Tag Archives: Visceral Fat

Being Overweight

It’s simple, if it jiggles, it’s fat.

These past few weeks, I have been lacking a little in energy and bounce, and I decided that one reason for my lack of ‘get-up-and-go’ was that I’ve been putting on weight.  So, I decided to look into what being overweight really was, and if I was actually overweight, what it was doing to me.  Quite frankly, I was horrified at what I discovered.

I hate overweight, because it implies there is a weight standard I should be adhering to.  ~  Camryn Manheim.

You know what?  There is a weight standard, and we should all be adhering to it.

There are lots of health and fitness problems attached to being overweight ~ and the older you get the worse the health problems of being overweight become.

To begin with, are you overweight?  How does one know the difference between a little curvier and softer than we used to be, and truly overweight?  What is the difference between being overweight, obese, or morbidly obese.  Well, the chances are you’re overweight or obese ~ in the UK 68% of men and 58% of women are overweight or obese.  In the USA more than two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese.

One easy way to tell if we’re overweight is to forget the scales and just grab a tape-measure.  Measure you height, and your waist at your belly button, (without sucking in your gut).  Your waist should not be more than half your height.  If your waist measurement is more than half your height you’re overweight with the worst kind of fat ~ visceral fat, (which will kill you).  More scientifically you can calculate your Body Mass Index, (BMI), but that won’t tell you as much about visceral fat as will a tape-measure.

There’s also a cut-off point to assess the overall risks to health just by waist measurement.  In men it’s 40 inches, and in women it’s 35 inches.  So if your waist is bigger than that, you’re officially overweight / obese and in danger of suffering serious health and fitness problems.  Having love handles is another bad sign, presaging heart and liver disease in your future.

Medically defined, a healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9,  overweight is having a BMI of more than 25, obese is having a BMI of more than 30, while morbidly obese is having a BMI of more than 40, (or 35 if you also have something like diabetes or high blood pressure).  There are plenty of online BMI calculators.

There are a myriad of downsides to being overweight, and even more downsides to being obese.  Some of these are;

We know a great deal more about the causes of physical disease than we do about the causes of physical health.  ~  M. Scott Peck.

The above are the worst of the medical problems.  But look at it another way ~ just how fit are you?  Can you walk up three flights of stairs without getting out of breath?  Can you run for a bus?  Can you walk five miles without collapsing?  Can you easily find clothes that fit, or do you have to buy plus size?  Can you still play sports, or are you limited to gentler activities?  What’s your performance in bed like?  The chances are if you’re overweight, then you’re not happy with your honest answers to any of those questions, because you know you’re not as fit as you would like to be.  Maybe you should take an online test?

It turns out my BMI today, as I write this, is 25.7.  However, according to another set of criteria I’m quite fit ~ much fitter than my chronological age, by 25 years or so.  But do you know what?  I’m going to lose some weight, starting right now.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I can do that yoga position, but I don’t look as good as that.

 

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Under The Influence

TOO MUCH BOOZE CAUSES SEVERE PROBLEMS

Most people like to take a drink now and then.  Mankind has been consuming alcohol for thousands of years, and mostly it merely adds to conviviality.  Drink too much of the falling-down water too often and you could create a lot of problems for yourself and others.  How much is too much?  If you have ever done more than one of the following, more than once, then you drink too much.

