Saturday, December 5, 2015
Monday, February 8, 2010
You may think belly fat is limited to the stuff out front that you can grab with your hand — but it's the fat you can't see that's really a cause for concern. Visceral fat lies deep inside the abdomen, surrounding the abdominal organs. Gaining this type of fat has been linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other health problems.
Subcutaneous fat, located between the skin and the abdominal wall, is more visible but also less likely to be a health risk.
While a slowing metabolism and decreased physical activity contribute to overall weight gain as you age, those factors don't influence visceral fat accumulation directly. Heredity may be the culprit — you may simply have inherited a tendency to gain weight in your midsection.
Are you an Apple or Pear?
Most people agree that excess weight is bad for your health. But now researchers have shown that “how” it’s stored on the body is the key link to the risk of future health problems.
Apple-shaped people store body fat around the abdomen and chest, surrounding internal organs, such as the heart.
Pear-shaped people store fat on the hips and thighs, just below the surface of the skin.
The good news for Pears is that the excess fat they store in the lower body is not necessarily a risk to their health. Apples, however, have a higher risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and gall bladder disease. Even when Apples and Pears have similar body weights, these diseases progress faster and more seriously in Apples than in Pears.
Does your body shape change when you lose weight? It depends on whether you are an Apple or a Pear. When Apples lose weight, they do reduce the fat in the upper body, so they look different (and reduce their risk of disease). Pears also tend to lose fat in the upper body, so even when they lose weight, their overall shape does not change much. In short, a Pear will always be a Pear.
The midsection matters
Gaining weight in your abdomen does more harm than simply making your waist wider. Too much belly fat increases your risk of:
High blood pressure
Researchers also have found that abdominal fat cells aren't just dormant energy waiting to be burned up. The cells are active, producing hormones and other substances that can affect your health.
Since visceral fat is buried deep in your abdomen, it may seem like a difficult place to reduce fat. As it turns out, visceral fat responds well to a regular exercise routine and a healthy diet. Ab exercises can help to firm the abdominal muscles and flatten the belly.
Exercise , Diet and Whole Grains
- Add time to your workouts (duration) -- If you're a beginner, focus on the length of your workouts. Work at a comfortable pace and increase workout time every week by 5 to 10 minutes.
- Increase intensity – (how hard you work out) Add short bursts of speed or resistance to your workouts or practice going faster than you normally do.
- Increase your frequency (how much you workout) -- Add a day of cardio after you've been exercising for about 2 to 3 weeks.
- Don’t try to do everything in one day..splitting it up is fine
Changing unhealthy eating habits can help fight belly fat. Read nutrition labels, and replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats. Increase portions of complex carbohydrates such as fruits and vegetables, and reduce simple carbohydrates like white bread and refined pasta. If you need to lose weight, reduce your portion sizes and daily calorie intake.
Whole grains are a great source of fiber and are proven to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. What makes them even better is they may actually help reduce fat around the belly.
In one study, researchers followed a group of obese men and women. The men and women were randomly assigned to two groups: One told to get all of their grain servings from whole grains and the other to avoid whole grain foods. The whole-grain group lost more body fat around the abs than the other group. The USDA recommends men and women get a minimum of about 3 to 4 ounces of whole grains a day. If you don't have your handy-dandy food scale available, below are some examples of whole grains that would satisfy the basic requirements:
5 whole wheat crackers
1 packet of instant oatmeal
3 cups of popped popcorn
1/2 cup of cooked whole grain rice
1/2 cup of cooked whole grain pasta
- Researchers followed a group of women who lifted weights three times a week for 16 weeks. At the end of that time, the women significantly decreased abdominal fat (along with overall body fat) and increased strength and muscle as well. It's clear that strength training doesn't just contribute to a leaner body, but a leaner midsection as well.
- Another study in which obese participants were split into two groups. One group dieted to lose weight, while the other combined diet and exercise. At the end of the study, the group who both dieted and exercised reduced more belly fat than the other group.
Moderate wine consumption has some health benefits, including increasing good cholesterol. Another possible benefit is a lower waist circumference.
