Belly Fat 101

Hi friends, happy Friday! How are you all?

Thank you everyone for sending your love and feedback on my last post “Kanyadaan“. On another blogging-platform where I share these blogs a few days later, I got a couple of negative comments too. A few women criticized me for doubting my traditions to sound cool and modern.

As it goes, I am at the point in life where I have decided to believe in what I say/write. I do not mean to insult anything/anyone but if some traditions are against gender-equality or humans-equality, they need to go. It would be a long way but it would end, the sooner the better. And I certainly am not going to debate my beliefs with anyone, offline and online. No one ever won those arguments, have they?

Coming back to today’s post, this one is about something that everyone wants to lose.

I have been telling one of my clients to start gym for some time now. She is a busy mom of 2 and wants overall health with a toned body as well as a flat tummy. Definitely achievable, if you eat a well-balanced diet and exercise regularly. If someone tells you it’s not possible after two C-secs, maybe you would like to show them yourself by starting soon! ?

Till you do it yourself, do join me on Instagram where I keep posting stories on nutrition/health tips, workout ideas and my own flat tummy, muscles and abs! Work in progress still but, a proof nonetheless! 😀

https://www.instagram.com/jillofmanytrades_blogger/

So, she went yesterday and was told by a floor-trainer that she looks fine and doesn’t need to lose any weight. The trainer was right but he gave half information. She needs not lose much weight yes, but definitely a good amount of fat especially around her tummy. And not just for aesthetic reasons.

Did you know, the ‘’around-your-tummy’’ is the worst kind of fat for our health? Did you know it is of a different kind than the one around our hips and thighs? Oh yes, not all fats are created equal! And location does matter.

What Is Belly Fat?

This excess weight or fat that gets deposited around our tummy/abdomen, over a period of time – is called visceral fat. It is stored in our abdominal cavity and surrounds our internal organs like liver. It is also called active fat. There is also a term called abdominal obesity for it. You can call it beer belly also.

The little softness that we feel if we poke our tummies is subcutaneous fat (which is relatively better) and the visceral fat sits deep inside our belly. Visceral fat negatively impacts almost every organ of our body by causing major hormonal imbalances and triggering unhealthy chemical reactions.

Visceral fat can’t be seen from outside and only an MRI or a CT scan can tell us the accurate measurements of visceral fat in our body. Since these are expensive and not generally done for this purpose solely, there are various other ways for us to roughly determine it.

One good and simple way is to measure your waist, at navel. For men, more than 40 inches and for a woman, more than 35 inches mean excess visceral fat.

The main causes for visceral fat deposit are:

  • Unhealthy eating
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Menopause – due to lack of oestrogen hormone
  • Imbalance in gut bacteria population
  • Genetics – ( but let’s not make it our excuse, rather make it our motivation as genetics also can be changed to a lot of extent)
  • Inadequate sleep

The best way is to notice how your pants/jeans fit. If your size has increased majorly or keeps increasing, you need to start worrying.

Why This Fat Is The Worst Kind?

Because it can cause major health problems very quickly. People with normal weight and BMIs can also accumulate excess belly fat and be at risk for health concerns. It:

  • clogs arteries and raises blood pressure
  • increases insulin resistance leading to type II diabetes
  • increases risks for heart attacks and other heart complications
  • and for strokes
  • and for cancers such as breast, colorectal etc
  • results in low metabolism and increased risk of metabolic syndrome

How To Get Rid Of Visceral Fat

The good news is that visceral fat is not that stubborn and with its reduction, many diseases caused by it can be reversed/halted/improved. How?

  • Exercise regularly (30 minutes a day at least). This needs to include cardio as well as strength training, both
  • Eat well. A healthy, well-balanced diet is very important and no, it doesn’t include just salads or starving yourself. You will be amazed by how much you can eat in a healthy, well-balanced diet. In fact, I advise my clients to never skip a meal!
  • Avoid junk food, processed foods and sugar as much as possible. None, if you can!
  • Avoid stress – easy said and done but reducing stress levels can work wonders and of course, regular exercise helps in stress-management tremendously. Meditation is another way to reduce stress
  • Limit alcohol intake and quit smoking
  • Sleep 6-8 hours a day

Hope the post today helped you in decoding the belly fat mystery and provided some solutions for it as well. If there is something else that worked for you in a significant way, do share 🙂 Best way to get in touch with me if you don’t have my phone no., is to DM me on Instagram.

Till next Friday

Love, Health & Peace

The Very First Step To Health: BMI

Hi Friends, happy Friday!

How are you all? Hope all healthy and happy.

As for me, it has suddenly become a little more hectic (never thought it could become any more hectic but hey, what do we know?) because of my nutrition classes. I swear I have started having serious time-lapses on weekends now. When I am studying, I don’t even realize where the three hours went by and once I finish, it’s like I am three-hours behind everything! I stay disoriented for a long time and it’s not exactly pleasant!

The first thing we learnt in our first class, was how to assess a person’s current health before we start a diet and fitness regime for her/him. The first tools are BMI and body fat content, among a few others. Most of us have at least heard of the term BMI. Today’s post elaborates upon it some more and if you didn’t know about it, here we are.

What Exactly is BMI?

BMI stands for Body Mass Index. It is a way to measure body fat based on certain factors – such as weight and height.

Though not an absolute indicator of health and fitness, BMI still provides a good insight into it. For a normal adult person, male or female, BMI gives a good enough start to assess the health and risks associated with non-normal BMI ranges.

Why is BMI important?

BMI is a useful indicator and tells us whether we are at risk for many diseases. Once we understand the risk, we can work on our nutrition and lifestyle to lower the risk. We can consider BMI as a “risk-forecast” for our body and health!

BMI, waist circumference (to assess abdominal fat content) and assessment of various risk factors such as smoking and concerns related to obesity…combined together, can give us a fair idea of what’s wrong with our bodies, how we can prevent any further damages as well as their management, even reversal of a few!

Risks of What?

Type 2 diabetes (high blood glucose), blood pressure (hypertension), arthritis, cholesterol issues (high LDL and low HDL), cardiovascular diseases and many other obesity-related diseases as well as certain cancers.

Worldwide, people with BMI equal to or higher than 30 are considered obese and these people need to immediately start working on lifestyle correction including weight loss. Same goes with overweight people (with a BMI of 25 to 29.9). They also need to work on weight management to lead a healthy and active life, free of obesity-related complications.

Did You Know?

For Asians including Indians, the indicators are different as we are more vulnerable genetically, to cardiovascular and obesity-related diseases and disorders.

What Can Be Done?

Even a little weight loss means a lower risk of contracting diseases related to obesity. With a calorie-appropriate diet and some physical fitness activities included in the lifestyle on a regular basis, one can work on lowering BMI and other parameters. Consistency is the keyword here.

The ideal would be to stop ourselves and take a control of our health much earlier. Don’t wait, use the adult calculator-link below and a get an estimated BMI for yourself, right now. If it falls in a normal/healthy range, you can work on keeping it that way. If it falls in any other slab, start immediately on preventing any further damages to your health. Do note that for kids, the calculator is different.

https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/english_bmi_calculator/bmi_calculator.html

Please consider consulting your doctor or dietician in case you get a non-normal BMI read today.

Till next Friday,

Love, Health & Peace

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