Archive for the ‘All About Fat’ Category

Visceral Versus Subcutaneous Fat: Understanding The Differences And Its Implications For You

Monday, February 16th, 2015

1070397_f520As you go about your fat loss diet program, there’s no question that your primary goal is to reduce that unsightly body fat that you have on your body. You know the stuff – the jiggly tissue that occurs under your arms, on your lower abdomen, as well as in the inner and back thigh region, all places that you feel are definitely your primary ‘trouble zones’.

But, in your quest to cure these trouble spots, one thing that you should consider for a second is the fact that often this body fat isn’t really the biggest of your worries.  What is more troublesome is the body fat that you don’t even see.

Let’s go into further details on this topic so that you can gain a clear understanding of the types of body fat on your body as well as the implications of each.

Subcutaneous Body Fat

Subcutaneous body fat refers to all the body fat that you can see on your body. It’s the body fat that you canBody-Fat1 pinch on the sides of your stomach, the body fat that is located on the arms, the body fat that seems to never want to budge on your lower back region, and the body fat that makes you self-aware of your legs while wearing a pair of shorts.

Now, this body fat isn’t healthy to have because it is excess weight and will cause there to be excess stress on the joints due to all that weight coming down.

In addition to that, it will still put your health at risk as it can increase your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and inflammation, however it’s not the most detrimental tissue that you need to be concerned about.

Visceral Body Fat

What’s much more detrimental and what you really need to be concerned about is the visceral fat that you have on your body.

sharma-obesity-omentumVisceral fat refers to fat that’s located within body cavities and surrounds all the main organs in the body.  This is the fat that may start to interfere with their proper function if it builds up to a high enough level and could potentially put you at risk for heart disease and stroke if it begins to crowd its way into your arteries.

Visceral body fat that’s found in the abdominal cavity is especially worrisome and must be taken seriously because this is the fat that will really increase your risk of diabetes, cancer, inflammation, as well as heart disease.

You can often tell if you have a high amount of visceral body fat as the stomach will appear to be fat, yet be hard to the touch.  The reason for this is because all that fat is lying underneath the muscle tissue, while subcutaneous lies on top of the muscle but just under the skin.

You will work to lose both types of body fat in the same manner – using a proper diet, a good workout program. 

Often you may not see the reduction in visceral fat like you would with subcutaneous fat but just know that if you are following your program it is happening and it’s really putting you in a much more healthy state.

So never overlook the differences between body fat types again.  While both are definitely not something you want to be present on your body, you really must sit up and be concerned when visceral fat is coming into play. 

 

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The Overweight Body: How Excess Fat Effects Your Organs

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

liposuctionimageOne of the greatest dangers of being overweight and carrying so much excess body fat is that this fat can start to influence the way in which all your organs function.

While you may be strictly focused on how badly you think that excess body fat makes you look, never discount the importance of the role it will play on your overall body functioning.

Let’s have a closer look at some of the main issues associated with excess fat and your organs.

Reproductive System

The first group of organs that will be impacted by excess body fat is the reproductive system.  Males whooverweight-woman are overweight may not have properly functioning reproductive organs and may in fact become infertile.

If a male is very overweight and the couple is having trouble conceiving, this definitely should be looked into as this could be the primary reason why.

For females, having too much excess body fat can also pose a problem. Typically the major issues lie in too little body fat for women, which causes menstruation to stop, but too much body fat in some extreme cases can do so as well.

The Digestive System

The Digestive SystemThe second group of organs that will be impacted by excess weight is your digestive system.  When so much body fat has accumulated the liver and pancreas will not function as effectively, and if there is constantly a high intake of glucose rich foods coming into the body which is what’s contributing to the weight gain in the first place, the pancreas may start to become very overworked as it puts insulin production into overdrive and this could set you up for long-term health problems such as the development of diabetes.

Maintaining a healthier diet with all the vital nutrients the body needs along with sufficient dietary fibre will help to keep the digestive system organs in proper working order.

 

 

Cardiovascular System

Finally, the last group of organs that will really be impacted by excess body fat is your cardiovascular Cardiovascular Systemsystem organs.

The blood vessels may start to experience an increase in plaque build-up as high cholesterol levels start taking place in the body and the heart is going to have to work harder and harder to transport all that additional body weight around.

