You know what’s wrong with that profile in the mirror? There’s a certain part of it, about your mid-riff, that has you nearly as wide from side on as you are from front on. And while you are telling yourself that NewYeariness excesses are to blame, I’ve just FaceBook stalked you, and Dude, in that photo from last June, well you had a gut on you then too!
Floatation device, paunch bag, beer gut, call it what you like – what it is, is too much Belly Fat. This fat is collected when you eat poorly, eat too much and/or don’t exercise enough, probably a combination of all three. (And in other new discoveries, the world is round and Edison finally invented the lightbulb – go figure!!). Sarcasm aside, in medical terms you have Subcutaneous Fat and Visceral Fat as well. Note: Females tend to store more subcutaneous fat where as men tend to store more Visceral Fat.
Subcutaneous fat is the stuff that sits just under the skin, Visceral fat is the gunk that sits deeper, in and around our organs. Visceral fat is the one that has a big red ‘danger’ sign all over it. Now while your belly can obviously expand quite a bit, visceral fat by the mere fact that it is located around all the important bits, interrupting how they function and stuffing around with important hormonal processes, really just needs to pack itself up and move out. Lets start with why it’s so bad, then get onto to kicking it out the door.
- Research refers to these fat cells as ‘biologically active’, going so far as to say they can be thought of as producing hormones or disrupting the normal balance of hormones and contributing to Insulin resistance (which if left unchecked, leads to Type II Diabetes).
- It is also probable these fat cells pump out Cytokines. Which is a big word that essentially means immune system chemicals. These stuff around with your blood pressure and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Visceral fat is also trapped near the portal vein, which carries blood from your intestinal area to your liver. Fatty Acids released by this fat can then get to the liver, stuffing around with your Cholesterol, and you know that isn’t good.
- Harvard Uni (that’s a pretty flash one) states that around 10% of your total fat is likely to be stored as Visceral Fat. So you don’t really need a fancy test to tell you if you need to do something to improve it – if you look and feel like you are carrying excess fat, then Visceral Fat is a likely problem.
- Cortisol is a big big big factor when it comes to visceral fat. Cortisol (our stress hormone) at chronically high levels or a misaligned circadian rhythm can be big contributors to belly fat. Cortisol contributes to insulin resistance which is a key component to the accumulation of visceral fat. High cortisol (high stress) also leads to poor food choices (more sugar) which causes inflammation and yep, more cortisol (stress). Also, remember that “diets” CAUSE stress. Look at simplifying things, simple meals, meal planning, etc. is key to help manage stress levels.
If you want the source to the Harvard University study click here So, we shall assume (since you are a bloke with the smarts) that you have by now figured out that this deep belly fat is bad, bad, bad. But here’s the good news: It turns out that exercise is the number one way of combatting the stuff! Of course you need to pay attention to what you put in your gob as well, but the takeaway here is getting into some decent exercise is a great start. And when you look at the nastiness this visceral fat leads to, it’s a no-brainer to start doing something that is not only going to shrink that profile, but stop this health destroyer in its tracks.
A combination of fitness and strength related activity (hello, sounds remarkably like CrossFit), is what will do the most damage (to those fat cells, not you). Because when we talk about gainz we are referring to increasing muscle, and cardio and respiratory capacity – not gut size. Plus we’ve got the coaching staff who are there all the time keeping an eye on you and encourage you . . . and a community that will help drag you off the couch. Take another look at that profile mate, isn’t it time you swapped the man-cave, for a bit of cave-man style lifting??