Belly Be Gone!

See also “Paleo this, Cro-Magnon that” GO

There are different kinds of fat in the human body. At first blush the two kinds are first that under the skin and then that inside the muscle layer also know as ‘mesenteric’, ‘visceral’ or ‘organ’ fat.

The inside fat is toxic and both related to and causative of many kinds of metabolic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and stroke: bad stuff. It makes us look funny in a Speedo too.

Now, the perhaps surprising thing is, even seemingly skinny people can have a lot of this kind of ‘beer belly fat.’ I used to call such people ‘skinny fat people.’ Some better diplomat than I dubbed them TOFI: thin outside, fat inside. Same thing. Still bad.

Genetics is always at play but this is mostly a behavioral problem. The sad part is conventional exercise can actually make this problem worse: grind away on the treadmill and get fatter. Yes? Yes!

This is where the old confusion about ‘calories in, calories out’ comes into the picture.

There are two elements to this:

  1. What the calories do to your own hormones is much more important that how many calories and determines if the calories are stored or burned. Eat the right calories and they go out the exhaust pipe and eat the wrong calories and they wind up as seat pads.
  2. The second element is the exercise aspect: simply burning calories in the wrong way can actually increase the body’s tendency to store calories rather than burn them. Conventionally done aerobics does this neat storage trick very nicely.

I remember many years ago in my own endurance aerobics phase being amazed at the number of beer belly bearing pretty good runners I would see at various 10K and Marathon venues.  It was years before I finally understood.

Look I can run on about leptin, ghrelin, GIP, insulin, adiponectin, etc and try to sell you a supplement that manipulates one or another but the truth is they are collectively nothing more or less than markers of hunger, cellular energy depletion, and whole-body, genetic energy and energy balance signalling. It doesn’t much matter about your family history, your personal fat history; what matters is it is all largely under your control.

Eat things that do not signal fat storage and exercise in a way that burns calories and signals growth, I said growth, rather than maintenance and survival which is what endurance exercise does.

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