In some studies, researchers found that moderate wine drinkers show the lowest accumulation of ab fat among drinkers. If you don't drink, that doesn't mean you should start. Alcohol adds extra calories to your diet, so cutting it out can help with weight loss. Moderate-to-high consumption of alcohol and of beer and spirits was associated with later high waist circumference, whereas moderate-to-high wine consumption may have the opposite effect.
If you do drink, however, this is a good time to assess your habits and change them to be a bit healthier. Drinking one or two glasses of wine may serve you better than hard liquor, especially if you're watching your weight. Remember to always drink responsibly.
High Intensity Interval Training
A HIIT session consists of a warm up period of exercise, followed by six to ten repetitions of high intensity exercise, separated by medium intensity exercise, and ending with a period of cool down exercise. The high intensity exercise should be done at near maximum intensity. The medium exercise should be about half-maximum intensity. The number of repetitions and length of each depends on the exercise. The goal is to do at least six cycles, and to have the entire HIIT session last at least fifteen minutes and not more than twenty.
HIIT has been known to not only burn fat during the workout but even up to 24 hours after the workout. Another extra benefit is the entire HIIT workout last only 15-30 minutes. So this means no more long walks on the treadmill if it was beginning to bore you.
It’s very important that warm up and warm down periods is added into every HIIT training program and because of the high level of intensity, 2 days a week is sufficient.
How to measure abdominal fat:
The simplest way to check for abdominal fat is to measure your waist. Run a tape measure around your torso at about the level of your right hipbone (where it intersects a line dropped vertically from the middle of the right armpit). Breathe minimally, and make sure not to pull the tape measure so tight that it depresses the skin. In women with a BMI of 25–34.9, a waist circumference greater than 35 inches is considered high risk, although research suggests there is some extra health risk at any size greater than 33 inches. A study in the September 2006 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that in women, a large waist was correlated with diabetes risk — even when BMI was in the normal range (18.5–24.9). Since abdominal fat can be a problem despite a normal BMI, health assessments should include both BMI and waist circumference. The relationship between waist circumference and health risk varies by ethnic group.
Body mass index (BMI): A ratio of weight in kilograms to the square of height in meters, BMI helps identify people whose weight increases their risk for several conditions, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. People with BMIs of 25–29.9 are considered overweight, and those with BMIs of 30 or over, obese. However, some researchers think BMI isn’t always a valid indication of obesity, because it gives misleading results in people who are very muscular or very tall.
To calculate your BMI, go to www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi
Waist-to-hip ratio: divide your waist measurement at its narrowest point by your hip measurement at its widest point. As a marker of a person’s abdominal fat, this measure outperforms BMI. For women, the risk for heart disease and stroke begins to rise at a ratio of about 0.8.
** Aging-related weight gain
The Effect of Combined Aerobic and Resistance Exercise Training on Abdominal Fat in Obese Middle-aged Women PARK S-K Journal of Physiological Anthropology vol: 22 issue: 3 page: 129-135 year: 2003
Abdominal fat and what to do about it. Harvard Women's Health Watch.
Pischon, T. The New England Journal of Medicine, Nov. 12, 2008; vol 359: pp 2105-2120
Saturday, January 23, 2010
There are Good Fats and there are Bad Fats. What make Good Fats “GOOD?”
***First note that good fats just as well as bad fats can contribute to being overweight**
Now let’s differentiate between the two:
Good fats are necessary for healthy body functions. These fats are what we call EFA or Essential Fatty Acids. These fats can not be produced by the body itself so we get them from the foods we eat. These fats aids in supporting the fight against infection, helps regulate blood pressure and among others, it helps to repair your cells and get rid of waste products. It’s also been stated that EFA additions may be helpful with cases of depression.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a family of unsaturated fats which are “good fats” and are very heart healthy. Omega-3 is a Polyunsaturated fat and you can find this fats in foods such as fish, salmon, sardines, tuna, walnuts, sunflower seeds, canola oil, flax seed oil, shell fish and leafy green veggies like cabbage, collard greens, turnip greens, leek, and lettuce. Monounsaturated fats are also beneficial in search for better eating habits because it has many health benefits like being high in vitamin E, reducing “bad” cholesterol levels and lowering risk of heart disease and stroke. Foods high in monounsaturated fats are olive oil, peanut oil, avocados, macadamia nuts, cashews, and almonds.
