Losing Fat

Fat Cells Explained

Fat (also known as adipose tissue) is found in many parts of our bodies.

There is some fat stored in the liver and some fat over the kidneys. Subcutaneous fat is the fat stored below the skin, while visceral fat is the fat that lies deep in the abdomen between the organs. The distribution of fat in the body differs according to gender.

Fat cells are formed in a fetus during the third trimester of pregnancy. Throughout adult life, the number of fat cells remains the same. However, when we gain weight, the size of the fat cells increases.

Fat cells are known as adipose cells. They have many functions. The fat cells under the skin insulate the body and keep it warm. Fats act as cushion surrounding vital body organs. They also help the body store fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E and K. Fats also store energy and act as messengers that enable proteins to do their physiological roles.

There are two types of fat cells: white fat and brown fat.

White fat cells contain one large fat droplet and have fewer mitochondria and blood vessels. That is why they have a white or yellowish appearance. It is the most common fat in the body and it originates from connective tissue. We have a lot of white fat. White fat increases the risk of heart diseases, type-2 diabetes, and cancer. Overeating leads to increasing white fat.

Brown fat cells consist of several small fat droplets, several iron-containing mitochondria, and tiny blood vessels. The brown appearance is due to their iron content and blood vessels. Brown fat is found in the upper back and in the neck. This fat burns energy due to the high content of mitochondria and thus releases heat. Everyone has some brown fat.

It is suggested to promote the brown fat in the body since it helps us burn calories. It is recommended to eat apples often and to exercise regularly to promote the conversion of white fat to brown fat. Also, lower temperatures were found to cause white fat conversion to brown fat. Younger people have more brown fat than older individuals. And those with lower BMI were found to have more brown fat than those with high BMI.

Fat enters our bodies when we eat dietary fats. It passes through the stomach to the small intestine where it mixes with bile salts from the gall bladder and pancreatic juice. The bile salts cause emulsification of the fats – that is breaking the large fat droplets into smaller ones. The pancreatic juice contains lipase that breaks down fat into fatty acids and glycerol.

All this facilitates fat absorption in the small intestine. Inside the cells of the small intestine, the fat binds with a coating of protein forming chylomicrons. The protein part makes chylomicrons more water soluble. These chylomicrons are then released in the lymphatic system which in turn merges with veins releasing them into the blood stream.

People usually gain weight due to an imbalance between the food they consume and the calories they burn. If we eat excessively, we will store more calories and put on weight. Therefore in order to lose weight, we should eat a healthy diet. A diet of around 2000 calories is sufficient per day. We should also exercise regularly to burn calories.

However as we lose weight, the number of fat cells in our bodies will remain the same, but the cells will only get smaller in size. When we burn more calories than our consumption, the body stimulates the fat cells to release their stored fat content. Thus free fatty acids are released to the blood stream to reach the tissues that need the most energy.

Why Does Fat Accumulate on the Belly of Men

Unlike women who can store fat in their hips, when men gain weight, they usually store the fat on their belly.

The result is a potbelly. This situation is also known as abdominal obesity or central obesity. In this case the fat accumulates around the waist resulting in a serious condition even if the person’s weight is considered acceptable according to the BMI range.

After the belly becomes full of fat, any additional fat might be stored in other parts of the body. The abdominal fat includes subcutaneous fat, that is the fat below the skin, and visceral fat, that is the fat between the organs.

Visceral fat is associated with a number of diseases such as hypertension, Insulin resistance (Type 2 Diabetes), heart diseases and even cancers. Therefore we should consider the factors that lead to this belly fat for our own sake.

Men accumulate belly fat for many reasons.

A sedentary lifestyle has been one of the main causes of potbellies for men. If a person does not exert enough physical activity on a daily basis, there will be an imbalance between his energy used and his food intake. The result will be a potbelly since fat tends to accumulate on the belly in men.

In the last few decades and especially in the western world, many men spend most of their time at their desks. If these men don’t exercise often enough, they are likely to develop belly fat.

