Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fighting Visceral Fat

Now you know about visceral fat—the greasy matter that’s buried deep inside your abdominal cavity, packed around your internal organs, and up to no good at all. The obvious question is this: What can you do to get rid of this accursed stuff?

Although the science isn’t settled, several studies suggest that dieting might be less helpful than you think. The problem is that it’s likely to shrink your subcutaneous fat without reducing the dreaded deposits of visceral fat that lurk inside. Instead, you need to add high-intensity exercise to the mix (say, 30 minutes of pulse-racing activity, four times a week) to pare down visceral fat. Some experts believe that even happily thin people can have hidden deposits of visceral fat (see the box on this page) and need the same exercise regimen to stay healthy.

There’s one practice that definitely won’t help: liposuction. Although getting the fat vacuumed out of you seems like a fiendishly convenient shortcut, liposuction sucks up subcutaneous fat only. This is probably why it has no long-term health benefit. Studies show that happily liposuctioned people don’t do any better on key measures of health and inflammation (including the blood tests listed on page 49) than others. This is true even when massive quantities of fat are removed—in one study, 20 pounds at a time.

So far, there’s no way to liposuction away your visceral fat. However, small experimental studies have found ways to surgically remove it. In one study, visceral fat was removed from a group of obese men with insulin resistance, the precursor to diabetes. Even though they stayed obese, with copious amounts of subcutaneous fat, almost all of them lost their insulin resistance within a year.

Source of Information : Oreilly - Your Body Missing Manual

Think health gain, not weight loss. Most people find it easier to concentrate on doing something good than on trying to stop something that’s gone wrong— especially if you shoulder hefty feelings of guilt for the pounds you’ve already put on. So make fitness your goal, and use weight loss and exercise as just two of your tactics to get healthy.

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