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The Dirty Word.. FAT.

Ask anybody and they will tell you, FAT is a dirty word.

Fat is associated with looking bad, feeling bad and worst of all, nobody wants to hang around or know fat.

In our diet, fat is associated with greasy food that clogs the arteries and causes all sorts of heart diseases. Yet not all fats are bad. We need fat to live. In fact, how much fat you have and where you store it on your body plays a huge part in how long you will live, and how healthy you will be. This counts far more than body weight alone.

Omega 3 – the good fats!

So, what are the two main types of FATS in our bodies?

1. Visceral fat

This is the sort of fat that is responsible for causing heart attacks. It builds up around your main organs. Visceral fat that is not checked becomes the precursor to diabetes and heart disease.

2. Subcutaneous fat

This is the more visible fat. The “love handles” and the bits that spill out over your jeans or your tiny shorts.. this is the fat that cosmetically many woman want to burn from their bodies! This type of fat does not seem to have the same health risks as visceral fat.. and as a matter of fact, research shows that women with larger hips and thighs have smarter babies, thanks to the type of fat stored there. How far that is true, is still debatable. There are fat burnerson the market that help to burn fat, and to increase metabolism.

So, if not all fats are bad, how should, or how does one find the sweat spot between healthy and unhealthy? Is weight really such an issue here, or is it FAT.

Take for example, BMI used to monitor if you are overweight or not. I hate it and I don’t use it or believe in it, for the simple reason that the method is flawed.

BMI measures a person’s body fat by comparing their weight to their height:

BMI = (Weight in pounds / (Height in inches x Heigh in inches)) x 703

There are four different categories a person can fall into, ranging from underweight to obese. Now one jarring problem with BMI is that it does not take into account the weight from Muscle tissue.. and we all know that muscle is heavier than fat. In BMI, there is no way of discriminating between fat and muscle. So while a world-class athlete may have very little body fat, there’s a good chance he or she may be classified as “overweight” by BMI standards.. imagine that! Throw away BMI I say, and focus on building muscle.

Muscle tissue, which weighs more than the same volume of fatty tissue thanks to its higher density, not only makes you stronger, but research shows that increasing your lean muscle mass can help rev up your metabolism, boost bone mass, and overall makes you feel more energized. So whilst you might weight heavier than your ideal weight according to BMI, you might not necessarily be overweight.

The next time you’re tempted to get on the scales and let the reading make you depressed, remember that muscle is heavier that fat.. and if you keep working out and working hard to burn fat and build muscle, you will live longer and happier lives.
It works for me.


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