This can eventually place a great deal of strain on this system and lead to heart disease or even heart attack.

Working to maintain a healthier body weight is important for good cardiovascular function and often this is one of the biggest benefits you see upon losing excess weight – your heart condition improves.

So there you have just a few of the different organ systems that will be impacted when you begin to grow overweight.

Being overweight is much more than just about looks. If you’re not careful there could be some serious health problems that you put yourself up to experience in the long run if you don’t take steps to get the weight problem under control.

To achieve better dietary success this time around, eat a diet that’s rich in lean proteins, high in fruits and vegetables, and that contains moderate amounts of healthy fats such as nuts, nut butters, fatty fish, and olive oil.  

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The Function Of Fat In The Body

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

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With so much focus always placed on losing weight and dropping body fat, often we completely overlook the fact that body fat does play some key roles in the body and is necessary for good health.

While you definitely don’t want to be carrying around and excessive amount of body fat, if you start to take your body fat too low, that’s definitely going to cause you to experience some serious problems as well.

Let’s have a quick look at all the different functions on fat in the body so that you can understand more about this often hated body tissue.

Reproductive Function

One of the first things to note about body fat is the fact that women will have higher overall essential photos.demandstudios.com-60-47-fotolia_2093785_XSlevels of body fat compared to males and this is strictly due to the fact that the female body needs to be capable to give birth to a baby.

Fat stores in the body are going to help to maintain better hormonal concentrations that support the development of a baby and will also signal to the body that it has a lot of stored up energy should starvation set in during the pregnancy period.

When women start to take their body fat levels too low, their menstrual cycle will stop and this indicates that they are not able to give birth any longer until it’s brought back upwards again.

 

Appetite Regulation

Appetite-regulation-and-hormonesAnother role that fat plays in the body is to regulate the appetite. The body has strong defence mechanisms that kick in during periods of prolonged undereating that will prompt you to begin eating so that your body weight doesn’t drop down to an unhealthy and unsafe level.

This regulation is brought on by hormones that are produced within the fat cells that will signal to the brain the current level of body fat in the body.

Without body fat tissue, you would feel very little satiety after eating a meal and would instantly become hungry.

This is often why when dieting, the leaner you get after a period of being on that diet, the more you’re going to feel hunger taking place. At this point the body isn’t making as much of these hormones that regulate appetite, therefore the brain is going to prompt you to start eating more.

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Another important role that body fat plays in the body is that it will help to provide insulin duringcolder weather so that you don’t freeze to death. This is again why after a period of successful dieting you may notice that you feel quite a bit cooler at any given temperature than you used to – you have less insulin present to keep you warm.

 

 

Protection 

800px-Alopex_lagopus_coiled_up_in_snowFinally, the last big role that body fat plays in the body is that it will help to protect all the vital organs as it acts as a cushion.  If you’re struck with something in the abdominal cavity and have very little body fat, there is a much greater chance of injury than if you do have some fat present.

So as you can see, while you definitely don’t want too much fat as that will pose negative health problems, some fat is definitely necessary.  

 

 

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Safe Body Fat Levels

Friday, February 13th, 2015

Men at different body fat levelsWhen starting up on a fat loss diet plan, very often a great deal of energy and focus is placed right on the exact body weight that you’re at.  You want to weigh a certain number of pounds or kilograms and that’s all that you have on your mind: reaching that goal weight.

But, one thing that you should stop and think about for a second is what level of body fat you’re at both at your current weight and what you will be at when you reach your goal weight.

Maintaining a safe level of body fat is incredibly important as there are negative health risks associated with being on either end of the spectrum.

Let’s have a look at this issue further so you can see for yourself where you should stand.

The Dangers Of Too Much Body Fat

Most people are already quite aware of some of the biggest dangers of having too much body fat, but to19473 summarize, when you have  too high of body fat levels, you’ll likely be experiencing higher overall cholesterol levels which could set you up for heart disease, you’ll also be at risk for diabetes as the body tends to respond less to insulin when too much fat is present, and you’ll also be putting your bones and joints at risk for health problems due to all the excess weight coming down on them.

All in all, carry too much body fat and you’ll really be doing a detriment to your overall health and well-being.

