What Is Your Fat Try­ing To Tell You?

No. 1 Magazine - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

Wob­bly Tummy

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.

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