The Risks of Mid-Section Fat (Besides the Muffintop)
Let’s be honest. Most of us would love to lose an extra inch or two around our midsections. How nice it would be to fit into those jeans from college without having to suck in, or show off a slim, sexy body at the beach. But there may be an even more compelling reason to get rid of that stubborn belly fat once and for all. Research is now showing that fat specifically around the midsection or waist is a major risk factor for Type II Diabetes, Heart Disease, Hypertension, Stroke, some forms of cancer, and even Dementia. We all know that obesity can dramatically increases risk factors for these diseases and more, but excess belly fat may also be a warning sign for mildly overweight people, or even people of an otherwise healthy physique and appropriate weight.
Studies have shown that excess midsection fat is strongly associated with greater resistance to insulin. In insulin resistant people, muscle, fat and liver cells do not use the insulin effectively, so the pancreas tries to compensate by producing more insulin. If the pancreas cannot keep up with the body’s need for insulin, excess levels of glucose will build up, leading to Diabetes. Insulin resistant people also have excessively high levels of insulin in their bloodstream, which leads to inflammation. Inflammation itself has recently gained attention as a direct cause of a staggering number of diseases and health conditions.
The obvious contributor to excess stomach fat is poor lifestyle choices. A diet consisting of high fat, high sugar, processed and otherwise nutritionally lacking food, combined with a lack of exercise, and excessive drinking will all help you pack on those pounds.
Research is supporting the idea that greater life stress may be the other major contributor to excess stomach fat. In particular, chronic stress that is associated with hopelessness, helplessness, or a feeling of defeat is associated with excess production of the stress hormone cortisol. When you have chronically high cortisol levels, the body craves carbohydrates and fats, and the extra calories tend to head right for the midsection. A recent study has also show that lean women in particular may be more prone to develop stomach fat in response to stress.
Another major factor for retaining midsection fat is change in hormonal balance, due to aging or as a result of other conditions. For women, changes in estrogen levels have a particularly strong impact on retaining stomach fat. As estrogen levels change with age, fat goes to the abdominals instead of to the hips and thighs, where it was previously needed for reproductive support.
Rejuvalife is here to help support the total health and wellbeing of our patients, and assist them in acheiving their health, weight loss and aesthetic goals. We offer comprehensive fitness and nutrition programs to promote overall healthy lifestyle, as well as medically supervised weight loss programs. Rejuvalife is on the cutting edge of non-surgical advanced liposuction procedures, to remove excess body fat in the abdominals and other problem areas directly. We also offer Hormone Replacement Therapy to return your hormonal levels to their optimal concentration and fight the effects of aging.