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Not everything is created equal – not even fat. Fat in the gut, or the abdominal fat as we call it is far more dangerous and hazardous than the fat found in your hips, your thighs or butt. This goes particularly true with the fat stored deep down in the stomach. Why? There is just one reason for this, and that is positioning. The location of the fat will hit your body most. Subcutaneous fat is the easiest to remove, and the easiest to gain, too. Visceral fat, or fat just before your organs, are by far the most dangerous, as they could affect your organ's systemic functions.
With the lack of a better analogy, your liver and your pancreas can be compared to a well-run apartment complex – state of the art, efficient and well maintained. Now, your tummy fat is compared to the obnoxious and rude neighbor who rents out the units next floor and started disrupting the system with all the partying and the heavy trash, eventually crumbling down the entire apartment. In as fast as they move in, the apartments die out.
Obnoxious tenants such as belly fat should be evicted – at once. Research has shown that time and again, exercise is a sure fire way to get rid of fat in your tummies. Feel the burn and the benefits of exercise. Exercise doesn't just help you burn fat; it also builds and shape muscles, giving them the tone, the strength and the endurance for optimum performance. With exercise, not only do you burn fat and build muscle, your emotional and psychological well-being goes a notch up higher, too. Exercise gives you that feel-good feeling that not only do you burn fat; you bring your body into that healthier mode.
A recent study conducted at the School of Medicine in Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC has shown that in a 20-week period, women who were regularly working out and dieting eliminated about 18 percent of their abdominal fats and women who were just calorie counting lost weight but not the amount of fat in the body. It has been a general idea that the amount of abdominal fat in the body is positively related to fat-cell size – meaning, the greater the fat-cell size, the greater is the amount of abdominal fat. Do not worry, though, as Donal Hensrud, MD, an associate professor of nutrition at the Mayo Clinic says, "Abdominal fat may be the first you start losing once you start working out and dieting."
Let me quote from Sun Tzu's Art of War - "If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt". Knowing and understand the kind of fat will give us a better chance of getting rid of it. Below is a brief description of the layers of fat found in the human body.
Subcutaneous fat. This is the fat you see in your hips, you thighs and your abdomen. A researcher from Wake Forest U stated that during the time of our ancestors, subcutaneous fat actually is of use – as stored nutrients in the body during winter or famine. Today, however, with the ease of access to food and our ever-becoming sedentary lifestyle, subcutaneous fat is bordering from unnecessary to unhealthy. Some sources claim that it becomes far more dangerous when the fat is found in the stomach, as it may affect the internal organs.
Muscle. After the subcutaneous fat are the muscles. More muscle means less fat, burning calories at a faster rate. Building more muscle is the key to weight loss. Not only does it cut fat, but muscle building also gives individuals leaner and better looks.
Visceral/toxic fat. If we were in a video game, then this is the final boss. This type of fat is usually found deep within the abdominals. Ever the danger, visceral fat makes its way through your internal organs via the blood vessels around the internal organs, or the portal circulation, which ultimately affects the functions of internal organs. Fats like these jump from organ to organ, from vessel to vessel, and may attack your internal system such as the liver. Visceral fat counters your liver's capability to manage the levels of cholesterol which poses you at risk of heart disease. Apart from heart disease, visceral fat opens individuals to the risk of acquiring diabetes as they can cause insulin to become less effective in its job of storing fat. Studies have also shown that too much of visceral fat may lead to an increase in the risk of getting breast cancer, although no known connection has been established.