What Is Your Fat Trying To Tell You?
Did you know that where your body stores fat can reveal hidden truths about your health?
Jiggly Upper Arms
The problem: You may find that even if the rest of your body is fairly slim, you simply can’t tone your upper arms no matter what you try. The cause: It will come as no surprise that lack of exercise is one of the main reasons your body can carry extra fat. However, low testosterone levels can be another reason you are unable to tone up your arms. Testosterone helps to decrease body fat and increase muscle tone and the levels of this hormone are typically lower in women than men. This can be caused by lack of intense exercise, lack of sleep and stress. The dangers: While there is no specific link between arm fat and health risks, carrying extra fat anywhere on your body can be detrimental to your health. Excess fat can cause high cholesterol, which in turn, can result in serious health issues such as heart disease and diabetes.
Bra Strap Bulge
The problem: Do you feel as though your clothes look bumpy around your back area? This can be down to the dreaded bra bulge, where your straps cut into the fatty bit of your back. It’s no secret that an ill-fitting bra can contribute towards this, but you may find that even when you’re wearing the correct size of bra, you still fall victim to the bra strap bulge. The cause: Poor nutritional habits can cause your back area to hold extra fat. Be honest with yourself about what types of food and drink you consume. If your intake of alcohol and processed foods (these are full of fat, calories, carbohydrates, sodium and sugar) is high, then your liver will have to work extra hard in order to break it down, rather than processing the healthy nutrients you are putting into your body. A bulge at the back area can also be an indicator of a lazy thyroid. Your thyroid controls the rate at which you burn calories from food and if it’s not working hard enough, it will result in more fat storage. The dangers: Suffering from low thyroid function can result in fatigue and depression. It can also cause overall weight gain, which in turn can result in health issues. Your GP can test for thyroid problems.
The problem: By wobbly tummy, we don’t mean new mum tum; we’re talking about a lifelong battle of the bulge. No matter how much you stick to a healthy eating plan and exercise regime, you feel like you can never rid yourself of extra belly fat. If you have slim arms and legs this is often referred to as being ‘apple shaped’. The cause: A recent study by Yale University in America found that women are more likely to have excess stomach fat if they are frequently stressed. Stress causes the release of a hormone called cortisol, which can cause the muscles in your stomach and intestines to relax and also decreases blood flow to these organs, causing them to store glucose as insulin. It’s normal for cortisol levels to fluctuate on a day-to-day basis, but severe stress will cause these levels to rise and stay there. When cortisol levels are high your body tends to resist weight loss. The dangers: An excess amount of tummy fat can put you at risk of high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes.
Bigger On The Bottom Half
The problem: Is your body relatively slim on top, but naturally heavier on the bottom? If you feel as though you carry weight around the thigh and bottom area this means you are ‘pear shaped’. The cause: The bad news is that this body woe is seldom due to your diet and is largely down to genetics. Hormones can also cause fat in your lower half. Oestrogen, which is a female hormone, encourages fat storage around the top of the legs; you can be exposed to high levels of oestrogen during your monthly cycle. The dangers: However, the good news is studies have found that carrying weight in this area is generally healthier than carrying excess weight around your stomach and back (as this fat will sit closer to your heart and other organs). But, a study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that women who carry more weight around their bum and thighs are more likely to have mobility problems as they get older.