  • Inappropriate behaviour.  Everything from insulting the boss at the office party to persisting to make very unwanted advances to a girl who has already said no.
  • Throwing up.  Vomiting after too much booze and the wrong sort of food is a common event.
  • Falling down in the street.  There’s a reason alcohol is sometimes called falling-down water.
  • Inappropriate sexual behaviour.  Girls who get drunk sometimes also sleep around ~ most men just want an easy lay.  Lack of money to buy drink makes people date inappropriately, become involved in the sex trade, sleep around, find a sugar daddy or a cougar…
  • Dishonesty.  Hiding booze, stealing booze, lying about how much you have had to drink, denial, lying about where you have been, drinking in secret, protecting your supply, making promises you have no intention of keeping, stealing cash, selling your stuff, selling other people’s stuff, and for studs and women, selling your body.
  • Complaints from family and friends.  The; Don’t you think you’ve had enough?  Ignore this and go on drinking, and you will lose your family and friends.
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections.  A direct result of too many sexual partners is that your chances of contracting everything from thrush to gonorrhea are increased dramatically.
  • Violence.  Drink and violence go hand in hand because booze suppresses the part of the brain that keeps humans under some sort of control.  Get drunk, sleep with the wrong person, and you could end up dead.
  • Weight gain.  In the early stages of drinking too much, one may also eat a lot of junk food and take no exercise.  These things can lead to visceral fat ~ the classic beer belly.
  • Drinking in dingy dives.  The person who drinks to much will eventually stop using smart wine bars and find that they use dingy pubs and scruffy dives instead.  Along with this will go drinking with some very dubious people.  You will have given up your gym membership.  By now you will probably have tried switching from Scotch to light beer, and totally given up on vodka and tequila.
  • Drinking in the morning.  If you take a beer when you get up in the morning, then you have a problem.  If you take a slug of vodka when you get up in the morning, then you have a really serious problem.
  • Insomnia.  We can’t stay awake when we drink, and we can’t sleep when we don’t drink.  We get up in the middle of the night to take a drink.
  • Lack of interest in hobbies and pastimes.  Actually this is not true for the problem drinker has an all-consuming hobby ~ alcohol.
  • Poor personal appearance.  Too busy drinking, and anyhow in the pub we now drink in everyone is unshaven and dressed in scruffy clothes, taking a shower is just too much effort.
  • Serious accidents.  Because booze suppresses that part of the brain which stops us from being reckless and stupid, we do things like take our eyes off the road to fiddle with the radio while driving at 100 miles per hour.
  • Alcoholic poisoning.  This can kill you.
  • Multiple addiction.  Many who drink too much are also addicted to smoking, gambling, casual sex, prescription drugs, street drugs, reckless behaviour.
  • Visits to hospital emergency rooms.  Friday and Saturday nights hospitals are full of the casualties of the drinking war.
  • Serious injury to yourself and others.  Funny how women who drink and drive always seem to hit something vulnerable, like a school bus queue.  Men who drink and drive just kill themselves.
  • Trouble with the police.  Everything from fighting in the street to rolling your car at 100 mph, while as drunk as a Lord.
  • Imprisonment or mandatory attention at a course for problem drinkers / drunk drivers / practitioners of domestic violence.
  • Losing friends and family.  It your loved ones are telling you that you drink to much, eventually you will lose them.
  • Lost time.  Drinking a lot will make you forget what you have been doing.  Drinking far too much will give you very frightening alcoholic blackouts.
Hungover-Denzel-Washington

What you do not want ~ an alcoholic pilot

  • Lost jobs.  There is a thing called a functioning alcoholic, these people are rare.  Mostly if you are hungover or drunk on the job you will be unable to do the job, then you will lose your job.
  • Mental illness.  Paranoia, depression, anxiety, dementia.  Self-medicating with booze is a bad idea.  Alcoholic depression is something you do not want, trust me, I know.
  • Self-harm and Suicide.  Alcoholic depression can lead to attempted suicide.  Sometimes attempted suicide leads to death.
  • Heart Disease.  Excess alcohol is directly linked to heart disease and an increased risk of strokes.  This is not something you want to suffer, unless you are in the grip of alcoholic depression.
  • Diabetes.  Visceral Fat is a sign that you are well on the way to type 2 diabetes.  You do not want to get diabetes.  Before it kills you, then you may well lose both legs.
  • Cancer.  Alcohol increases your risk of getting the 7 different types of the Big C.  Excessive alcohol causes cancer of the liver, bowels, breasts, mouth, upper throat, food pipe and the voice box.  You cannot live without your liver.  Alcohol has also been linked to kidney cancer and non-Hogkin lymphoma, but in this case booze reduces the risk of getting the diseases.
  • Big_Liver_Tumor