 

The Dangers Of Too Little Body Fat

h9991471_002_piOn the flip side of the coin, if you don’t have enough body fat you could run the risk of nutrient deficiencies. Since many of the vitamins that the body needs are only fat soluble, if you aren’t eating enough dietary fats in the first place, you likely won’t be taking these nutrients in, and then since the body has such low fat stores, there won’t be any place to store them.

Having too low of body fat levels can put your bones at risk for osteoporosis as well, especially if you’re a female.

Those females who do suffer from very low body fat levels will also notice that they stop menstruating, so that’s another negative health effect to be aware of.

Finally, when you have very low body fat levels you’re also going to notice that you feel tired on an ongoing basis, are constantly hungry, and may not even be able to focus and think as clearly as you normally would.

Your Optimal Range

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So what’s the safe body fat range?

For females who do require more essential fat, you want to be between 21-33% if you’re 20-40 years of age and be 23-35% if you’re over the age of 40.  This is the recommended amount to maintain proper health and going outside of these ranges are what will bring about the problems listed above.

For males, they can be quite a bit leaner and have a healthy range of body fat set to 8-19% for the age group of 20-40 years and have a healthy range set to 11-22% for those that are 41-60 years of age. 

 

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Obesity And Mobility – Looking Beyond Appearance

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

article-0-11E1DE5B000005DC-95_634x539 As you go about your health and fitness diet plan, you’re        likely monitoring your progress closely in the mirror, taking  note about just how close you’re moving to your goal.

 You have a certain physique image in mind that you want to  attain and are working hard to get to that slim, attractive  figure.

 But, you don’t want to make the mistake of just putting all  the focus on your physical appearance. While looking good  definitely is important as it will increase your self-  confidence levels and allow you to feel better overall, you  can’t discount the physical limitation that you will remove when you do lose the excess weight.

Let’s take a closer look at this issue so you can be sure that you keep it in mind as well.  The more positive benefits you know that come from successful weight loss, the higher your motivation will be to continue.

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Obesity And Joint Stress

The very first thing that you really must think about is the fact that with all that excess weight you’reobesity carrying around, this will be a great stress load on all your joints.  If you want to maintain an active lifestyle, you may start to find that you suffer from knee, hip, or lower back pain over time.

The more weight you’re carrying, the worse this problem will be and in many cases it will seriously hinder your overall mobility and quality of life.

Obesity And Muscle Fatigue

Another issue related to obesity and mobility is the fact that your muscles will be much quicker to 271233-obesity fatigue when you have an extra 30-60 pounds on your      frame.

For you, each time you perform any sort of physical task it will almost be as if you’re putting your body through a weight lifting session.

While many people who are obese have come to grow stronger muscles because of this, often they are still not strong enough to overcome the fatigue that’s brought on from carrying this excess weight.

Shedding the extra fat will really make a remarkable difference on just how fatigued you feel at the end of the day. With the weight gone, you’ll find you’ll have energy all the way up to when you’re ready to go to bed.

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Obesity And Heart Rates

Finally, the last factor that links obesity to mobility is the heart rate factor.  When you’re carrying around all the fat mass on your body, you’re going to have to work that much harder to transportStory yourself around and this is going to place great strain on your heart.

You’ll find that you get breathless walking up even a short flight of stairs and experience higher than normal heart rates because of it.

Having such a high heart rate is not going to be healthy and could eventually cause your heart to become overworked, so this is yet another reason to really focus on shedding the excess weight so that you get to a healthier state.

So there you have all the many reasons why appearance shouldn’t just be the primary focus of your weight loss plan.  If you want to sustain a higher quality of life over time, then you must do something to rid yourself of the excess weight. 

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Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

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How Body Fat Is Connected To Diabetes

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

scanz0003-completeAs the it seems that the world just keeps growing heavier and heavier, one of the largest diseases that’s showing upwards growth trends is diabetes.

More and more people are becoming affected by diabetes and sadly, it’s not just adults. Diabetes is now being seen quite regularly in our youth, indicating just how large of a problem this is really coming to be.

Both adults as well as children are being affected by diabetes as their weight continues to take a steady trend upwards into the obese category.

But how does body fat play a role in diabetes and what’s the connection that you need to know about?

Let’s have a closer look at how body fat is connected to diabetes so you can see for yourself the link that’s coming into play.

