For years fat has always been considered a fairly inactive tissue. Simply just storing the bodies excess energy, calories, and adding to body mass. However. Recent studies have shown that fat cells, abdominal fat cells in particular are actually bioactive. It is acceptable to say that fat is an endocrine organ or gland. It produces hormones and substances that can profoundly affect our health. Scientist are still discovering which hormones but it is becoming quite clear that fat is disrupting the normal balance of these hormones. Visceral fat also pumps out chemicals in the immune system called cytokines. Tumor necrosis factor and interleukin-6 are 2 examples of these. Not only do these chemicals increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. They are also believed to be have detrimental effects on cells sensitivity to insulin, blood pressure and cause blood clotting.
Another reason too much visceral fat could be so harmful is that it is located close to the portal vein. The portal vein carries blood from the intestines to the liver. Fatty acids are released by the visceral fat and enter the portal vein. They then travel to the liver and can influence the production of blood lipids. This causes visceral fat to be directly connected with higher total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower HDL (good) cholesterol and insulin resistance. Having poor insulin resistance is when the body’s muscle and liver cells don’t respond well to normal levels of insulin. This is the hormone in the pancreas that carries glucose into the bodies cells. Glucose levels in the blood will rise, which in turn heightens the risk for diabetes.
It sounds much easier than it is. There are many types of diets for weight loss. Pick one that suits your lifestyle best then stick with it. Another thing you can also do is fasting. By only giving ourselves an 8 hour window of time to eat in it allows the body to burn of most of the calories and carbs we consumed in that window and get to burning off fat faster than it would if we were consuming meals throughout the entire day. This is not sustainable though because it will eventually lead to our metabolic rate slowing down which will in turn be counter productive to our weight loss goals. This should be pretty obvious but I am going to say it anyways. Try your very best to eat clean, whole foods. Cook your own meals opposed to eating out. This is a much healthier way of eating and will allow us to keep track of the nutrients and calories we are taking in each day. A good rule to follow when trying to lose weight is to maintain a strict caloric deficit.
Follow a strict exercise regimen that contains both cardio and weight lifting. Contrary to popular belief lifting weights is actually very beneficial to losing weight. Scientific facts show us that for every pound of muscle we have, it requires 144 calories in a 24 hour period for the body to support this muscle. Don’t over do it in the gym. If you’re just starting out 1 day on and 1 day off is plenty. Be sure to keep active with at least walks on your days off from the gym. Cardio can always be done every day. Just ensure to take days off every so often to give the muscles and body time to rest and develop. In addition to this. Be sure to get between 6-8 hours of sleep every night. This will make sure we are well rested for the upcoming day and that our muscles have had enough time to rest and grow as we sleep. Many people overlook the importance of getting a good nights sleep. Most important of all is your mind set! You must believe in yourself and your goals at all costs! Constantly remind yourself of them and how you will achieve them. Also when exercising imagine yourself already with the physique you wish to achieve. The mind is an extremely powerful tool if we use it to our advantage.
Bryan was an ironworker for 17 years. Had no time for the gym and never worked out. A workplace injury changed all that and he is now a graphic designer with a new passion for fitness!