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Burning abdominal fat

Published on 6th Jun 2017 at 10:00 by Louise Cullen

Due to the ongoing Obesity pandemic and growing elderly population, metabolic and frailty syndromes are emerging concerns in healthcare systems throughout the world including Ireland. People are trying to lose weight, more specifically reducing adipose body fat and visceral fat. Of more concern is doing it in such a way that they can maintain it.

Metabolic syndrome is a clustering of risk factors including (abdominal subcutaneous and visceral fat, Insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, hypertension and dyslipidemia. The combination of these medical disorders increases markedly the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 Diabetes and Cancer. It also inhibits the ability to actually reduce fat and maintain lean muscle.

Frailty syndromes are somewhat age related to the loss of muscle which has a significant effect upon metabolism. Every pound of muscle lost through aging or reduced self-care can slow down a person’s metabolic rate by as much as 60 calories per day. People are losing between 10 and 20 lbs of muscle between 20 and 40 so it's easy to do the maths.

Hence as people move through their 30s and 40s many find it more difficult to maintain their physical condition. Or an early weight problem continues to manifest itself. Endeavouring to turn the situation around .can sometimes have detrimental effects on metabolism as the methods used towards improving the physical condition are often having a negative effect on their long-term capabilities to lose weight and stay lean.

Everywhere we look, magazine articles, tv programmes, we see drastic methods of exercise and diet which have no proper foundations from exercise physiology. The major problems associated with boot camp style and cross training, also known as turbulence training is the over production of the bodies primary stress hormone called Cortisol. As we age both men’s and women’s testosterone levels decrease and it leaves us more susceptible to the side effects of this stress and anti-inflammatory hormone.

Smashing the muscular and cardiovascular system together will drive your cortisol levels through the roof. This will actually break down muscle and connective tissue weakening the body and making it prone to injury and remember frailty syndromes are related to muscle wastage. Excessive Cortisol also makes the body glucose intolerant and inhibits the pituitary glands ability to produce Growth Hormone. These are both associated to Metabolic syndrome and. the bodies inability to reduce visceral abdominal fat.

Another consequence of Cortisol sensitivity is the ability of the thyroid gland to produce the active thyroxin T3 which also leads to a slowdown in metabolism, making it more difficult to reduce excess body fat.

When weight loss is the primary objective, training to the point that you are on your knees may seem like the way to go however it will send the bodies post exercise fat liberating hormones into free fall and your metabolism will follow suit.


When your goal is reducing visceral abdominal and subcutaneous fat, exercising to stimulate and not to annihilate the body is essential. Train with Intensity but don’t over train. Learn how to use controlled resistance exercise where proper form or technique is used to attain intensity levels. Combining this with aerobic exercise is best and if your over 35 keep your workouts under 30 minutes. This allows you to control stress and keep the bodies metabolic fat burning hormones functioning properly.

Burning fat is a 24/7 endeavour. To keep your metabolism stimulated you need to eat regularly throughout the day. Not only that, but you must choose the right foods in the right amounts to keep your metabolism revved up so you burn fat without losing muscle. This will allow you to shed excess body fat from your midsection and elsewhere. Food not only supplies the body with energy, building blocks and essential nutrients it also has a significant effect on our hormonal system which in turn can dramatically affect our ability to lose weight and replace lean tissue. Remember that in order to burn fat you must burn more calories than you take in but if you don’t eat enough food you will lose muscle and slow down your metabolism.

Starving your body may give some short term results but remember it’s about burning fat and maintaining a healthy muscle mass to support your skeletal and metabolic systems. Prolonged low carbohydrate diets will also elevate Cortisol levels causing long-term metabolic problems.

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