Tuesday, April 15, 2008

How To Loose Belly Fat And Stay Healthy

People who are in their 40s and have big bellies are much more likely to get Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia in their 70s, according to a new research that, for the first time, links the middle age spread to fading minds. Are you peering down to check if your stomach qualifies? Wait, there's more.

Twice the risk

The study of more than 6,000 people found the more fat they had in their guts in their early to mid-40s, the greater their chances of becoming forgetful or confused or showing other signs of senility as they aged. Those who had the largest mid-sections faced more than twice the risk of the leanest. Surprisingly, a sizable belly seems to increase the risk even among those who are not obese, or overweight, the researchers reported in a paper published last week by the journal Neurology.

Worst kind of fat

This research is the latest evidence that fat in the abdomen is the most dangerous kind. Previous studies have linked the apple-shaped physique to a greater risk of diabetes, heart disease, even cancer. Researchers suspect that those fat cells are the worst because of their proximity to major organs. "There is a lot of work out there that suggests that the fat wrapped around your inner organs is much more metabolically active than other types of fat right under the skin," said Rachel Whitmer, a research scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California.

How it works

The risk of dementia, the researchers found, increased steadily with the amount of fat in the abdomen, even after accounting for alternative explanations, such as other diseases, bad habits and lower education. They found no such association for fat in the thigh. Stomach fat might increase the risk of dementia in the same ways that it promotes heart disease — by boosting blood pressure and constricting blood flow, Jose Luchsinger of Columbia University said. But Luchsinger and others said it might also promote the accumulation of a substance called amyloid found in the brain of Alzheimer's patients. While acknowledging that more research was needed, Whitmer said that this type of fat is the most easily shed by dieting and exercise. So if you are in your 40s, sit glued to a computer screen all day and boast of a prosperous midriff, it may be time to get off the couch.

Fitness experts advise you on how you can alter your diet and crank up your exercise routine to stall the middle-age spread.

Diet and exercise

By the time you hit your 40s, the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), the rate at which your body burns calories even during rest, goes down. Whatever extra you eat gets stored as fat. Increasing physical activity is of primary importance. Start off on and weight training. Cardio is very essential because it helps you burn fat. Building lean muscle tissue also helps burn fat. You have to do a lot of stretching for the body to recuperate. If it doesn't recuperate, the body will not react to the next day's workout. You can't lose midriff fat only with abdominal crunches. These will help tone your muscles, but it's the layer of fat that has to go. Your diet does 90 per cent of the work; weight-training, cardio and stretching do the rest.

Aim for the mobile fat

Before elaborating on the diet needed to stay healthy into your 70s, Dr B Sesikeran, Director of the National Institute of Nutrition, also stressed on the importance of being mentally active. "A person can put on weight due to a lack of physical activity." So we need to consider some basic lifestyle changes, beginning with reducing oily, deep-fried foods in our diet. Refined foods like maida, polished rice, and wheat without the bran, have no dietary-fibre, essential for decreasing the rate at which glucose enters the blood from the intestines. More fibre translates to better control on blood sugar levels. Abdominal fat is both visceral (surrounding organs like the Intestines and the liver) and sub-cutaneous (accumulated under the skin.) While subcutaneous fat is tougher to lose, it is less harmful. Visceral fat on the other hand is more harmful. This is highly mobile fat and constantly circulates in your body as fatty acids. When they break down, they release free radicals that damage cells, including those in the nerves. This process is called oxidative stress. Eating your greens and taking your daily dose of fruits helps tackle that by increasing the level of antioxidants in your body.

Cutting down on calories also includes cutting down on all that social drinking. Alcohol only provides empty calories and increases fat accumulation. If your excuse is the antioxidant content of the red wine, you can get that from grapes as well.

Abdominal fat is an indicator of a host of other problems such as sleep disorders, narrowed blood vessels, and higher triglyceride and lipid levels in the blood. It also indicates lesser blood circulating in the brain, which makes a person more prone to neuro-degenerative diseases like dementia. Keeping your diet in check can only help prevent further abdominal fat from accumulating. To reduce already existing fat, you need to exercise.

If you really want to get rid of the stubborn belly fat and look forward to a healthy life, here's a key to a simplified comprehensive plan that will help you kill and remove the unhealthy belly fat out of your body forever.

Secret To Beat Belly Fat Easily And Effectively