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Abdominal Fat, Are You Carrying to Much?

There is an overwhelming number of individuals who are over weight and their desire and motivation behind wanting to lose the excess weight varies from person to person. Although it may be fabulous to fit back into your jeans from fifteen years ago or to get back to your pre pregnancy weight, we should all be aware of the health implications of carrying the extra pounds.

The instances of health issues associated with being over weight or obese are on the rise. We hear over and over again that being overweight is unhealthy but many of us do not heed the warnings until have already developed some health issues. Of all the areas on our bodies that fat manages to stick to and accumulate the abdominal area is the most dangerous.

Most of us are only aware of the layer of fat that sits directly under the skin of our bellies hiding our fabulous six pack that we know is under there somewhere, this layer of fat is known as subcutaneous fat. Subcutaneous meaning under the skin. Another layer which is far more dangerous is the visceral layer of fat which is the fat that is internal and surrounding our organs. Part of this visceral fat includes the organ introduced to many by Dr. Oz on the Oprah show. The visual he gave was very effective in demonstrating what many of us are carrying around inside our bodies.

The medical profession has known for decades that those individuals who have the "apple" shape (top heavy) are at much greater risk then the "pears" (bottom heavy) among us. There is of course the fact that when we are packing extra weight our hearts have to work that much harder but there is definitely more to the equation.

The visceral fat that we carry around is has a direct correlation between the development of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, heart attacks, sleep apnea, various cancers, and high cholesterol just to name a few. Although the precise details are not completely understood it is widely agreed that visceral fat is the most dangerous fat in the body because it functions as an active organ and is capable of releasing hormones and chemicals some which are harmful to the body and/or surrounding organs.

To get an idea of whether or not you are carrying around a large amount of harmful visceral fat you simply need to measure your waist. The generally accepted determinant is that your "ideal" waist size should be no more than half your height. Therefore if you are 5’6” that would be 66 inches making your “ideal” waist size no more than 33 inches. When you are measuring the most agreed upon position is at the level of your belly button and make sure that your tape measure is level.

No great surprise here, the best way to lose the fat is through a healthy balanced diet and exercise. There is really no way around this fact. Diet pills do not work. Exercise contraptions and equipment that states that "targets" the abdominal area may indeed work out your abdominal muscles but they will not help in removing the fat in just that area, that is not how weight loss works. Fat accumulates all over your body and it comes off the same way, generally the areas that you put weight on first will be the last to come off.

Submitted by:

Christine Erickson

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