The Body Fat-Insulin Connection

The first issue that’s going to come into play is the fact that the more body fat you have on the body, the greater the level of insulin that will be required in order to deliver the glucose to the cells after phen375-cta14pgcarbohydrates are eaten.

If the insulin is not secreted in appropriate amounts, the glucose will stay in the blood stream causing high blood glucose which is the entire problem with diabetes in the first place.

As more and more body fat comes to accumulate, more and more insulin will constantly be needed and this overproduction of insulin can really wear on your body’s system.

The Nutrient Consumption Risk

If you have high levels of body fat, this is also going to be indicative that you’re not eating a diet that contains sufficient levels of fruits and vegetables in most instances. Instead, those who are suffering from high levels of body fat more often eat fast foods, high fat snack foods, highly processed breakfast and cereal bars, and so on.

Because they’re filling their body with these nutrient devoid items rather than the highly nutritio

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us fruits and vegetable that you really need, this is going to place extra stress on your pancreas and make it even more difficult to secrete the level of insulin required to take care of the glucose in the blood.

Receptor Issues

Finally, when there is elevated fat in the blood stream due to high levels of body fat, this can stimulate a certain receptor in the body known as GPR40, which typically responds to high levels of blood sugar by promoting a high increase in insulin production.

But when fat is also present in addition to the sugar in the blood, this stimulates these receptors even further, therefore you get an even higher production of insulin.

Again, over time this begins to wear on the pancreas until eventually it’s burnt out and just not functioning properly.

So there are multiple ways in which body fat is linked to the development of diabetes that you should know about. One of the largest recommendations for those who are currently at risk for diabetes is to reduce their overall level of body fat and these are the primary reasons why. 

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How And Why You Store Body Fat

Monday, February 9th, 2015

phen375-cta16pgIf you’re currently facing an issue with your body weight, one of the questions that you might be asking yourself is how you store body fat in the first place. What is it that got you to where you are now and how can you go about getting yourself out of this situation of being overweight?

Understanding how and why you store body fat can provide good indication that will let you look into the process of fat burning so you can uncover the precise steps that you need to be taking in order to move yourself forward.

Let’s have a quick look at why you store body fat and how this process takes place.

The Issue Of Energy Imbalance

The very first thing that you need to understand is that the process of adding body fat to your frame very much is a function of how much energy is coming in versus how much energy is going out.

If you’re consuming a high calorie diet that has you taking in more calories than you’re burning off daily, this is going to cause you to begin to store excess body fat.

Since the body has more energy than it needs for its everyday purposes, it has to do something with that10486 energy and the most logical thing to do is store it for later use.

This way, should you encounter a period of starvation, you’ll have built up energy reserves to turn to.

It takes you having an energy surplus of 3500 calories over time to accumulate one additional pound of body fat.

The Type Of Nutrients Consumed

Now, one thing that you do need to think about in terms of why and how you store body fat is the type of energy that you’re eating.

Protein rich foods will be least likely to be converted to body fat stores because this nutrient takes a lot of energy just to break down.

As your body is expending this energy breaking the protein down, this means less energy would be left over to store as body fat.

After proteins, if you overeat in carbohydrates, you may not necessarily store these as body fat either.  If you’ve been following a lower carbohydrate diet for example and have just completed an intense workout session, the storage form of carbohydrates in your body – your muscle glycogen levels will be lowered or even depleted.

When this is the case, the carbohydrates you eat in excess will actually go towards that storage first, and only once it’s filled up will you begin converting carbohydrates into body fat stores.

Then you have fats.  Since fats take very little energy to break down and the storage place for them is in fact your fat stores, this is the nutrient that is most likely to get converted to body fat.

Note that this does not mean you should eat a fat devoid diet however – some dietary fat is necessary for proper health and functioning, but just remember that if your calorie intake is too high, then this dietary fat may turn into body fat.

If you maintain a proper calorie balance, then there won’t be a problem.

So there you have the main points to keep in mind about how and why you store body fat.  If you want to minimize fat storage, eat a lower calorie diet that’s rich in proteins and contains moderate amounts of carbohydrates with small amounts of healthy fats sprinkled in. 

