No we're not talking in monetary terms but 'fat' terms. Let me explain further, VAT stands for visceral adipose tissue and SCAT stands for subcutaneous adipose tissue. So which one do you think you carry more of? Well if you look down and can't see your toes then your shape may be typically 'apple' shaped. And you may be at risk of carrying fat viscerally (around your organs). If you carry most of your weight in the lower half of your body such as around hips, butt and thighs. Your shape may be referred to as 'pear' shape. The 'pear' shape is said to carry a lower risk of obesity related diseases such as diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure and CHD.
Now SCAT even though it does not impede on internal organs is a little unsightly and it doesn't have a preference to what kind of shape you have. I have seen some toned and strong women with a little bit of 'bingo wing' and cellulite. Men can also suffer with SCAT if you are a man with man boobs, sometimes referred to as 'moobs' then unfortunately this is also SCAT. Subcutaneous fat has also been linked with high levels of Oestrogen. Please click on the link for an interesting read on the effects of hormones and weight loss/gain. http://www.metaboliceffect.com/female-hormones-estrogen/
A simple and un invasive way to determine your shape and your risk of possible obesity related conditions is to take your waist to hip ratio. Divide your waist number by your hip number in inches. Although I must point out if you are seriously overweight or obese this could be detrimental to your health regardless of where you carry your fat.
Find the smallest part of your waist, usually somewhere between the top of your hip and your bottom rib. Your hip measurement should be taken around your largest part i.e. your buttocks.
Ladies your waist to hip ratio should be less than 0.8"
Gents your waist to hip ratio should be less than 1.0"
Searching the Internet I have found that the so called 'ideal' is 0.7"
If after taking your measurement you find you are an 'apple' shape, here are 5 easy tips you can implement straight away to kick start reducing that number.
- Drink more water. Thirst is often mistook for hunger, so next time the hunger pangs come on drink a glass of water. Wait for 10 minutes if you are hungry 'real hunger' then by all means eat something healthy.
- Try and cut down on white carbohydrates, especially in the evening unless (see next tip....)
- Starchy or white carbohydrates may be eaten after intense exercise as the sugar (broken down carbohydrates) will help replace the sugar (known as glycogen) in your muscles and liver (which is an energy source).
- In regard to the above tip, exercise. Now slow to moderate exercise will burn fat (as fat is burnt when oxygen is present) although it will not give you an after burn effect. By all means it is a good start especially if you are new to exercise, BUT if you can do something that challenges you and gets you out of your comfort zone you will increase your endorphins and will feel great that you accomplished something.
- Get support. You may want to go alone, but having support from a loved one or friend will keep you motivated. They will help keep you on the straight and narrow and offer support if you lose your way.
Here's to your success, all the best.
Till next time
PS If you are lady reading this I train a wonderful group of ladies in a Tabata style ladies only class outside in Rudgwick, West Sussex. Some may be there for different reasons, but the thing they all have in common is that they are all beautiful strong and focused ladies!
For details visit http://www.mw-pt.co.uk/primal-patterns/The-Spare-Tyre-Workout
(now starts at 6.45)