Obesity does not have an imaginary line. It exists on a spectrum instead. You can be generally overweight or skinny with certain problem areas and still be considered obese.
The same goes for how dangerous obesity can be. Some overweight people have comparatively better health than many who are skinny but struggle with specific problem areas like abdominal obesity for example.
So regardless of your current weight and overall constitution, excess abdominal fat can have significant hazardous effects on your health. And before you start looking for how to lose belly fat, it’s important to know the ways in which it affects your body.
This article will explain why is belly fat so dangerous, and provide some realistic expectations on how fast you can get rid of it naturally.
How is belly fat different than other fat tissue?
When it comes to excess body fat, geography does matter. When it’s stored around your hips and thigs the effects on your health are rather minimal. When stored around the belly though, the risks of various health problems considerably spike.
Before we get to the reason why, let’s first categorize belly fat.
In its simplest division, abdominal fat is stored in two different ways. The first of which is subcutaneous fat tissue. This is the one that you can see and pinch.
It is located between the skin and the abdominal wall. And while aesthetically unpleasant, it doesn’t cause that much of a trouble.
Visceral fat on the other hand – the one located deeper in the stomach – is far more dangerous. It surrounds and blankets the internal organs, causing a number of health disorders when above its usual percentage.
Sometimes, the adipose tissue of the visceral fat starts functioning like a hormonal organ by itself, de-regulating hormone levels to the point where you might feel even more hungry than usual. This can lead to more abdominal fat accumulation, and the cycle grows stronger.
The visceral fat will negatively affect organ functions, causing inflammation, clogging blood supplies, and insulin resistance down the road.
Increased insulin resistance on the other hand can, and most often does, lead to diabetes.
Why belly fat starts accumulating in the first place?
This question is easy to answer when we take for example an overweight person. It gets harder though, when you have a skinny fellow in front of you with abdominal obesity.
The question then gets more specific. Why are some people more prone to abdominal fat accumulation than others?
More reasons exist in order to explain this.
For some, it’s largely due to the body type of the person. While some people store fat evenly throughout the body, others store more in the lower part of the body, and especially the belly.
Then, there are number of hormone disorders, gut bacteria, and certain dietary habits that further increase the belly fat storage predisposition.
Among the most notable diet habits that help belly fat to accumulate are eating low fiber diet, low protein diet, and consuming too much processed sugar as well as trans fats.
When it comes to lifestyle habits though, a study says that inactivity greatly increases the risk of accumulating more visceral fat.
Increased risk of diabetes type 2
As we already mentioned above, visceral fat can greatly increase insulin resistance. This often leads to diabetes down the road.
Increased blood pressure and bad cholesterol
Insulin resistance, when not corrected for a prolonged periods of time, can often lead to high blood pressure and increased bad cholesterol. These will further complicate the obesity problem and cause even more serious concerns.
Increased risk of heart disease
Overweight or not, having a “spare tire” greatly increases the chances of dying from a heart disease.
So even if you are not overweight per se, you should consider measuring the amount of your visceral fat, or simply start with preventative habits like occasional exercise from Beachbody on Demand, healthy diet, and stress management.
Belly fat is not to be directly blamed for metabolic syndrome. But it causes insulin resistance to spike, which in turn greatly increases the risk of metabolic syndrome.
A realistic expectation on how fast you can lose belly fat
While some of you might be shocked reading through this article so far, know that reality isn’t so stark. You can easily burn belly fat, and get a flat stomach for both aesthetics and improved health.
But make sure to start changing habits today.
Ominous music rarely plays before things go south. And if you are the sort of person who fancies himself as the rational type, you’d automatically think “oh, this is definitely not me. I would’ve seen it coming”. But do note however that belly fat can be sneaky. You won’t find out about health conditions worsening before they actually do to the point where numerous risks suddenly reveal.
But to end this article on an optimistic note, here is an encouraging tap on the shoulder. You can lose abdominal fat incredibly fast, the natural way, without having to change a lot of lifestyle habits.
With sufficient exercise (2-3 times per week), you will be able to witness a noticeable change within 3 weeks.
If you remove certain foods from your diet, and supplement with others, this process speeds up even more.
With stress management, adequate rest, slightly decreased caloric intake and staying away from processed sugar alone, you will lose up to 2 pounds per week.
Add to that fiber rich diet, and high protein meals, coupled with anaerobic exercise, and you will be seeing significant results even within the first week.
Remember that belly fat can be very dangerous. Most problems associated with it are hard to spot so it’s best to act preemptively. For starters, make sure to understand the gravity of the situation, and then begin by changing some of your dietary habits.