Spring is here, and some of us are forced to turn our thoughts to……Bathing Suits. My first thought might be….already? And my second thought is….Why does my suit fit like a girdle?
Most of us view gut fat as simply a fashion handicap.
I wear long tunic tops, and style up to muffle that muffin! Besides, I’m not alone. In fact, 70 percent of us in the US and Australia are overweight or obese, so a lot of us are covering our butts about it. And our guts.
Squeezing breathlessly into that size-eighteen bathing suit with the little skirt isn’t the worst of the trauma, however. Maybe you’ve heard somewhere, and chosen to ignore it, that abdominal fat is a dangerous risk factor to your health.
Oh, come on!
No. I’m afraid it’s true. There are actually two types of abdominal fat. One is called subcutaneous fat, and the other is visceral fat. Subcutaneous fat is not quite such a health risk factor, so I am already convinced that’s the kind I have!
Another disappointment. Both kinds of fat greatly increase risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, sleep apnea……
Sleep apnea! Has someone accused you of snoring lately, and you self-righteously denied it? Of course you rejected the very idea! But, just maybe, it’s you and not the dog. Sleep apnea is linked to excessive abdominal fat and heart disease.
Visceral fat literally coats your internal organs. Studies show that visceral fat releases inflammatory molecules into your system on a regular basis. Gads! We all know now that inflammation of the arteries is a major cause of heart attack and stroke!
I can’t help it! Besides, I’ve done a lot of sit ups…..
And they didn’t help very much. Yes, they did tighten the muscle over the fat. But the exercises that really help, and don’t take much time, are interval training and weight training.
Let’s keep it simple. Weight training builds muscle. Muscle burns fat. The gym works, but dedication to constant routine is key here. At least three times per week, visit the gym and devote yourself to using those machines consistently. The key word is consistency. At first it will cause aches and pains and you will want to quit. Grit your teeth. Do it anyway. It’s a very small piece out of your day.
The second branch to fat burning is interval training. This doesn’t take much time. We should be walking every day, anyway. Speed up, slow down, jog or sprint a little. Twenty minutes to a half hour. Get your heart rate up there just enough to huff and puff. Keep your body guessing. If you don’t like the walk idea, the treadmills at the gym are excellent for this endeavor. Raise the pace at intervals. Get some huffing going.
Can’t afford the gym? Compare it to the cost of drugs.
Which brings us to diet.
Forget that! I’ve tried everything.
Maybe not. How about reducing your consumption of grains, particularly wheat? Wheat is seriously implicated in gut fat and the aging process. Yes, even whole wheat. Blood sugar spikes are routine after a simple toast snack. Just switch to gluten-free bread, if you must eat bread, and make sure it is not made from polished rice. Think brown. And, remember, all those whole-grain cereals are made primarily of wheat and sugar. To take this further, almost all breadings, cakes and cookies are…..you guessed it! Wheat.
You needn’t force yourself to eat those cardboard diet rice cakes any more, either. They are simply an empty calorie filler that someone dreamed up when they had some on-sale Rice Crispies lying around, glued them together and decided to call it a ‘cake’.
Stay away from cooking oils. Think coconut oil, olive oil or butter. Wow! Butter! I love it. Serve small.
Alcohol. It’s always Happy Hour in Scottsdale AZ, where I live. Alcohol combines well with food and sociability. In fact, it combines so well with food that extra bar snacks become a must-order the more I drink. As for my liver? It’s busy doing its job, burning off the Budweiser. At 150 calories a pop-top, a few beers every evening rapidly rolls on the lard. Regular drinking turns your waist into a keg, while your liver slaves away burning off all that alcohol and runs out of gas to burn the fat. You don’t want that.
So I’ll buy some of that low-calorie cuisine and try again! No, in fact, low-calorie cuisine for dieters is simply the same stuff you always eat packaged into small portions, costing more and containing ingredients like pasta and melted cheese.
You’re making this impossible!
No, in fact, it’s pretty easy, once you identify foods that assist your body to run smoothly and burn up excess fat. We’ll discuss that next. Stay with me!