Beer Belly: Serious Reasons There’s Nothing Funny About Abdominal Fat. : ThyBlackMan.com

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Beer Belly: Serious Reasons There’s Nothing Funny About Abdominal Fat.

October 26, 2015 by  
Filed under Health, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Mention of a beer belly and how hard the owner of it has worked at getting it to that size might make for some self-deprecating humor and almost seem harmless fun, but without wanting to spoil the party, there’s nothing funny about abdominal fat.

Although we are hardwired with an ability to store fat in our bodies from our hunter-gatherer days, some of us have taken that too far and with modern life offering us plenty of opportunities for food and beer whenever we want it, this means we can end up getting something our ancestors didn’t have, a beer belly.

What lies beneath

Understanding that there are two types of belly fat will help you appreciate the health risks you might be creating for yourself if the size of your belly is larger than it should be.

Subcutaneous fat lies in a layer beneath your skin and is responsible for about 90% of your belly fat. It is the remaining 10% which is made up of visceral fat and lies beneath your abdominal wall that can be a big problem.

Visceral fat surrounds our internal organs and can also be store in the omentum, which is located beneath your belly muscles and surrounds your intestines.

The significance of the visceral fat is that it lurks beneath the muscles of your belly and if you are relatively sedentary and also eat too much, you are risking the prospect of this fat storing up in your body and leaving yourself in danger of it becoming toxic and poisoning your liver.

Metabolic syndrome

Belly fat and a toxic liver are just two of the symptoms that can lead to a diagnosis of a condition known as metabolic syndrome.

There are an estimated 47 million Americans suffering from metabolic syndrome, which gives you an idea of the scale of the problem and somehow doesn’t make having belly fat such a light-hearted matter.

A larger than advisable waistline, high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol levels, high blood sugar levels and high triglycerides levels are the five main symptoms that will probably mean that you might be diagnosed as suffering from metabolic syndrome.

The tape rarely lies

The quickest and most telling way of quickly identifying whether you have a potential problem is to take a tape measure to your waistline.

Position the tape so that it is level with the top of your hip bone and run it around your waist without letting it get so tight that it digs into your skin.

If you are a male and the tape measure reading shows a circumference of over 40 inches or 35 inches if you are female, the tape measure is telling you that you are putting your health at risk.

The bigger your pants and the higher the number, the greater the risk. The results of this quick test should be the catalyst for taking some positive action if the tape is revealing that you are carrying too much weight around the middle.

Tackling the belly fat

We all need a bit of help and motivation to change our lifestyle and eating habits and knowing that your health could be at risk should be a good enough reason to tackle that oversized waistline.

Guides such as 6 Proven Ways to Lose Belly Fat and others like it, can help you build a program to turn things around, and there are also some simple changes that you can introduce into your diet straight away.

Fruit and vegetables are an obvious starting point for a healthier diet and you should aim to fill half of your plate with veggies each time you sit down for a meal, especially your main one.

Plenty of leafy greens are a better option than potatoes and always try to steer clear of processed foods as much as you can, as they will almost certainly contain plenty of trans fats, sugar and salt, all of which will add to your belly fat when consumed in reasonable quantities.

Exercise

As muscle burns more calories than fat, so lifting some weights and other forms of strength training exercises will help you fight the belly fat, as well as at least 20 minutes of cycling and walking at least 5 days a week.

Even if you spend plenty time at a desk and might find it difficult to get out and about, regular stretches and just moving about frequently throughout the day will make a difference.

If you find that the tape is revealing you have too much belly fat, rather than laugh it off, it might be time to take some action and change things around.

Staff Writer; Bobby Lee


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