Welcome to the last day of July!
Even though fat is stored in/on all locations of ones body, the exact location of where the majority of it is found can have the greatest impact on your overall health and risk of disease.
While women tend to store excess fat in their buttocks and thighs, men, on the other hand, store excess fat tissue in their abdomen. This excess fat (called Visceral Fat) stored in the abdomen and surrounding the internal organs (specifically the liver) is one of the reasons that men are at higher risk for heart disease than women.
Visceral Fat releases fatty acids that are metabolized by the liver. Eventually this triggers insulin resistance in the liver, which is an underlying cause of most health problems associated with Visceral Fat. In addition, the liver releases excess cholesterol into the circulation that builds up on the artery walls and blocks blood flow to vital organs including the heart and brain.
As you can see, not a good situation!
So, how does one lose Visceral Fat? Diet and exercise of course! With that in mind, don’t go crazy. Women should never eat fewer than 1200 calories a day and men never lower than 1500. This is to prevent muscle tissue from being lost as a result of exercise.
While swimming and walking have been proven as effective exercises for reducing Visceral Fat, you can also make a habit of performing intense cardiovascular exercise on a regular basis.
More intense exercise is required to reduce Visceral Fat than Superficial Fat (fat that is farther from the organs and closer to the skin). Also, more challenging exercises have been proven to more quickly reduce the amount of Visceral Fat in the body. It takes a bit more effort than one or two moderate workouts during the week. Three to five more intense workouts will prove to be more effective in the loss of Visceral Fat. As a result, the overall fat content of the body will decrease at a faster rate too.
Obviously, a change in diet is also required for a person to effectively lose fat (Visceral or Superficial) . Eating a diet that is higher in protein, fruits and vegetables, and lower in fat (especially saturated) can aid in this process.
So, while you may have a “handle” on slimming down your extremities, get rid of those love handles too! Remember, the harder you work, the faster you’ll lose the fat and the healthier you’ll be!