Belly fat: much more than an aesthetic problem
Do you look in the mirror and see a little pudge around the waist. It can bring a fast frown to your face. It’s discouraging and even disheartening. However, perhaps you should be frowning not for how you look, but for what that extra bit of weight is doing to the inside of your body. Excess body fat around your belly and waist is called visceral fat.
There are two types of fat, subcutaneous, which is external fat, the kind you can pinch with your finger, and visceral, which is more of a silent killer. Visceral fat lives within your body, and not just in your belly. It also collects around your organs. To put it frankly, visceral fat is not good.
Studies show that visceral fat is more metabolically active than subcutaneous fat. That means it’s more likely to cause health problems. For example, visceral fat releases inflammatory substances that can damage blood vessels and lead to heart disease. It also interferes with the body’s ability to use insulin, which can lead to diabetes. In many cases, when you are struggling with a round mid-section, you may also have a fatty liver, which can be determined through simple tests.
To get rid of this unwanted belly fat, you will want to watch what you eat, incorporate regular exercise (high-intensity workouts, especially), and limit the amount of sugar and alcohol you consume. Rather than indulging in that extra piece of cake or having that second or third beer, why not go for a leafy green or down a glass of water instead?
Furthermore, are you eating more carbs than protein? Put down the bag of chips and go for a helping of lentils or other legumes. Proteins that are rich in the right kind of fatty acids go a long way to keeping your waistline trim. Cold-water fish like salmon, cod and steelhead trout do the trick, as does grass-fed beef, elk and bison. Or you might even consider going vegetarian!
If that’s too drastic, try limiting or removing gluten and dairy from your diet. Research shows that a gluten-heavy diet is bad for your mid-section, practically opening the door for visceral fat to form. Dairy can lead to hormonal changes and trigger inflammation. Remember, the milk of a mother cow is meant to stimulate rapid growth in a calf. A newborn calf weighs 65-75 lbs. A newborn human weighs around 5-9 lbs.
There are many ways to root out dangerous visceral fat, but all of them require a level of dedication and discipline. Are you ready to do what it takes not only to look better but also to feel better on the inside?