Sure, excess belly fat makes your clothes fit funny. Dresses that look sexy on trim women, look lumpy and bumpy on apple-shaped women. Excess belly fat hangs over the belt and causes a person to feel self-conscious. Self-esteem and confidence take serious shots in the presence of belly fat. But outward appearance is not the worst problem concerning belly fat. Excess weight poses a serious risk to a person’s health.
Too much fat in your midsection may makes you uncomfortable in tight spaces and even very depressed about your situation. But the real danger is what the excess fat is doing to your bodily systems. It’s no fun to have to carry around extra weight, but that is actually the lesser of your problems.
When you carry too much weight, your chances of developing some very serious diseases are much higher. Belly fat is linked to hardening of the arteries, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Excessive weight plays a critical role in systemic inflammation. This is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Insulin resistance is a condition where the body becomes resistant to insulin, a hormone that regulates glucose levels. Insulin resistance will eventually lead to diabetes.
The free fatty acids that come from fat and “leak” into the blood stream are thought to be a direct link between obesity, arteriosclerosis and insulin resistance. Thus, people with extra weight are forced to deal with some serious health issues the longer their weight condition remains intact.
Subcutaneous fat is the fat that lays just below the skin and closer to the surface, above the muscles. This type of fat is not particularly dangerous as it does not have the same purpose as visceral fat. Belly fat is visceral fat and is the dangerous kind. It lays under the abdominal muscle wall and surrounds the organs, hence its ability to leak fatty acids into the blood stream. Visceral fat is the fat that is related to serious diseases.
The only sure way to determine if you have excess fat around your midsection is to have a doctor perform a magnetic resonance imaging procedure. There are successful experiments in Japan that are showing promise, however, with something called bio-electric impedance. But the fastest way to get a general idea of your fat possibilities is to take a measurement of your waist. If your waist measures less than 39 inches, or 1 meter, then you likely do not have a lot of visceral belly fat. If your measurement is over that, you would do well to seek a doctor’s advice and start planning to get rid of your belly fat.
Your plan will include examining your lifestyle to see where you can make changes that will help you lose weight. Stress, lack of sleep, lack of significant activity and a poor diet are all factors you will need to look at if you want to lose that unhealthy and dangerous belly fat. Losing weight will improve your heart health and your life.
Find out more about How to Lose Belly Fat.