Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Not All Fat Is Created Equal.

I am reminded every day that not all fat is created equal. I also am reminded that looks can be deceiving. A seemingly lean and skinny person can score low on the Phase Angle test, as well as show higher than average body fat in the body composition analysis. This is call the Twiggy-Fat Syndrome, characterized by a low body-mass index but a high fat content. People with this syndrome typically starve their cells of much needed nutrients, forcing their bodies into starvation mode whereby  they hold tightly onto fat and cannot burn energy efficiently. On the other hand, a person who carries a little extra weight but who engages in physical exercise regularly will score much higher than a sedentary , unfit individual, who has loss muscle mass. Muscle is heavier than fat pound for pound because it holds more water.

In the past decade scientists have uncovered a wealth of knowledge about types of fat on the  body. In 2009, researchers discovered an alarming difference between brown, or "good," fat, and the more predominant bad fat, which tends to be white or yellow and collects around the waistline.
Brown fat, which actually has a brownish tint to it, is stored mostly around the neck and under the collarbone ( so, to a large extent, it's invisible). This fat encourages the body to burn calories to generate body heat, and plays an important role in keeping infants  warm ( infants, as we all know, have fatty necks). Until very recently we believed that this fat was gone  by adulthood or no longer active. Much to the contrary, it  may have a huge role in our ability to stay lean as adults. These recent studies found that lean people have far more brown fat than overweight and obese people, especially among older folks. Unlike its bad-fat  counterpart, brown fat burns far more calories and generates more body heat when people are in a cooler environment . Women are more likely to have it than men, and women's deposits are  larger and more active. 
The unhealthy  fat that collects around the waistline is often referred to as visceral fat, because it collects around the "viscera" - - your vital organs such as your heart, liver, and lungs. And it doesn't just sit there. Visceral fat  is metabolically active, but instead of burning lots of calories it prefers to release chemicals that affect your metabolism -- negatively. Excess calories stored as body fat generate  hormones that can cause weight gain while preventing the production of healthy substance that can lead to weight loss. We are beginning to understand how visceral fat can change the body's chemistry and work against any  attempts to lose weight and fight disease.

Visceral fat is an age-maker --- it wreaks havoc on our livers and has been linked to a slew of health problems, Visceral fat is an age-maker ---it wreaks havoc on our livers and has been linked to a slew of human health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, forms of cancer, and a cluster of risk factors called metabolic syndrome, which increases the chance of developing these diseases. The more visceral fat you having, the lower the amount of cellular water you'll hold. Remember, muscle -- not fat -- is the ultimate compartment for healthy water. 

Fatty tissue doesn't contain very much water. This explains why women are more affected by alcohol than men are. If a man and a woman of the same weight but different body composition were to drink the same amount of alcohol, the woman likely would feel its effects more strongly. Because women have a higher percentage of body fat, they cannot "dilute" consumed alcohol  in the muscle m,ass the way a man with more muscle mass can. Her fat mass will not absorb very much alcohol, so the alcohol gets distributed in a smaller percentage  of the total body mass ( resulting  in a higher blood alcohol content).

Visceral fat is not a problem just for overweight or obese people. You can be thin or skinny and still have visceral fat if you're not fit.  While abdominal fat is usually visible, visceral fat can be hidden deep inside an outwardly "thin" person. The same holds true for fat that can line blood vessels, restrict blood flow, and damage the cardiovascular system. 

Because visceral fat is the most dangerous kind of fat, doctors have grown more concerned about waist size than the number on the weighing scale, which can be very deceiving. Who  would you rather be : a 140-pound (63.6 kg)  person with 30 percent body fat, or a 145-pound (65.9 kg) person with 20 percent body fat and toned, shapely muscles? I think you'd pick the latter, and you'd look and feel a lot better, too. The secret to targeting that visceral fat? All you have to do is to MOVE MORE OFTEN.  Eat more water (fresh fruits and vegetables) ; which will automatically help you cut calories and bathe your cells in the nutritious "structured" water that will speed up your metabolism and help to burn stored fat. 1 hour of continuous casual walking will activate your body's fat-burner enzyme for the next 12 hours. 

A body in motion tends to stay in motion. And when you stay in motion, you stay hydrated. Sounds counterintuitive, but it's fact, given the magic of muscle mass. 

The Taxi Water
Visceral fat isn't stuck to you forever. Fortunately, it responds very quickly to raw diet and consistent exercise. It literally melts away when we control calories intake and get our bodies moving around. This then paves the way to boosting cellular water inside you.
Water is the BEST vehicle of all for transporting fat, which makes daily correct hydration even more important. Put simply, if you want to burn fat, it must be able to be broken down and used for energy. This process, entails a series of cellular functions, of course requires water. (The full details can be found at my Healthy Wealth blog archives). If the water in your blood drops below normal levels, it will pull water from your muscles to support the flow necessary in the blood. Blood cells are the last cells to surrender their water in time of severe dehydration in the body. When thus happens, dehydration occurs. That's the etiology of blood cancer -- leukemia. The most a person can lose in a week is roughly three(3) pounds. 2.2 pounds = 1 kilogram. If you lose more than that , it's most likely water loss. 

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