Remember even though these fats are considered “good fats” they are still “fats” and we need to monitor our intake. Every gram of fat has 9 CALORIES while carbohydrates and protein only have 4 calories per gram.
Now let’s talk about the ugly, BAD FATS! Bad fats are not good for our health. Bad fats are the Trans fats and Saturated fats that you see listed on your food labels. Hydrogenated oil and partially hydrogenated oil is Trans fats and are detrimental to your health. Trans fats are mainly man-made fats and can be avoided altogether. Bad fats can raise the level of “bad cholesterol” (LDL) in your body and it can decrease the “good cholesterol” (HDL) because usually food with bad fats are high in cholesterol. High cholesterol is linked to stroke, heart attacks and the hardening of your arteries causing them to narrow therefore blood is not able to flow like it should.
Food with high levels of trans fats are packaged cookies, crackers, margarine, soup cups, cake mixes, chips, breakfast cereal, salad dressings ,processed food and solid shortening. Completely eliminating all trans fat in your diet is probably impossible but reducing it as much as possible is attainable and should be done. Food from animal sources like dairy products, fatty meats like pork, beef and lamb, butter, eggs, milk is a small list of foods that contain saturated fat. Many trans and saturated fats are found right in your neighborhood fast food restaurants. You really have to be careful when eating out because you never know what and how much of the “bad” fats you’re digesting.
Cholesterol is a fat that’s produced by the liver that runs through our blood stream. Everyone has cholesterol in their body because we need it for cell development. Too much of the LDL or “bad cholesterol” can lead to excessive build up of plaque on the inner walls of your arteries leading to heart disease and stroke.
Ways to avoid plaque build up in your arteries is keeping the bad cholesterol at a minimum. High cholesterol genes can be passed down genetically but this doesn’t mean there’s nothing can be done to help keep it under control. Eating foods that’s low in fats and moderate exercise helps in reducing LDL. There are not always signs or symptoms from your body when you have high cholesterol but getting a blood test through a doctor is the best diagnose.
Usually foods from plants like veggie, grains, fruits and seeds carry no cholesterol while foods from animals carry most of it such as chicken, beef, pork, shell fish, eggs, and dairy products (but not all dairy products).
**Trying to lower your cholesterol?
- try eating more oatmeal for breakfast (fruit can make it tastier)
- try egg substitutes with no cholesterol instead of whole eggs
- eat more veggies
- look for labels in your supermarkets that promote “healthy hearts”
- snacking on nuts like almonds and walnuts when your feeling hungry
- eat more foods that’s high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids like fish ( salmon, sardines, trout)
- limit your sodium intake
FACTS AND STATISTICS:
**High blood cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease.
- About 17% of adult Americans aged 20 years and older have high total cholesterol (240 mg/dL or above).1
- The average blood cholesterol level in adult Americans is about 203 mg/dL.1
- In 2004, there were 6.5 million visits to doctors’ offices that included a cholesterol test being done or ordered.2
- Among African Americans, about 16.6% of women and 12.5% of men have high total cholesterol.2
- Among Mexican Americans, about 12.7% of women and 17.6% of men have high total cholesterol.2
- Among whites, 17.4% of women and 17.0% of men have high cholesterol.2
- The percentage of persons aged 20–74 years with high cholesterol dropped from 33% in 1960–1962 to 17% in 1999–2002. During that same time period, the average blood cholesterol levels in adults dropped from 222 mg/dL to 203 mg/dL.2
- The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends that all adults have their cholesterol checked once every 5 years.3
- In 2005, 73% of adults reported that that they had their cholesterol checked within the previous 5 years, according to data from CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Some 23% reported that they never had their cholesterol checked.4
- According to data from CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (2005), 75.7% of whites, 73.7% of African Americans, and 52% of Hispanics reported having had their cholesterol checked within the previous 5 years.4
- National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, 2005, with Chartbook on the Health of Americans. Hyattsville, Maryland: 2004. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/hus.htm.
