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Training on an empty stomach for weight loss

(12-14-2014) To succesfully lose weightRunning the combination of a healthy diet with caloric restriction combined with training is more effective than using a diet or training alone. The last few years quite some research has been performed on endurance training on an empty stomach. These studies showed that fat metabolism was increased directly after fasted exercise compared with regular fed exercise. In addition fasted exercise improved insulin sensitivity and lead to a better glucose tolerance. These adaptations should in theory help weight and fat loss. To test this hypothesis, scientists performed a study to answer whether training on an empty stomach is more effective for weight loss.

Weight loss after pregnancy using videogames

(02-25-2014) Losing weight after pregnancyFitness gaming can be quite difficult and the gained weight often remains where it is. Different studies have shown that physical activity and fitness exercise are effective ways to make the additional pregnancy pounds disappear. Many young mothers however find it difficult to keep up regular exercise because the young baby requires a lot of attention and leaving the house to exercise is often difficult. Certrain computer games require people to exercise to play. Researchers from Japan performed a study on the effectiveness of playing these active computer games on weight loss after pregnancy. 

Fast or slow weight loss: which is better?

(11-15-2014) According to current guidelines for dietitians it Lose weight and fat effectivelyis better to lose weight in a slow gradual manner than losing it quickly to maintain weight loss. Because there is hardly any scientific basis for this recommendation Australian scientists started a large scaled study to the effects of the rate of weight loss on weight maintenance. This article describes their research, results and their conclusions on which is better: fast or slow weight loss.

Dangers of too much belly fat

Dangers of too much belly fat

More than 60% of adults are currentlyToo much visceral fat overweight and the number of people who suffer from lifestyle related disorders such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and is rising rapidly. To make matters worse, in the western world these diseases are among the leading causes of death. Being overweight or obese is often a central factor in developing diabetes, high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease and both body mass index (BMI) and body composition give a good indication to the risk of developing these disorders. In fact the BMI norms were originally developed based on research that found a connection between body weight relative to body height and risk of developing disease.

Training against obesity

Obesity is a serious form Fitness against obesityof being overweight and is defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 30. Trying to lose weight while being obese does not necessarily mean a different approach than being overweight, but there are some key points to keep in mind during when training against obesity. Many people who have become obese by not exercising enough and an unhealthy diet, have an altered metabolism This makes it harder to use fat to produce energy and therefore makes it more difficult to lose that fat. In other words, when someone gains weight, it gets progressively harder to lose it again in a healthy way, because the body has increasing difficulty to burn the excess fat and is only able to burn carbohydrates for energy. 

Waist Circumference

Waist circumference is a measurement that gives an indication of fat related health risk. Although your body composition is an important indication as well. Not everyone has access to a reliable device to measure body composition such as an MRI-scan or DEXA scan or to someone skilled with a skin fold caliper. To measure waist circumference only a flexible measurement tape is needed so it is accessible to practically everyone and not complicated. In addition, body fat is not distributed in the same way for everyone. Two persons with the same relative amount of body fat can store their fat on different locations such as hips or inside the abdomen. Since internal abdominal fat (see also visceral fat) greatly increases risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus type 2 and more visceral fat corresponds with an increased waistline, this measurement can help indicate whether or not you are at increased risk for developing these disorders.

How to measure waist circumference

Take a flexible measurement tape and put it around your waist. The tape measure should be held above the navel but below the lowest ribs at the narrowest point of the torso. Make sure the tape measure is completely horizontal and that the one who is measured stands upright and relaxed and before measurement breathes out normally. Compare the value with those in Table 1 below to get an indication of developing cardiovascular disease or other fat related conditions.

Waist circumference norms (in centimetres and inches)
Men Women Risk category
Less than 94cm (37 inch) Less than 80cm (inch) Low
94-102cm (37-40 inch) 80-88cm ( inch) High
Greater than 102cm (40 inch) Greater than 88cm ( inch) Very high

Table 1: Waist circumference norms

Note: these norms apply to Caucasian adults and Asian women. Currently not enough data on other ethnic groups is available.

Risk category:

Low: You are not at increased risk of developing lifestyle related diseases such as cardiovascular disease. You can maintain your current lifestyle, although it does not hurt to improve it further.

High: You are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease or other lifestyle related diseases. Either improving your diet, decreasing your energy intake or starting strength and endurance training will help losing weight and abdominal fat.

Very high: You are at very high risk of developing lifestyle related diseases. Large changes in lifestyle in multiple areas are necessary to improve your health. Improve your diet, decrease your energy intake, start training to increase muscle mass and improve cardiovascular endurance and exercise more every day.

References:

-Bushman, B. (2011). Assesing Personal Fitness. Complete Guide to Fitness & Health. First Edition. USA Human Kinetics.

-Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. 2007.

Visceral Fat

Visceral fat is fat that is located around the organs in the abdominal cavity, including around the stomach, intestines, liver and kidneys. It is different in structure than subcutaneous adipose tissue and intramuscular fat and also producessubstances that play an important role in the immune system.

However, an excess of visceral fat also leads to an over-production of these chemicals, and is associated with a greater risk of developing coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and inflammation-related disorders. A too large amount of visceral fat, is also known as abdominal obesity.

While an excessive amount of visceral fat is common in people that are overweight or obese certainly, it is also possible that people with an apparently healthy BMI have too much visceral fat. As a result these people can have a increased risk on developing the diseases mentioned above.

The amount of visceral fat can be reduced by a healthy lifestyle with a healthy diet and regular, sufficient physical activity and exercise and sufficient sleep. In addition, it has been shown that different types of training not only help reduce the amount of visceral fat but also counteracts the negative effects of too much visceral fat.

BMI

The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure which gives an indication whether someone has a healthy bodyweight, underweight, overweight or obese. The BMI can be calculated with the following formulae:BMI_formula_EnglishBMI formula metric The number that is calculated from one of these formulae can be looked up in the table below and determines if someone has a healthy weight or is nderweight, overweight or even obese.