Tag Archives: cholesterol

Body Shape 101

Not all Fat is Created Equal.

There are two main types of body fat found in our bodies.  Ironically, we tend to focus on subcutaneous body fat, which is the softer fat found beneath the skin.  This is the fat that we can grab with our hands or skin-fold calipers.  Subcutaneous fat is less damaging as it is superficial (closer to the surface), and is less likely to result in major health issues.  Visceral fat is the unseen fat in your body.  It is found deeper inside the body, around your internal organs. It’s a harder fat and has been linked directly to chronic diseases like heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, and some cancers.  Visceral fat hides well beneath the surface, we don’t see it, most people don’t know about it, and it’s the body fat we should actually be more concerned about.

Lucky for our health, visceral fat tends to be targeted first during weight loss.  Unlucky for our esthetics, the subcutaneous fat we all see is targeted second.

Wellness Comes in All Shapes and Sizes

We’re all wonderfully unique.  It needs to be known that fitness doesn’t look like anyone or anything in specific.  We all have a “best” version of ourselves, and we can’t ask for any more than that.  In this delicious fruit bowl we call life, the three basic body shapes are apple, pear and banana.

Apples – you are identified by the majority of your body fat stored in your mid-section.  This puts you at the highest risk of visceral fat accumulation, as well as the health risks associated with that.

Pears – you are identified by an accumulation of subcutaneous fat around the hips, buttocks and thighs.  Not to say that you shouldn’t be concerned with visceral fat within your body, you are simply at a lower risk than your friend the apple.

Bananas – you are identified by your long and lean frame.  Don’t be fooled with the lack of subcutaneous fat, visceral fat may still exist but hidden deep and unseen on your body.

Where your body carries weight naturally can be a factor in determining a lot of things for you.  What doesn’t change is how to work with and manage your body type.  Put down the junk food and grab an apple, pear, or banana – and get moving!

Nutrition Tips: October 2012

Supplementation is a hot topic in fitness circles and one that leads to some great questions. Do I need to supplement? How much and what kind of supplements should I take? What time of the day is it best to take them?

Let’s start simply by addressing the two most basic and beneficial forms of supplementation: multi-vitamins and fish oil. Taking a multi-vitamin daily covers  deficiencies that almost all of us have. If you have a pristine diet full of vegetables, fresh fruit and quality protein sources you may not be in dire need of a vitamin regimen but most of us fall short of the ideal. Busy lives, missed meals, poor soil conditions for our produce to grow in and so on are all contributing factors. A multi-vitamin will ensure you fill in any gaps.

Fish oil is a terrific addition to your daily dietary intake. Many recent studies have found fish oil to have positive effects on everything from acne to dementia to immunity issues. It is also proven to lower LDL (the bad cholesterol) and cardiovascular disease. The key with fish oil is Omega 3s which are essential fatty acids. Our diets often don’t contain enough Omega 3s and this supplement ensures this is rectified. There are differing views as to the amount recommended but the consensus is at least 500mg; the American Heart
Association suggests at least 1000mg for anyone who has had cardiovascular disease.

As to the question of when to take your supplements, go for the time of day that you know you will remember to take them! With your breakfast is often a great time to ensure you remember to get an additional great start to your day.

See previous editions of Nutrition Tips.