I thought there was some good info in this. Enjoy!
Category Archives: belly fat
I thought there was some good info in this. Enjoy!
Belly fat is very bad. It can literally kill you. I have a Page on it – What are the dangers of a big waistline? that contains a number of articles spelling out chapter and verse on its dangers.
Now comes Harvard Health Publications with more info on this weighty subject.
“Though the term might sound dated, “middle-age spread” is a greater concern than ever. As people go through their middle years, their proportion of fat to body weight tends to increase — more so in women than men. Extra pounds tend to park themselves around the midsection.
“At one time, we might have accepted these changes as an inevitable fact of aging. But we’ve now been put on notice that as our waistlines grow, so do our health risks. Abdominal, or visceral fat is of particular concern because it’s a key player in a variety of health problems — much more so than subcutaneous fat, the kind you can grasp with your hand. Visceral fat, on the other hand, lies out of reach, deep within the abdominal cavity, where it pads the spaces between our abdominal organs.
“Visceral fat has been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In women, it is also associated with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery.
Are you pear-shaped or apple-shaped? Continue reading
On the premise that one picture is worth a thousand words, herewith a killer graphic on burning off your belly fat.
Belly fat is no laughing matter at least to the possessor. To read further, check out:
What About Belly Fat – Central Obesity?
How Dangerous is a Big Belly?
What are the best and worst foods for belly fat?
How Bad is Extra Belly Fat?
A big belly is not just unsightly, it is dangerous to your health. This infographic has some very useful facts if you are a sufferer. I have included at the bottom a list of links to posts from this blog on the dangers of a big belly.
Weight Training Appears Key to Controlling Belly Fat Study: Smaller Belly, Less Deli May Reduce Kidney Disease Risk, How Dangerous is a Big Belly? What is the Best Exercise to Trim Belly Fat? High-fat and High-sugar Snacks Contribute to Fatty Liver and Abdominal Obesity, Large Waist Linked to Poor Health, Even Among Those in Healthy Body Mass Index Ranges.
The usually reliable WebMD has a very nice quiz on fat that I recommend you take. It’s fun and can fill you in on some aspects of body fat that most folks don’t understand.
Having said that, I would like to take exception to the final question in the quiz which asks which BMI category is healthier? Anything below obese; The low end of normal; Anything in the normal range.
I wish we would do away with the BMI as a tool in evaluating fitness, health, fatness, you name it.
First of all, a lot of people think it tells them their percentage of body fat. It doesn’t. A person’s BMI is calculated as her weight in kilograms divided by her height in meters, squared.
It is an index, not a body fat measurement.
The readings are as follows: Underweight: less than 18.5; normal weight 18.5 – 24.9; overweight 25 – 29.9; obese BMI of 30 or more.
Second, it doesn’t take into account where the fat is distributed on the body. Fat around the belly is much more dangerous than fat elsewhere.
“The usefulness of BMI is not great when considered on an individual-to-individual basis. In practice, BMI is most appropriate for large sample populations or in a clinical situation to quantify risk for a patient who is clearly overweight and overfat at the same time,” according to Professor Michael J. Ormsbee, creator of the Course Changing Body Composition Through Diet and Exercise which I am taking.
Dr. David Edelson, MD, writing for the Obesity Action Coalition says, “…there is no accounting for differences in body frames, or even more importantly, body composition.
“BMI, while being a reasonable estimator of obesity in someone of average conditioning, becomes a terrible predictor in people with either lots of lean muscle (trained athletes) or very little lean muscle (severely de-conditioned individuals). BMI does not tell you anything about what is going on inside someone’s body, which is what we ALL should really be interested in.”
Keith Devlin, on National Public Radio, gave “10 reasons why BMI is bogus”
His first reason is “The person who dreamed up the BMI said explicitly that it could not and should not be used to indicate the level of fatness in an individual. The BMI was introduced in the early 19th century by a Belgian named Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet. He was a mathematician, not a physician. He produced the formula to give a quick and easy way to measure the degree of obesity of the general population to assist the government in allocating resources. In other words, it is a 200-year-old hack.”
You can read the remaining nine reasons at the link.
In addition there is: What is a good way to measure body fat?
I think you are a lot better off with this tool than the BMI.
To answer the question in several words – Not when you consider the big picture. Please don’t stop reading yet. There are some important misconceptions I want to talk about regarding exercise.
I have posted several items recently on food myths that I think can hamper your efforts to lose weight. The first was Should we cut carbohydrates to lose weight? and the second Does eating late make you gain weight? If you find yourself even partially believing either one, please click on its link and get the facts.
Regarding regular exercise, a friend of mine said she ran across a fitness article saying that it is not necessary to exercise to lose weight. She said it was a myth that you needed to exercise to lose weight.
Wow. What a stunning example of ‘a little knowledge is dangerous!’ Factually, the statement is correct. As a calorie counter, I can attest to the fact you simply need to cut 3500 calories from your intake to lose a pound. So eating 500 calories less each day will cut about a pound a week from your weight. You can do that without exercising. Continue reading
So many people are hung up on their body weight, but fail to realize that the more important issue is their body composition.
All there is to us is fat, muscle and bone. Our body weight is equal to the sum of these parts.