Age is also a factor when it comes to fat accumulation. Men over the age of 40 tend to gain belly fat faster due to changes in their metabolism. The older a man gets, the more easily fat can be accumulated on his belly.

Also as men age, they start losing their muscle tissue. The less the muscle tissue they have on their body, the less calories can be used by the body. If a man does not participate in physical activities to build up his muscle tissue, then belly fat is sure to form.

Beer belly is a term that we commonly hear. A beer belly is a bulging belly that appears in men by drinking to much alcohol or beer. There seems to be an association between alcohol and beer belly, at least in popular folklore. Alcohol and beer have a lot of calories per glass and should only be drunk in moderation. The more a man ages, the less alcohol he should drink to stay fit and healthy.

In addition genetic factors have a great impact on potbellies. Some people have a genetic tendency to gain more weight and can have potbellies faster than other men. However these people can still enjoy a healthy figure if they follow a healthy lifestyle balancing their diet and activity wisely.

Unhealthy diets can definitely lead to potbellies.

Sweets and red meat are known to contribute to belly fat in men. Whereas healthy fats such as olive oils and omega 3 can reduce the fat storage in the body, a man should consume sufficient fruits and dark-leafy vegetables and reasonable amounts of nuts and seeds for their essential fatty acids. The food intake should be balanced compared to the average exerted physical activity. Also men need less food consumption as they age due to the muscle tissue loss.

Stress is a leading cause of belly fat especially in our fast-paced life and hectic schedules. When men are stressed, their bodies tend to release cortisol. This usually appears in the form of craving for carbohydrates and fats during stress. Long intervals of stress often lead cortisol to cause long intervals of elevated blood sugar and to encourage the storage of visceral fat. The result is potbelly and a tendency for insulin resistance and thus type 2 diabetes.

Testosterone is also somehow linked to abdominal obesity in men. Some studies claim that low levels of testosterone cause abdominal obesity because they lead men to lose muscle cells. While other studies state that it is the abdominal obesity that leads to lower levels of testosterone. While the debates are still going on regarding which of these causes the other, a link is believed to exist between testosterone level and belly fat.

Unlike women, belly fat in men has no physiological benefits. It has many hidden risks and it is often stubborn fat that is hard to lose. When we know the source of this fat, we understand why it is there in the first place and know what should be done to lose it before it is too late.

A healthy and lean figure is the dream of many men, and simple facts should be known about what hinders that perfect shape.

5 Food Groups To Get Healthy and Lose Fat

If you want to live happier, you have to find the right eating style and build it throughout your life. Everything that you drink and eat really matters. You have to focus on the amount, nutrition, and variety. You do not have to rush things, begin with a few changes to establish a healthier eating habit.

Actually, eating healthy is not just a challenge, it is like a journey formed by many different factors, which includes access to food, stages of life, preferences, traditions, situations and decisions everyone makes over time. Every food you take and every beverage you drink counts.

Have a conscious effort to consume the right quantity of calories based on your gender, age, weight, height, and physical activity. Doing this will help one to avoid overweight and obesity. Be sure that your eating style includes low added sugars, sodium, and fat. Unfortunately, most people eat lots of foods that are high in saturated fat and sugar.

Eating a lesser amount of calories while controlling the insulin levels is critical, if you want to lose fats without losing muscles. How will you know that you are eating the right kind and amount of foods?

You should take a look at a conceptual framework that most fitness models, natural bodybuilders, and some sports health experts use. However, this is not the mainstream of fitness culture.

This is founded on five food groups, but they are very different from the 5 groups people usually know.

The Old 5 Food Groups (USDA MyPyramid)

These are the 5 food groups categorized by their fundamental properties:

  1. Grains

Any food item produced using oats, wheat, cornmeal, barley, rice or other cereal grains belongs to this group. Grains are identified into 2 subgroups; refined grains and whole grains.

