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Abdominal Fat – Health Risks And What Can Be Done

Sunday, December 03, 2017


This article is not for everyone. As always, consult your primary care provider before starting any weight-loss regimen.

Did you know that at least 85% of the western world is clinically obese? In the U.S. alone, at least 83% of people are obese. Aside from looks (and the accompanying trauma from that), excess fat in the abdominal region is a serious risk factor to your health. Health complications such as diabetes, gout, cancer, hypertension, stroke, sleep apnea are a result of excess belly fat and fat around the organs. Now there are two types of fat as far as this is concerned:

1) Subcutaneous fat: This fat is just under the skin, covering the abs and muscles.

2) Visceral fat: This fat lies deeper, underneath the abs, surrounding the organs.

Visceral fat is more dangerous by far(the aforementioned diseases) since it is around the vital organs like the heart, liver and kidneys. Another condition that visceral fat can lead to is insulin resistance, usually through lack of exercise and poor diet. This renders the pancreas helpless in regulating blood sugars, the main sugar being high fructose corn syrup.

What to do about it

It is an oft-repeated mantra in the fitness world that “bodies are made in the kitchen”. In my view this is counterproductive. Simply because you still have to put the work in when you’re dieting. Work such as researching diets, becoming a label reader, knowing how to spot fake health food, etc. Plus knowing how the body works and how your body responds to exercise and diet. Whatever you decide on doing in your fitness endeavors, make sure they’re enjoyable, fun and effective.  In any case, stick with the basics- high intensity cardio like interval training and sprints plus strength training/resistance training. A fitness regimen based on interval training(running/sprints) and resistance training will set the table in creating not only a fat-burning environment, but also directly assist in the regulation of cholesterol, blood sugars and even viruses.

Enter Healthy Eating

LaLanne once quipped that “Exercise is king and diet is queen”. Truer words were never spoken. The standard diet given by the USDA contains a very high grain intake count. This will not help you lose weight and slash visceral fat and subcutaneous fat at all. A diet based on healthy fats such as avacados, nuts, free-range eggs, fatty fish and fish oils(plus increasing protein intake and fiber intake) will help you win the battle of the bulge.

Enter Veggies

As far as veggies go, eat cruciferous veggies like brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale, bok choy and broccoli. These fat-fighting vegetables contain vital nutrients and IC3 (an essential phytonutrient).

In closing, I hope these tips have clarified whatever ’fitness fiction’ you have taken as gospel. Hard work, educating yourself on fitness and committing to fitness (AKA get to the gym and exercise) are just 3 of the basics- THE BASICS ALWAYS WIN.


Related Slideshow: The 7 Best Health and Fitness Apps

Here is a list of some of the most obsession worthy health apps.

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MapMyRun is the number one selling running app for a reason:  it is easy to use, offers community support if you want it, and tracks and stores your exact routes for you.  If you are training for a race or a serious runner, users say that the extra perks in the upgraded paid version are well worth it. 

Made for iPhone, Android and Blackberry 

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MyFitnessPal seems to be the clear favorite amongst everyone polled.  It is helpful not only for the fitness tracking aspect, but everyone polled mentioned how much they loved the food/diet aspect as well. From carb counting for diabetics to recipe ideas to complement your fitness goals, users love this app. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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JeFit is another fitness app that has rave reviews.  It not only tracks progress for you, but offers a huge database of workouts.  While many apps offer community support, JeFit allows you to sync workouts with friends who use the app, offering a (real) virtual buddy system.

Made for iPhone and Android

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Strava gets the highest mark of all the cycling apps.  While it is also great for runners, the cyclers seem particularly inclined towards the fierce competition that can be ignited by this app.  You can track all of your rides via GPS, then you can compare your efforts to those logged by others in the community on the same stretch of road.  You can also join ongoing challenges that can net you great prizes (in addition to bragging rights). 

Made for iPhone and Android

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YogaStudio gets the top vote for Yoga apps.  It has a lengthy collection of full class-length videos available at your fingertips.  Unlike many other apps, this one also allows you to customize your own video yoga class.  All of the poses are done by qualified yoga instructors, and you can find classes suitable for all levels of yogis.

Made for iPhone only

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SimplyBeing meditation app offers the best of both worlds.  You can choose to run this app as a background for your meditation with soothing music or natural sounds that run for a set amount of time.  Conversely, for those of you who have trouble focusing during meditation, you can choose a soothing voice-guided meditation. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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Fooducate is an app all about educating people so that they make healthier food choices.  Although not perfect, this app is easy to use (you can even take pictures of bar codes to instantly find foods in their database).  It gives food a letter grade, tells you the pluses and minuses, and gives you better ranked alternatives.  You can also use it as a weight loss tool by tracking your daily calories. 

Made for iPhone and Android


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