I hope this illustration will help you to see the issues clearer.
Once you have an idea how much more space in your body that fat takes up, you can understand the importance of knowing your percentage of body fat. You can read about how to measure your body fat percentage in an earlier post.
Once you know this you will have a baseline from which to work. This is important because often when a person starts to do cardio and resistance exercises his weight doesn’t tell him there is much change going on. Yet, if he is burning fat and building muscle, his body will be changing in important ways. Shirts will fit differently, pants will become looser around the waist line.
Another important consideration in body composition is that one pound of fat burns about 5 calories each day while one pound of muscle burns 50 calories in a day. So, once you get yourself on the road to fitness and start building muscle and burning fat, you will be transforming yourself into a calorie and fat burning machine. You will have started a wonderful positive spiral.
It is important to understand your body fat composition because while you may presently think you are at a good weight, if you have too large a percentage of fat, you may not be all t hat healthy and may be headed for medical problems despite you ‘good weight.’
Similarly, if you are overweight, once you learn your percentage of body fat you will have a guideline against which to measure yourself by and you won’t be troubled by the fact that you ‘aren’t losing weight,’ when you begin an exercise program and start trying to eat in a more healthy manner. You will be burning off fat and muscle weighs more than fat. Often when an overweight person starts working out and getting healthy he/she finds that their close fit looser/better despite no change in their weight.
WebMD is offering another of its very informative quizzes. This time on the subject of belly fat and what are the best and worst foods for promoting it.
You can take the quiz if you have the time and the inclination. There are 14 questions. I recommend that you do because it covers a broad spectrum of info on this important subject.
If you don’t have the time or the inclination to take it, however, (Spoiler alert!) here are the answers for what I consider three of the most important questions.
Calories from alcohol are worse for belly fat than other calories. True/False?
True “Excess calories — whether from alcohol, sweetened beverages, or oversized portions of food — can increase belly fat. Our bodies need calories, yet gram for gram, alcohol has almost as many calories as fat. Continue reading
Aerobic exercise beats strength training in trimming belly fat, according to the November issue of Nutrition Action magazine, put out by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
This conclusion was based on a study of 150 overweight, sedentary, middle-aged men and women with high LDL (bad cholesterol) or low HDL (good cholesterol) assigned to aerobic training, strength training or both.
Those in the aerobic training churned out the equivalent of 12 miles a week at a vigorous pace on treadmills, elliptical trainers or stationary bikes. For strength training, participants did three sets of eight exercises, with eight to 12 reps per set, three days a week.
After eight months the folks who did just strength training lost only subcutaneous (below the skin) abdominal fat. In contrast, those who did aerobic training – with or without strength training – lost deep belly fat, subcutaneous belly fat, and fat from around the liver. What’s more, they were less insulin resistant. Their insulin was more effective at admitting blood sugar into their cells.
Nutrition Action suggests that readers combine aerobic exercise (to lose the most fat and curb insulin resistance) with strength training (to minimize the loss of muscle that occurs with aging).
Completely anecdotally I can confirm this in my own experience. Back in January I wrote How I Lost 50 Pounds in 52 Weeks.
Although, as I said in the piece, I was literally flying by the seat of my pants, my combination of aerobics with strength training did result in a loss of 10 inches on my waistline – from 44 to 34 inches. I can’t attest to any of the medical observations regarding insulin as I didn’t use a doctor or physical trainer, but the belly fat loss is incontestable.
To read another blog item on the dangers of belly fat, click What About Central Obesity.
It is worth noting for anyone considering taking up this aerobic challenge what I learned at the lectures on osteoporosis last week (see previous posts). Namely, that weight-bearing exercise can have a positive effect in fighting osteoporosis. So, it may be better to do your cardio exercises on a treadmill (weight-bearing exercise) as opposed to an elliptical machine, exercise bike or rower (not weight-bearing exercise).
While all those folks are lining up at Mc Donalds to try out the new Angus Burger Wrap, I wonder how many of them are aware of the news about the grave danger of increased fat around the waist. A study published yesterday in the Archives of Internal Medicine stated that carrying too much fat around your waist is harmful no matter how much you weigh. It has been reported widely on TV, newspapers and the web.
Time Magazine’s wellness blog said the study covered more than 100,000 Americans aged 50 or older. It said that those men and women carrying the most belly fat had around double the risk of death as the folks with least fat around their waist.
According to Bloomberg News the type of fat found around the abdomen can cause inflammation in the body and increase levels of insulin and cholesterol in the blood, lead study author Eric Jacobs said. Larger middles have been linked in previous studies to higher death rates, as well as to diabetes, heart disease and high cholesterol, the authors wrote.
Jacobs wrote in an August 6 email, “Even if your weight is considered ‘normal’ for your height, keeping your waist size in check is important for your health.” Perhaps most importantly, Jacobs said, “Even if you haven’t had a big weight gain, if you notice your waist size increasing, that’s an important sign it’s time to start eating better and exercising more,” Bloomberg reported.
Men with waist sizes of 40 or more inches and women with waist sizes of 35 or more inches are considered abdominally obese, Jacobs said.
You can read How Does Obesity Affect You? here.
There is also How Bad is Extra Belly Fat?
I have a Page – How Dangerous is a Big Belly?