February 27, 2010
Belly Fat Can Kill You
Being overweight or obese surely puts you at a high risk for disease.
But even more important than simply reading the number on the scale is where you carry your weight.
Very simply, the size of your belly matters.
On the flipside, if you carry more of your weight in your hips and thighs, you’re at less of a risk.
Here’s the deal:
There are different types of fat in the bodyVisceral fat lies beneath the abdominal muscle, so is not visible.
On the other hand, subcutaneous fat is right underneath the skin, so can be seen.
We now know that those who have more belly fat, or visceral fat, are at a significantly higher heart disease and diabetes risk, among others.
The reason for this is that visceral fat surrounds the vital organs.
It also releases various hormones that have been linked to disease.
In a nutshell, belly fat is VERY dangerous!
In general, most women carry more of their weight in their lower body and men carry more of their weight around their middle…and that lower body fat may be actually somewhat protective.
We’re not suggesting gaining weight to protect you from heart disease, but when solely comparing the two types of fat, visceral fat is much more dangerous.
And, while it’s more common for men to carry their weight in their upper body, as women age, hormonal shifts tend to cause a shift in where body fat is stored.
It’s therefore not uncommon for women who go through menopause to gain more fat around their belly too.
So what can be done about this?
First, measure your belly and see if you’re at risk.
Run a tape measure around your midsection at about the level of your belly button.
Breathe normally, don’t suck in, or pull the tape so tight you lose oxygen.
Goal: < 35” for women, and <40” for men.
How do you fare?
Fortunately visceral fat responds very well to exercise … in particular, high intensity exercise.
A study published just a few years ago out of the University of Virginia —
“Effect of Exercise Training Intensity on Abdominal Visceral Fat and Body Composition”
— showed that those who exercised at the highest intensities
(of course that is relative, depending on your current fitness level)
had the greatest loss in belly fat!
Of course any movement is better than none, but this gives more reason to kick things up a notch!
And surely what you eat plays a big role too.
If you want to kill belly fat once and for all then I suggest trying our 6 Week Body Transformation