Many women have belly fat that they go to great lengths to get rid of. From starvation or quack diets to strenuous exercise including seemingly endless hours on cardio machines. Yet, in some cases the fat refuses to go away.
Some people would be surprised to know that fat, also known as adipose tissue, is considered an organ in the body. Much like the liver or the pancreas. Body fat has been so demonized that many do not realize that it actually has its uses, and we need it for our bodies to function properly.
In a previous post on why it is so hard to lose belly fat, we looked at the different types of body fat. In this post we shall look at this with a little more detail, but hopefully without being too “scholarly” as our goal on this blog is to keep it simple.
Uses of Fat
Though people know that body fat stores energy in the form of calories, fat also secretes hormones that regulate a person’s metabolism. Fat also cushions your skin, and helps gives you shape even when you’re in great shape. Fat also helps preserve body heat. You probably know that fat stores are essential for survival during starvation.
And this is but to mention a few and very briefly.
Belly Fat Not Created Equal
When we think of belly fat, “the bulge” quickly comes to mind. Other terms for this include “beer belly” and “pot belly”. But there is more to this than meets the eye. Moreover, all belly fat isn’t the same. Here are the different types of belly fat that bedevil so many women (m
White fat is the type that produces hormones and stores calories. White fat produces adiponectin, a hormone that sensitizes the muscles and the liver to insulin. When you excessive white fat, whether in the belly or elsewhere, the fat does not produce as much of this hormone. This puts an overweight person at risk for diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
As its name says, subcutaneous fat lies right under a person’s skin. It is the kind of fat you can “pinch”. Though doctors have found that subcutaneous fat on the buttocks and thighs may be harmless, subcutaneous fat on a person’s belly may be problematic.
This is fat that encloses the internal organs and may predispose you to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Medical experts even believe it can put a person at higher risk for dementia. Visceral fat causes the body to resist insulin, which means it makes it harder for insulin to work. This can lead to type II diabetes and its often devastating complications. It’s not known why visceral fat is such a health risk.
It is fairly easy to tell if a person has too much visceral fat, for they have a wide waist and a big belly. A waist that is too wide is considered to be over 35 inches around for a woman and 40 inches around for a man. A big belly caused by visceral fat may put a person in danger of disease even if their weight is normal.
Belly Fat in General
Belly fat can be subcutaneous or visceral or both. Belly fat is more of a problem for men, and women tend to accumulate fat on the buttocks and thighs. Though many women strive to rid themselves of this pear-shape, doctors believe it is healthier than a big belly.
After menopause, fat distribution in women changes, moving away from thighs, hips, and buttocks, and to the abdominal area. Even thin women can find this fat difficult to shake and extremely frustrating.
A Word about Brown Fat
Also known as brown adipose tissue, brown fat is the most efficient type of fat. It is actually full of mitochondria, which are tiny power plants found in the cells. When a person is subject to cold, brown fat is stimulated and can burn as much as 500 calories every day.
Probably because they are growing rapidly, babies and children have more brown fat than grown-ups. It has been found that thinner adults tend to have more brown fat than those who are obese. Many people have stores of brown fat in their shoulders and neck, while a few people have it in their spine and their chest area.
Still, no one has a great deal of brown fat. For every 20 pounds of fat a person has, only a couple of ounces of it is brown fat.
Watch: How to Get a Small Waist with One Effective Exercise
In a previous post, we revealed a quick and simple 3 minute trick for a flat belly that can be used virtually anywhere, anytime. We stumbled on a video that illustrates the vacuum, featuring someone who looks like they actually do it. We are happy to share the video below:
To a flat belly!