Refined grains have been milled, which is a process of removing both bran and germ. Examples of these are white flour, white rice, and white bread. Whole grains contain the whole grain kernel – the germ, endosperm, and bran. Bulgur, brown rice, whole wheat flour, oatmeal and whole cornmeal are the classic examples.

  1. Fruits

These are the seed-bearing structures in flowering plants. Humans and several animals are dependent on fruits as a food source. Fruits contain seeds and are edible in their raw state. Bananas, apples, berries, melons, oranges, and grapes are some of the most popular fruits in the world.

  1. Vegetables

In terms of everyday use, vegetables are the edible parts of plants that are eaten by humans as food. Vegetables are divided into four subgroups: starchy, dark green, orange, and other vegetables. The starchy group includes green peas, potatoes, corn, and lima beans. Collard greens, lettuce, and broccoli belong to the dark green vegetables, while lentils, dry beans, and kidney beans are orange vegetables. Examples of the other vegetables are asparagus, bean sprouts, and artichokes.

  1. Meat and Beans

You might get confused with this group because beans are already tagged as vegetables. But according to the USDA, they belong to the Meat and Beans group too. They contain some protein too. Beef, fish, pork, chicken and other wildlife are meats.

 

  1. Milk Or Dairy

Milk is a white liquid that the mammals’ mammary glands. It is the main source of nutrition for a mammal’s young child, especially before it could digest other kinds of food. Milk contains all the most important amino acids.

Some health groups would consider a sixth group, the “Fat.” But, only a few acknowledge this group.

The Latest 5 Food Groups

These groups are divided according to their macronutrient characterization. It is not limited to whether they are a vegetable, meat, or fruit. In principle, there are three macronutrients; carbohydrates, fat, and protein. These give calories to the body and affect it in various ways.

For instance, protein can help fix body tissues like organs, muscles, and ligaments. On the other hand, carbohydrates make energy for the body and influence the levels of insulin, which is an important factor in losing fat. Carbohydrates have 3 subgroups; simple, starchy, and fibrous.

Fat contains 9 calories every gram. This provides energy and helps sustain appropriate hormone function. In addition, it carries vitamins.

The following are the “new” 5 food groups that are very popular among sports nutritionists and fitness experts:

  1. Fats

In this category, any food that derived most of its calories from fat is included. For example, avocado, even if it’s technically a fruit, it is not a simple carb. It is mostly fat, 75% of calories in fact.

Fatty food like bacon belongs to this category, not protein. Other fats include nuts, butter, hummus, and oil. They contain more or less 40% of its calories from fat.

  1. Simple Carbohydrates

Fruits, sodas, sugary foods are identified as simple carbohydrates. Certainly, fruit is healthier than a chocolate bar because of the vitamins they contain. Also, they usually have a lower insulin effect, but all sugary items fall in this group.

The “molecular structure” of simple carbohydrates food is less complex than those of starches. Health experts do not suggest eating anything other than fruits as a simple carb source.

  1. Starchy Carbohydrates

This group covers any food that has a fairly high quantity of carbohydrates, lower in fat, sugar, and protein. Bread, legumes, cereals, rice, potatoes, pasta, and orange vegetables are great examples of starchy carbs. This is somewhat like the grains group in the USDA pyramid, but beans and orange vegetables are thrown in.

Beans are not lean protein, based on their “macronutrient profile.” Sometimes, starchy carbs are also known as “fattening carb.” People who committed to the Atkins diet or the Paleo diet consume approximately no starches.

  1. Fibrous Carbohydrates

Fibrous carbs are vegetables very rich in fiber and low sugar content. All dark green vegetables fit in this group. However, beans and orange vegetables are not fibrous carbohydrates, even if they are vegetables.

  1. Lean Protein

Any kind of protein that contains 8 essential amino acids is considered a lean protein. These are low in fat like turkey, fish, and chicken. Also, they have low-fat dairy.

It would be much easier for anyone to manage total calories and insulin levels if he or she uses the new 5 food groups. Controlling your calorie intake is now simpler because you are now aware what food are high in fat and what are those that you should avoid. Furthermore, you can now eat more high-value protein.

