4. Why Do We Get Belly Fat?
Beyond gender (men are more prone to belly fat than women) and genetics, one of the leading causes of belly fat is increased insulin resistance. Insulin resistance, in a nutshell, is when your body no longer responds to insulin at an appropriate level, leading the body to release ever-increasing amounts of the hormone in an attempt to get the muscles, fat, and liver to take it up.
Why does this happen? The most common reason is diet, especially diets high in fat and refined sugar and low in fiber.
[quote align=”left” color=”#999999″]The problem with excess sugar is that it will cause the blood to be loaded with fatty acids (fat), which over time can contribute to insulin resistance.[/quote]
In a study featuring both healthy and overweight people, diets high in fat (but not omega-3 fats, it should be noted) caused decreased insulin sensitivity, even in the otherwise healthy participants. When you eat a high-fat diet, your blood becomes loaded with free fatty acids, destined either for use by the muscles or storage as fat.
This is not always a bad thing, as free fatty acids can be a wonderful source of fuel for your muscles, but only if you are currently in need of it (such as when you are exercising). Unfortunately, our body has learned to respond to this increase in free fatty acids in a way that, while beneficial if exercising, is less ideal in other situations.
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