- CDC. Fastats: cholesterol (based on 2004 National ambulatory medical care survey). Available at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats.
- Third Report of the Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III). Available at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/cholesterol/index.htm.
- CDC. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. 2005 prevalence data. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/brfss.
**This info is strictly to help educate. Never should any info on this website be means to not seek medical advice from a doctor.
Best butt exercises!!
Between my extensive research and from my own experiences I have put together comprehensive techniques to help build those muscles in the glutes (butt)!!
The butt muscle is one of the biggest muscles in your body. That muscle can be worked and made bigger just like any muscle on your body. Staying consistent in the mission to get a bigger butt is one of the most important steps in making that muscle grow. When I workout my main goal is no longer to “make my butt bigger” (it’s already big enough) my goal is to keep it firm, lifted and round. But if you want a bigger butt here are some good ways to work towards it:
1. 5-10 min warm-up and a light stretch:
Warming up gets the blood flowing throughout the body. Stretching before a workout helps gets you going (at least it does with me) and prepares your muscles for a great workout. The hamstrings, quads, lower back and calves are good areas to stretch when working the glute muscles because it helps with flexibility therefore a greater range of motion and it also helps make the tissues more elastic around the butt muscles giving them more room to grow. Stretching during and after a workout is just as good too. Some people believe that stretching before a workout is not as effective as stretching after a workout. It’s a topic that’s very debatable so in that case I normally do what feels good to my body.
2. reps and weights:
When building muscle, I’ve learned to keep my reps (how many times I do an exercise) between 8-12 reps, while gradually increasing the amount of weight I’m using. Never start heavy, start light and listen to your body!! Start with weights that’s comfortable enough for you to finish your 12 reps with no problem at all. Gradually work your way up to a weight that you feel is really challenging your muscles. Avoiding injury comes with safety and safety starts with learning how to strength train properly. Consult a certified personal trainer when in doubt!!
3. Type of exercises:
Exercises I recommend for the butt: Leg presses, Squats, Hip Extensions, Lunges, Leg Curls, Kickback/Cable Kickback, Hyperextensions, Hip Extension and Step Ups. These are all great butt building exercises and they work the thighs too. You can start these exercises with little or no weights until you feel your body is comfortable, stable and your form is correct. The amount of weight, number of sets and reps, duration and sessions per week is always determined by your own personal goals. When in doubt, I always suggest consulting a certified personal trainer.
I never suggest training on an empty stomach nor do I suggest training on a full stomach. Your body needs fuel to operate and that fuel comes from what we eat and drink. If you’re a person who normally engages in eating healthy, balanced meals on a regular basis then your reserved energy supply will probably get you through your workout with no problem at all.
Getting your healthy, balanced nutrition and not skipping meals is a key to helping build a bigger butt. Building muscle the right way means making sure your body is getting the proper amount of nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins and fats ( yes, fats). The amount of nutrients each individual need will be best determined by a nutritionist and/or a personal trainer. Everyone’s nutritional needs may vary particularly due to age, gender, genetics, weight and your health background. Nutrition and what you eat does not affect everyone the same even if two people are eating the exact same foods and potion sizes. When working out, your body may require a little more nutrient than normal because when working out you’re depleting more of your body’s nutrients than when you’re not working out and being sedentary. Keeping your body hydrated with fluids (water) before and after your workout is ideal for everyone.
5. Rest and Repair:
After an intense glute pumping session, allowing those muscles to rest and repair is just as imperative as the actual workout. Not letting your muscles rest and repair after putting excessive stress on them is defeating the purpose on hand. When you’re stressing your muscles to make them grow keep in mind that you’re actually causing microscopic tears in them. So allocating sufficient time to let your muscle heal and repair is very important. I normally give myself 2-3 days of rest, depending on how hard I workout, to rest my muscles and let them grow. Trying to go in the gym and work sore muscles is not good! It’s like beating something that’s already dead. GIVE THEM TIME TO HEAL TO BECOME STRONGER AND BIGGER!!