The Mystery of Belly Fat

Hahaha. Mystery. I called it mystery because even for some stick thin people, the accumulated fat can still be very much visible around the tummy area. What's more for other categories of body type especially those fall under overweight and obese or extremely obese group, I'm sure you know what I mean? And myself, even after losing a whole lot of weight and my BMI is absolutely normal, I still have some percentage of stubborn fat surrounding my tummy area. Sad uh? -____-"

So I start searching for info (read: Google), at least to better understand what causes belly fat and what are the proper actions that need to be taken. And now everything makes more senses why the ugly belly fat is there. Mine is mainly due to sugar calories lah kot haha. Consumption more than usage via energy burning, tu la pasal. Starbucks and other frappucinos must be the main culprit here muahahaa. Siap request extra caramel drizzle. :P 

Owh by the way, do you know that belly fat is the most detrimental body fat to your health? PALING BAHAYA kauuuu! Ohemgeeeee. How I feel so stupid for holding to this belief "takpa, perut suami saya buncit, tandanya dia gembira" Now I feel like banging my head against the wall. NO IT IS NOT! This belly fat contributes highest to severe health problems such as HEART DISEASE, STROKE and DIABETES. Oh please Allah, I want my husband to be all fit and healthy. Please grant us the strength to go through this journey of transforming him back to his normal body frame. :) Or at least please give my husband the will power to drink water at least 5 liters a day, consistently. :P

Ok people, listen. There are two types of fat. First, Subcutaneous Fat: the one that you can just see under the skin (thighs, hips, buttocks, abdomen) and the other one for which you should put more concern on is  VISCERAL FAT. This bloody fella is the one that surrounds your vital organs, which in fact can cause more serious problems even for a thin people. But of course it isn't all bad because we still need some amount of visceral fat to protect (cushioning) our organs. But well, so obvious that we are having more than what we really need pun kan. :P 

And if any of us ever think "fat will just sit there in one spot" muahahaha the idea is just so wrong. Body fats just don't sit and do nothing. (Slimming centres suka sangat promote spot fat reduction ni, tipu dusta ok). They are nasty at most of the time. So, if we do not take care of our own body, this body fat will start doing what they do best, making sure all fat depots are full. As obesity increase, the fat is then deposited into the organs pulak. Tak cukup bawah kulit, dia sapu pulak organ badan, hah nak? 

So, for a minimal effect on your health and well being, please make sure that your waistline is less than 35 inches (women) and 40 inches (men), otherwise it's probably an indicator that your health is highly at risk. Like a time bomb! Basically visceral fat hates active body. 

Now, where does this culprit came from? Hormones, genetics, pregnancy, menopause, calories intake, foods we eat are among the possible reasons. 

Insulin - Insulin spikes make you fat. Also known as fat-storing-hormone. If you are feeling starved, that pretty much indicates your insulin level has already spiked and the next thing you put into your mouth will now get stored as fat. So don't starve yourself. And eat breakfast people! 

Leptin - It plays a key role in regulating energy intake and energy expenditure, including appetite and metabolism. Leptin is the way your fat cells tell your brain that your energy level is set right. But when people do a wrong diet process, they eat less and decrease the energy intake, which then decreases the amount of leptin produced. Lepas tu, Leptin level goes below your personal leptin threshold and the moment it does that, your brain senses starvation. "Starvation! We are in starvation mode! Keep the fats! Don't burn them" Liddat maaaa. That's how starvation hormone works. Now how to maintain a healthy Leptin level? Get enough sleep and avoid foods with high MSG. 

Cortisol - The stress hormone; just as nasty as it sounds. As if you didn't have enough problems, this mangkuk guy will make you store more fat around your middle like a spare tire. Studies have also shown that people who secrete higher levels of cortisol due to stress also tend to eat more food, and food that is higher in carbohydrates than people who secrete less cortisol. If you are more sensitive to stress, it’s important for you to learn stress management techniques and maintain a low-stress lifestyle.

Genetics - Women who have apple or pear-shaped bodies typically are genetically prone to have belly fat due to the natural shape of their bodies. Genetics, something not within our control but definitely there's way to get rid of it. Eat fiber rich foods, fruits, veggies, lean protein and drink plenty of water. It helps!

Pregnancy - What happens during pregnancy? A true sad fact. Belly expand - then muscle tear and separate - tissue begins to sag - present belly fat becomes prominent - eventually weight tends to shift to belly are right after pregnancy. Solution? Exercise. Or bengkung, as we Malay calls it. :P 

Menopause - Losing great amount of estrogen causes weight gain as well. Women at this stage will start losing their muscle mass, making calories burning activity slower than ever. What happens to all this excess fat? They happily shift to belly area then. -_____-" Ah, so much of what women have to endure. Suami semua, sila sayangi dan kasihi isteri anda. 

Eat too many or too low calories everyday - Too many? Self explanatory. You eat more than what your body can burn and transform into energy  bye bye, I see you in fat depots. But eating too little calories can also lead to belly fat problem. This is because cutting down on too many calories causes your body to become nutrient deficient hence lacking from what it needs to thrive. This in turn, causes the production of the hunger hormone to increase. When this happens, your body will send hunger signals to your brain which you won’t be able to resist and therefore cause you to over eat which later increase your calorie intake and increase your belly fat.

Processed and preservative foods - These foods cause mineral deficiencies and imbalances that cause your body to retain more water, which in turn leads to extra weight gain and even worse, accumulate more harmful toxic waste. All this unfortunately can cause an unhealthy and inconsistent bowel movements too. Seriously, it is very possible that your extra pouch may not just be fat, but toxic waste mixed in. -____-"

Ok, too much to digest? Haha. Whatever it is, nothing beats the rule: exercise more eat less. To have a flat belly, you need to lose visceral fat; the organ fats. Not so easy but doable. Do it now people. Don't wait because chances are you body will struggle more as you get older. 

Wanna know what is your body fat range? What is your visceral fat? Water level? Muscle mass? ASK SHILA NOW :P


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