How To Avoid Overeating

It is a human instinct to fear hunger. Our hunger can drive us into a screaming rage, a bare illustration of the primitive nature of our need for sustenance. Nowadays, most of us are aware where our next food is coming from, yet our response to starvation has not progressed with our convenience-focused world.

This is the reason that when the idea of starving hits us, we may run to the nearest convenience store for nourishment. If you want to slim down, you ought to adjust your body’s signal to eating. A famous dietician named Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, stated that hunger is a physical indication that an individual must get energy.

If you just listen to your body, you will have the most amazing diet partner. Doing this will give you the instinct to eat the appropriate amount of food. If you cannot handle this, hunger will become your diet’s top enemy. There is a high tendency that you feed yourself more than the quantity your body needs or get too hungry and give in to your cravings.

Have you ever wondered why do so many diets fall short? This is not because people are sluggish or not having the willpower. Almost every single time, the explanation why diets flop is because we limit too much.

Keep in mind that when you severely decrease your calorie count, your body immediately perceives a threat. The body’s inner alarm system protecting you from hunger kicks in and dawdle your metabolism. You will go into hunger mode and absolutely overeat. Without a doubt when you impede dieting, you will surely recuperate the amount of weight you loss plus more.

Reflect about what would happen if you miss out breakfast, work though lunchtime, and after all go back home in the evening. It is very possible that you eat every food in sight. Later, you will feel stuffed, guilty and feel sorry for going to the kitchen and open the fridge in the first place.

This normally happens once you keep yourself away from food for a long time just to resign to your starvation and longings at the end of the day. This does not mean that you do not possess the strong will or you are simply self-destructive. The truth is you have the desire, but you have the wrong approach. You have to do it right and you certainly do not need years to triumph over this personal issue.

The right solution is found within your genetic programming; the human body was intended to put on some weight. It is not by accident that your body does not like it when there are insufficient calories.

It is a fact that obese or overweight individuals say they do not consume that much, and still cannot lose weight. Their diets frequently do not succeed and they typically regain weight. If they regularly diet, their bodies have experienced this process plenty of times already.

Some health and fitness gurus tell that the obesity plague is a matter of individual liability. People should practice more self-control and stay away from overeating. They should refrain from eating too much processed food and drinking of sugar-sweetened beverages. According to a scientific study, people love to have processed fat, sugar and salt-laden foods, which are made in a factory rather than grown on a plant naturally because they are “biologically addictive.”

Of course, no one wants to be fat. Unfortunately, we are biologically designed to yearn for salty, sugary, processed foods and feed ourselves as much as we could.

The good part is we have the power to regulate our eating habits. We need discipline to lose weight and reduce the risk of developing diabetes and other diseases. You cannot completely rely on dietary products or drinks to lose all the extra weight. Even if you double your time at the gym, you still gain weight if you keep on overeating.

You should only eat real, whole and unprocessed meals. This is essential in losing weight and avoids overeating. There is a need to switch to fruits, beans, vegetables, whole grains, grass-fed animal products, seeds, olive oil and smaller fish such as salmon.

Do not miss out breakfast if you want to eat right. If you do, you will not crave and eat much more food than what you really need to survive a day. According to a recent research, individuals who lost an average of 30 kilograms and kept it off for six (6) years discovered that most of them took their breakfast daily. As small as four (4) percent who never ate breakfast managed to stay the weight off.

In addition, work on getting eight (8) hours of great, uninterrupted sleep each night. This strategy will stabilize the fat-regulating hormones and restrict cravings. Sleep deprivation will only contribute to insulin resistance, causing Type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Most importantly, have the right exercise routine. This is instrumental in losing weight and maintaining it. A good exercise will control your appetite, helping you not to overeat. Aspire for at least thirty (30) minutes of brisk walking daily. You can make your fitness routine fun by dancing, biking, running or even jumping on a trampoline.