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Fat And Disease Risk: Associations You Should Know About

Sunday, February 8th, 2015

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If you’re overweight, there’s a very good chance that he biggest problem you see with the current state of your body is the image that looks back at you when you glance in the mirror.

It’s easy to focus on the outward appearance of our body as this is what we see on a day to day basis and what we’re constantly thinking about as we move through life.

But, it’s important not to let this outward focus you have cause you to neglect what’s happening on the inside.

The fact of the matter is that if you’re overweight, what you look like in the mirror won’t be any issue compared to what’s going on inside of your body and the disease risks you may have.

Let’s uncover some of the biggest concerns that you should know about so you can see why it’s time that you took control of your weight once and for all.

Health Risks Of Having Too Much Body Fat

Perhaps one of the most well known health risks of suffering from obesity is the influence it’s going to have on your self-esteem and mental outlook. Those who are very obese often have very low self-esteem and may often stay away from social situations because of it.  phen05

This can cause a wide variety of psychological conditions such as anxiety as well as depression.

In addition to what being overweight will do to your mental health, some of the other physical health conditions that you’ll be at a higher risk for include:

  • Having high blood pressure
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes development
  • Stroke
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Breathing problems
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Cancers of the breast and colon

Many of these health risks could potentially become life threatening, so hopefully this makes you sit up and think very seriously about what could potentially be at stake for not taking action.

What You Can Do Right Now

So what can you do to decrease your risk?

Clearly the obvious answer is to lose weight, but while that weight loss process is taking place there are a few things that you should focus on to decrease your health risks right now.

First, make sure that you’re getting regular exercise.  Getting enough exercise can really help to improve your health status and eliminate or at least reduce some of the risks mentioned above.

In addition to that, make sure that you are using a healthy diet approach.  Using a crash diet because you want to lose the weight so badly would not be advised as that will just put you at even greater health risks since you’ll likely be losing muscle not the fat that’s causing the problem and furthermore, you often won’t be taking in a sufficient level of nutrients either.

If you get both the healthy diet and workout program in place, you should be able to feel confident that as each day passes by, you’re moving closer and closer to optimal health.

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Factors That Regulate Lipolysis

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

phen15If you’re involved with a fat loss diet plan, one of the primary things that you need to think about is what you can be doing to increase the rate of lipolysis in the body.

Lipolysis stands for the burning up of body fat stores for energy, thus it’s the process that’s going to help you reach your goal weight and look your best.

There are a few different factors that will influence the rate of lipolysis that goes on so understanding these factors and then doing everything that you can to maximize them will be critical to success.

Let’s have a look at what you need to know.

Your Diet Program

Looking at the diet you’re using, in order to increase the rate of lipolysis that takes place, you want to achieve two different tasks.

First, you want to be using a lower calorie diet plan so that the body doesn’t have sufficient fuel to cover its daily needs.  In doing so, you’re going to force it to find another source of fuel for energy – namely, your body fat stores.

As it starts turning to your body fat stores, you’ll undergo the process of lipolysis at a faster pace.

phen375-cta14pgNow, to speed this process up even faster, reduce the carbohydrate content of the diet specifically.  Since carbohydrates are the preferred source of energy in your body, when they are taken out of the picture, the body really won’t have any readily available energy to burn and thus body fat will be the only option.

The body generally does not like using protein as a fuel source so fat will be more preferable.  Dietary fat will be turned to as well, but once that energy is exhausted, body fat stores will be the next place it’ll look to provide you with fuel.

 

 

 

Your Exercise Program

The second thing that can really influence the rate of lipolysis that you experience is your exercise program.  Here, you want to focus on a combination of two things.

First, you want to perform some very high intensity exercise at the start of the workout session. This could be weight lifting or it could be interval sprint training.

Doing this intense physical activity is going to cause the body to release fatty acids from the fat cells, so you’re in the position for prime lipolysis to take place.

Then, once you’ve finished this component of the workout, perform some lighter paced cardio training.

Since the body can use fat as a fuel source during this activity (while it can only use glucose as a fuel source during more intense forms), this means that you’re now going to burn off those fatty acids that have been released.

The end result means an increase in lipolysis and that you will reach your goal weight sooner.

So there you have some main things to focus on with your approach to help boost lipolysis and make sure that you’re headed in the right direction.

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