responsible for what is known as metabolic syndrome. Those suffering from metabolic syndrome have an increase of free fatty acids, insulin resistance and elevated blood pressure. This dangerous cluster of diseases makes those with a large waste circumference 4-5 times likelier to die from cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke. Reduction of this abdominal fat not only will help you look better, but can also save your life.
2. Crunches Don’t Burn It Off
Many people with excess belly fat resort to endless sit ups in order to try to reduce the flab around their bellies. One of the biggest myths in fitness is the concept that sit ups and crunches will burn your belly fat. Although abdominal exercises are beneficial for building the core muscles, they do very little for burning the fat surrounding the abdominal area. In many cases, the abdominal area actually looks bigger from the original fat plus the increase in core muscle gained from endless crunches.
Image courtesy of Pinterest.com
3. Belly Fat Gain – So Easy, a Cave Man Can Do It
Have you ever wondered why it is so easy to gain fat in the belly area and so hard to lose it? The answer to this question has to do with the sophistication of the human body. Since fat is stored energy, the body keeps this form of readily available fuel close to the very organs that use it. It doesn’t make sense for our body to utilize stored energy that is on your foot when it can keep it close by. Since stored fat is considered the emergency source of fuel, it is also the last area that the body burns fuel from. To use accounting terms, belly fat is considered first in and last out.
4. Blame your Ancestors for your Belly
Why do some people store fat in their bellies while others on their thighs? The answer to this question is found in our DNA. Haven’t you noticed that as we get older we start looking just like our parents? The DNA handed down from generation has unique codes which program your body to store fat in specific areas. The same DNA that gives you specific body features like hair and eye color also makes you prone to retain fat in the abdomen. Although this fat can be eliminated, those with the belly fat storage gene have to work extremely hard to keep fat from accumulating around their guts.
5. The 3 Prong Method to Ditch the Love Handles
If endless crunches are not the answer for belly fat reduction, what is? The best way to reduce belly fat is a multi-faceted approach that requires a strict diet, exercises and supplementation. The best exercises to reduce belly fat are those that use interval training. Interval training is based on quick elevations of heart rate followed by quick rest periods. Although exercise is important in reduction of belly fat, it is useless if you do not follow a proper diet. We recommend utilizing a basal metabolic rate (bmr) calculator in order to determine the correct amount of calories your body type needs in order to lose weight. BMR calculators are available all over the internet for free. The last component in reducing belly fat is supplementation. There are thousands of products on the market that claim to burn fat but offer little results if any. DHEA (Dehydropiandrosterone) is the only natural supplement that actually has been clinically proven to reduce abdominal fat. DHEA is a natural occurring hormone that starts to diminish as we age. Dehydroepiandrosterone has also been linked to increase in libido and mood.
Losing weight and belly fat sometimes seems like an impossible task. There are many challenges that many people have to overcome in order to win the battle of the bulge. By following some of the steps above and understating the risk associated with belly fat, the fight to lose that abdominal fat can be won. Do not be discouraged as the process to burn fat can sometimes be slow.