    A very diseased liver being removed

    Liver Disease.  Too much booze is bad for the liver, everybody know that.  In fact the liver just loves alcohol, and will process booze to the exclusion of everything else, until all the booze is out of your body.  Some symptoms of liver problems are; feeling sick, weight loss, jaundice, swollen ankles and stomach, confusion, vomiting blood, blood in the stool.  The stages of liver disease are; fatty liver, hepatitis, cirrhosis, death.  A diseased liver is not a pretty sight.

  • Alcohol can cause the alcoholic to lose everything in life.  Dignity, health, jobs, marriage, friends, family, money, safety and security, freedom, health, sanity, life itself.

As I said, if you have done more than one of those things more than once you may well have a problem with your drinking.  If you still do not recognise your problem, try taking a questionnaire such as  that offered by Alcoholic’s Anonymous.

There are no soft and easy answers to this.  If you even think you drink too much, or your family and friends say you drink too much, then stop drinking too much before it’s too late.  If you firmly recognise yourself in the comments I made above, then sorry, your only answer is to give up booze.  This is almost impossible.  Try and find some help.  Start with your doctor.  Eventually, if you are a real boozer and do not stop, you will die an early death.  Before that you will lose everything good that life has to offer.  It’s your choice.

 

Carbohydrates Are Addictive

THE HUMAN TONGUE IS TUNED TO TASTE CARBOHYDRATES

ObesityIf you have ever wondered why ‘diet foods’ taste bland and unsatisfying, it’s because your tongue isn’t picking up the taste of carbohydrates as there aren’t many carbs in diet food.  Worse than that, when your tongue recognises carbs in your food, it sends pleasure signals to your brain.  No carbohydrates on your fork, no fun for your pleasure centres.  The people in white coats report that as well as the basic five ‘tastes’ of; sweet, sour, salty, savory, and bitter, the human tongue has a ‘sixth sense’ and can identify carbohydrates.  Given that carbohydrates rapidly break down in the body, turning to sugar in the blood, the ‘taste’ of starches tells the brain to expect an instant hit of energy in the form of sugar.

I Ate My Desk AgainCarbohydrates hit areas of the sensory system and brain that remain totally unaffected by artificial sweeteners.  Crucially, this happens if you merely taste the carbs and don’t even swallow them.  Dr Nicholas Grant from the University of Auckland’s Sport and Exercise Department says; ‘Carbohydrates are extremely powerful stimuli that have profound and immediate effects on the brain and the systems it controls.’  This sixth sense on the tongue for carbs might explain why sportsmen respond immediately to carbohydrate-rich food.  It might also explain a lot about eating disorders.

The good news is that because this happens direct from the mouth to the brain, you don’t even have to swallow the bread / potatoes / rice / beans to get this particular jolt.  Studies have shown that having a carbohydrate-rich drink and using it as a mouthwash, (spit the stuff out), improves performance during strenuous exercise without giving your body all those calories.  This does not work with sugar-based solutions, just carbohydrates.  Sugar and carbohydrates together works even better as an energy mouthwash, allegedly.  MRI studies show that sweet carbohydrate solution swished around the mouth activates the areas of the human brain linked to ‘sight’ and ‘reward.’  The carbohydrate taste is completely different to the sweet taste, so the brain receives two separate signals.  Motor output and therefore physical performance are improved, just by the brain telling the body that there’s energy on the way.

bread-baked-from-wheat-flourThe bad news is that, if a sportsman doesn’t ingest the carbohydrates the brain will tell the body that it has more reserves of energy than actually exist.  Great for weight-loss, bad if you’re running a marathon.  The other bad news is that carb-rich foods stimulate the areas in the brain involved with cravings.  I know people who have a craving for carbohydrates such as; bread, chocolate, cakes….  It isn’t pretty.

