8 Reasons to Lose That Beer Belly Right Now
“Beer belly” refers to a rather round stomach presumably caused by drinking too much beer. Although the high caloric content of beer may cause your belly to bulge, it may also be caused by a sedentary lifestyle and poor food choices. Men especially, tend to gather fat around the mid section as soon as early adulthood hits. The same happens to most women after menopause (women tend to pack on the weight in their thighs and buttocks before menopause). In any case, belly fat seems to be pathological in nature as it is a symptom for quite a number of diseases. Here are some reasons that may encourage you to lose some of that beer belly as soon as possible.
- ABDOMINAL FAT IS THE WORST TYPE OF FAT
There are two general types of fat in the body – subcutaneous fat and visceral fat. Subcutaneous fat is the fat that is found right underneath the skin while visceral fat surrounds your organs. Most visceral fat is found within the abdominal cavity. Unlike subcutaneous fat, visceral fat is what may be called “biologically active”, meaning that it doesn’t just sit there and that this bunch of adipose tissue is actually metabolically active – releasing hormones into the blood stream.
The consequence of this is that it increases the occurrence of hormone related diseases like diabetes and cancer.
- ABDOMINAL FAT INCREASES RISK FOR HEART DISEASE
Carrying excess abdominal fat puts you at risk for heart disease. Along with hormones, visceral fat synthesizes cytokine. Cytokines are a kind of protein associated with immune responses. This doesn’t sound so bad except that when your belly fat is constantly producing cytokine your body is also in a perpetual low-inflammatory insulin-resistant state. The constant inflammation places your heart at risk.
Research has also shown a connection between abdominal fat and vascular problems. Apparently, abdominal fat changes the formation of angiotensin, a hormone that controls blood vessel constriction, increasing the occurrence of hypertension, stroke and heart failure.
- YOUR BEER BELLY COULD CAUSE CANCER
You beer belly is doing more than just making your clothes snug, as it may actually cause cancer. The breaking down of fat cells in the body releases chemicals that encourage cell proliferation. This encourages cancer cells to multiply. Body fat also produces an increase in estrogen in women. Estrogen has been found to “feed” cancer cells and encourage their growth.
- ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE and DEMENTIA
A study conducted by researchers from Rush University Medical Center suggested a link between dementia, Alzheimer’s and belly fat. The study stated that the protein that metabolizes fat in the liver is the same protein responsible for memory and learning in the brain. The problem with this is that metabolizing excess fat can deplete these proteins making it unavailable to both the liver and the brain. A 2010 study by Debette et al. also found that in 700 adults, higher volumes of visceral fat highly coincided with smaller brain volume. Obesity has also been found to increase the risk for Alzheimer’s disease 10-fold.
- HORMONAL IMBALANCE
As mentioned above, being obese, especially if you are centrally obese, increases the production of estrogen as well as the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. This hyper production of hormones creates an imbalance that may cause cancer, painful menstruation and mood swings in women and erectile dysfunction and lack of energy in men.
- METABOLIC SYNDROME
One of the things that happen to people who are centrally obese is that they lose sensitivity to insulin. This in itself is a problem but more than that this starts off a cascade of hormonal imbalance and other complications. As a result, people who have a lot of belly fat develop what is known as insulin resistance syndrome, also known as metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome refers to a group of pathological symptoms that stem from the body being unable to metabolize and store energy properly. Symptoms include: high blood pressure, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol (the good kind) and abdominal fat. Having metabolic syndrome puts you at risk for diabetes, heart disease, heart failure and cancer.
- …IN FACT IT PUTS YOU AT RISK FOR ALMOST EVERYTHING
“All-cause mortality” is a term coined by researchers in this one study referring to early death from any cause. It seems that increased belly fat had put all the study participants at risk for different health issues.
- SLEEP APNEA
A huge belly tends to press down on the diaphragm when sleeping or lying on your back. This causes snoring or what is medically referred to as sleep apnea. One of the easiest ways to ease snoring is to lose weight around the mid-section.