People who are overweight obviously have too much body fat. And that extra body fat increases their risk for heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, asthma, and joint diseases. But not all body fat is alike. Some is more dangerous than others.
There’s subcutaneous fat — the fat that lies just under your skin all over your body and around your hips and thighs. The other is visceral fat. It collects around your belly and surrounds your organs.
Subcutaneous fat insulates your body from the cold. Too much can cause your skin to become tight and lead to cellulite. But it’s not the dangerous kind that leads to diseases.
Subcutaneous fat responds best to all kinds of exercise. So if you have excess fat all over your body and want to lose weight, it’s time to get serious about an exercise program. You also can reduce this kind of fat by eating fewer calories than you burn. This combination will help you lose weight all over your body — now, and after the holidays.
Not everyone has too much of this kind of fat. Some women have too little on their faces, arms, and tummies. They may resort to fat injections to plump up and get rid of wrinkles, or just complain about their flabby arms.
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Visceral fat, on the other hand, is very dangerous. It hides deep inside your belly under your muscles. While you can’t see most of it, it tends to collect around the abdomen and is often just called belly fat. It causes an increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other serious health problems.
But that's not the only reason you need to reduce belly fat. Here’s another one: osteoporosis. Instead of protecting you from bone loss, obesity actually increases your risk. A study out of Harvard Medical School found that belly fat (visceral) leads to osteoporosis, while all-over body fat (subcutaneous) did not.
There’s no simple way to reduce visceral fat. Eating a healthful diet is part of the solution. But what can you do if you crave unhealthful foods and can’t resist them? Fortunately, there are nutrients that can cut your physiological and emotional cravings. A number of them have been included in a supplement called Craving Quencher. Contact the folks at Advanced Bionutritionals for more information.
Unfortunately, diet alone won’t do the trick. You need regular aerobic exercise five to six times a week. And you need to combine it with the dietary changes I’ve been talking about for years. But although it’s difficult, it is possible. And reducing belly fat can save your life. Just because the holidays are upon us doesn’t mean you should wait to make a few changes in your lifestyle. Especially if you have visceral fat.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand
Radiological Society of North America (2010, November 30). Belly fat puts women at risk for osteoporosis, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 1, 2010.