Health & Fitness Articles

Thanks for visiting my health and fitness articles page. These articles cover a variety of topics such as workout routines, general health, fitness, nutrition, chronic disease and anti-aging strategies. These articles are published in 5 local newspapers in Georgia and are uploaded here the following Monday after each print publication.
I wish you the best in health and fitness~
Wade Yoder, Master Trainer & Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Toxic Belly Fat... A Poison Fuel!

Toxic Belly Fat... A Poison Fuel!


   Fat has many good purposes (one of the main ones being our backup energy source), but one kind of fat that can be very bad for our shape and our health is visceral fat that has turned toxic! Though fat storage is a vital source of energy, if it becomes toxic, it can also become an energy source for disease.


Visceral fat is the fat that builds up around the waist area and can gradually thickly surround vital organs such as your liver, intestines, kidneys and your stomach. I like to imagine visceral fat as surrounding our plumbing (vital organs and other systems of our anatomy) with an energy insulation that can also absorb toxins that stay in our system, when they don’t get flushed out through normal elimination, such as (sweating, urination and bowel movement). Once this fat gets very toxic, (even for a thin person) its like an over soaked sponge that sets there secreting poisonous inflammatory toxins into our organs and tissues, that can lead to organ failure and other chronic diseases with names attached once the inflammation has manifested itself into a discoverable and nameable disease.  


Visceral fat as well as any other fat is a storage area for energy and back in the hunter-gatherer days provided a quick source of energy when needed whether it was in fight or flight. The hormones we secrete into our systems when we’re scared, tensed up, or stressed out encourages even more visceral fat storage around our midsection for the purpose of reserve energy. A big difference is now we have plenty of stress but very little fight and flight to burn off these fat calories (from the visceral fat storage) and also to return our stress hormones back to normal. Cortisol is a stress hormone and a major culprit in directing the body to store belly fat. (Much of this can be offset by regular exercise and other means of lowering stress levels). 


Quite possibly, many of the health problems we are having today is due in big part to not only the wrong calories and too many of them, but also our body’s system constantly being flooded with hormones (such as adrenaline and cortisol) from constantly being on red alert, with no follow up of fight, flight, or exercise to relieve this angst with the good feel hormones that come with high energy expenditure, such as the feel good endorphins. We have an abundance of mental stress oft times without getting physically stressed afterwards, which is a good way to work off the former. 


We are constantly bombarded with toxins in the air, foods etc. and unless our body has a consistent way to get it out, it will simply insulate the toxin in fat or mucous for our protection. Even a thin person can have visceral fat that has turned toxic from years of environmental exposures combined with poor dietary choices and a lack of intense physical activity. A lot of the toxicities that stay in our system, are due to the types of food and drink in our diets that simply do not encourage elimination of these, and when we constantly have stress hormones circulating in our system directing fat storage around the midsection, (we not only have a lot of unnecessary energy storage in this area) we also have a potentially big toxic sponge that sets there entwined around our organs soaking up and then releasing bad chemicals that cause inflammation, which is the root of almost all chronic disease!


The body tries to hang on to fat when its trying to protect us from these toxins, and since mucous and fat surround these things to protect us, if we can simply detoxify our body we take away the reason stubborn fat is stubborn. This takes time and keeping protective micronutrients (from fruits and vegetables) going through our system helps assure safe release of these toxins and likewise the safe release of fat.


What we can do: 

1. 3-5 hours of moderate to rapid pace activity per week, this not only will help burn off the visceral fat around our midsections, but will also help in working off the stress that is telling our body to put it there! Any rapid activity can constitute as exercise, so get creative by having a mix of things you enjoy, such as hiking, biking, jogging, swimming, tennis etc. along with consistent weight bearing exercises to keep everything strong. Workup a good sweat at least 3 times a week, this helps push toxins out.

2. Avoid food and drink product that has sugar added, especially ones with high fructose corn syrup! If you have fatty liver issues, this should be one of the first culprits in your diet to eliminate.

3. Increase water and fiber intake to help eliminate toxins. We should take in 1/2 our body weight in ounces of water minimum and at least 4-5 grams of fiber per serving for anything that goes in our mouth except for water, (fiber binds up and carries out toxins & water flushes). 

4. At least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, this keeps our antioxidant levels high in the blood and helps our body to get rid of the toxins circulating in our systems that cause aging and disease. 

5. Find whatever means you can to de-stress your life, do everything you can to get good quality sleep, this is when our body recovers from the stresses of daily living!  

Mental stress is a BIG cause of two things…belly fat & death! 

Burner note: two of the ways our body protects us from toxins (that are not eliminated) is by mucous production and fat. When we have an accumulation of fat in our belly area (where many of our vital organs are) chances are favorable that quite a few of these toxins are there. And since fat is fuel, we should consider this, poison fuel. 

Toxins can trigger inflammation and when this continues it becomes what we know as chronic inflammation. This continued smoldering can lead to diseased organs. Elimination of sweetened beverages and foods along with an increase of activity and exercise help shrink visceral fat. 

When trying to decrease abdominal (visceral) fat, make sure your colon, kidneys and liver have been detoxed so they can better process and eliminate these toxins as they break down. 

Don’t release the toxins unless elimination pathways are clear. 

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