Because just tasting carbohydrates on your tongue sends signals to the pleasure centres in the brain, people can become addicted to carbohydrate-rich foods.  These include, (but are not limited to): bread, bagels, biscuits, cakes, cereal, chocolate, cookies, crackers, danish, french fries, fruits and fruit juices, ice cream, potato chips, (crisps), pasta, potatoes, pretzels, rice, pies, popcorn, sugary drinks, and sweetcorn.  Carbohydrate addiction is a recognised medical condition.

a-obese-wSome respected psychologists, doctors, dieticians, and food scientists, claim the carbohydrates, sweets, (candy), and chocolate are as addictive as cigarettes. Eating too many hot dogs is just another form of substance addiction.  The sugar rush created when we eat these foods stimulates the same areas of the brain that respond to nicotine, alcohol, and other drugs.  The problem is that carbohydrates and sugars are like other addictive drugs in that the ‘addict’ has to consume ever larger amounts of the chemical of their choice to get a satisfactory hit.  Consuming ever larger amounts of carbs and sugars makes people fat, obese, morbidly obese and dead.

So, the parts of the brain that respond to carbohydrates are the same areas that are linked to alcoholism, smoking, substance abuse and dependence.  That does not sound good.

alcoholic-latina-womanIt just gets worse.  The brain is run on things called neurotransmitters, which allow signals to pass between nerve cells.  When you take cocaine, smoke, drink booze, eat carbohydrates, a neurotransmitter called dopamine is created.  Dopamine goes right to the pleasure centres of the brain.  The reason dopamine is created from carbs is because the release of insulin into the blood causes a huge blood sugar spike.  This is particularly bad when we eat wheat products, potatoes, and corn starch.  It’s even worse than that for diabetics because they can go into shock and die from eating too many high-glycemic carbohydrates.  Too many carbohydrates, alcohol and too much tobacco are leading you on the path to type 2 diabetes anyway.

The question is, is a low carbohydrate diet the answer?  Perhaps that depends on how bad your addictions are.  However, too many carbohydrates are really bad for the human body, whatever way you look at it.  Refined carbohydrates, principally from wheat flour, corn flour and corn starch are toxic.  The blood sugar produced is responsible for visceral fat.  The infamous ‘beer belly.’  If you have a beer belly, not only do you look disgusting, you are also unhealthy.  Visceral fat, (omentum fat), affects your body’s ability to produce insulin, which is essential for the proper digestion of sugar in the blood, and you’re back on your way to type 2 diabetes again.

smoking1Depending on who and what you read, it takes from 3 to 28 days to detoxify your body and kick an addiction to carbohydrates.  Personally, being very familiar with 12-step self-help programmes, I am more inclined to think that it takes 28 days to kick your carb addiction.  That will mean giving up on wheat products, potatoes, corn sugars, refined table sugar, fizzy drinks, and, (because of cross addiction), probably booze and cigarettes for 28 days.  Allegedly, the half-dozen foods you should almost never eat if you have a weight booze, tobacco, carbohydrate problem and would like to lose your belly fat are;

  1. Concentrated fruit juice drinks.  These are nothing but sugar-water.
  2. Highly processed foods like TV dinners, candy, and chocolate ice creams.  Often full of corn syrup and / or dextrose which are very bad for you.
  3. Margarine.  This stuff is full of trans-fats, which can give you heart disease, increase bad cholesterol, and kill you.  Butter is better.
  4. Wheat and wheat products, including whole wheat.  Bread, pasta, pizza, cake, cookies and other comfort foods.
  5. Processed soy.  Soy milk, tofu, vegetarian ‘meats’ etc…  95% of soya grown in the USA is genetically modified.  This stuff is unhealthy.
  6. Corn and corn products.  Especially GM corn.  Genetically modified corn is just as bad as ‘modern’ wheat when it comes to toxins your body does not like.

The bottom line is, Highly refined foods are full of bad stuff.  Too much carbohydrate is going to kill your chances of being a manly man,

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