Now that the holidays are over, some of us may be finding our bellies a bit bigger than they were a few weeks ago. And while a jelly belly may have looked cute on Santa, it can signal increased risk for health problems in the rest of us — starting with metabolic syndrome. Extra weight around the middle is more dangerous than fat around your hips and thighs. Belly fat, which is visceral fat, is associated with inflammation and a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
All fat is not equal. Subcutaneous fat is found all over our body, but is most noticeable on the hips and thighs. It’s the protective wrap over the body just under the outer layer of skin.
Visceral fat is located between the organs, tucked deep in your waistline, and contributes to belly fat. Visceral fat may contribute to insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, high blood pressure and elevated triglyceride levels — all components of metabolic syndrome.
Good News: Belly Fat Is the First to Go
Now for the good news. Platters of cookies and gallons of cocoa aside, belly fat is the easiest type to lose. Most people will lose first from the middle area and upper body before anywhere else. That’s because visceral fat is more metabolically active than subcutaneous fat. Not only that, experts say the more weight you have to lose, the faster you’re likely to start losing belly fat. How’s that for motivation?
Whole Grains are the Ultimate Belly Blaster
To mobilize belly fat stores, eat plenty of high-fiber whole grains while reducing refined carbohydrates. Refined foods like white bread trigger elevated blood sugar levels. That results in an increased insulin response, which can cause fat to be deposited more readily. But whole grains help the body use blood glucose more efficiently and lower blood glucose levels to reduce fat deposits.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2005 Dietary Guidelines recommends that half of your grain servings come from whole grains. You should set a goal of incorporating more whole grains into your diet by replacing refined food with whole grain wherever possible. And since whole grains are high in fiber, you tend to stay satisfied longer to help you eat less.
So now it’s truth time. Is your waist larger than 40 inches if you’re a man, or 35 inches if you’re a woman? If so, you have too much belly fat and might be at risk for heart disease, diabetes and other conditions. Make sure to put losing weight on your list of New Year’s resolutions to have a happy, healthier New Year.
Give Belly Fat the One-Two Punch
Reliv offers two powerful, effective ways to combat belly fat and the health problems that come with it: the Slimplicity® Weight Loss System and GlucAffect™ nutritional supplement. This dual approach to a healthy weight management can affect your overall health in dramatic ways.
Slimplicity consists of a satisfying meal replacement shake and Accelerator capsules. Both are chock-full of proven weight loss ingredients that keep your metabolism stoked and your appetite in check. The system also includes a pedometer and exercise and food journal so you’re set up for long-term, healthier living.
GlucAffect is a revolutionary formula that brings together — for the first time ever — many of nutrition science’s most cutting-edge ingredients, each of them clinically shown to address blood sugar management and related health conditions. In addition, the GlucAffect formula has been clinically shown to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels and support weight loss.