An apple-shaped figure is partly due to genetics and gender.
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Where you store fat on your body and how you lose it largely depends on your genes. Because of the differences in genetic inheritance, people respond differently to weight loss. While some may lose weight all over their body, others may experience little stomach shrinkage while shedding pounds. Still others lose their stomachs first. Because your body's regulation of weight is so complex, scientists have yet to reveal many of the mechanisms responsible for weight loss.
Nod to Nature's Blueprint
The total number of fat cells in your body remains the same throughout your life. When you gain weight, your body doesn't respond by producing more fat cells. Your fat cells simply expand to store more fat. Where your body first stored fat influences where your body will store fat in the future, according to the book вЂњObesityвЂќ by Dr. Ramdass, who is based at Stanley Medical College in Madras, and Anuradha Shivakumar. The authors theorize that when the fat cells in your body's favored storage places grow too large, your body then selects other places, such as your face or arms, to store excess fat.
Your body can apparently make some new fat cells; according to a 2008 study published in вЂњNature,вЂќ Swedish researchers discovered that 10 percent of your fat cells die and are replaced every year. However, whether or not scientists can intervene and prevent your body's generation of new fat cells remains unanswered.
Types of Fat
According to Henry Marcoux's 2014 book, вЂњStay Fat Be Who You Are: The Paradox of Weight Management,вЂќ there are three types of fat -- mesenteric or structural fat, visceral or reserve fat and subcutaneous or peripheral fat. While mesenteric fat is the essential fat that protects your organs, visceral fat is reserve fuel that your body uses to function when there's not enough nutrients coming in. Visceral fat surrounds abdominal organs and is also retained in front of your intestines. Subcutaneous fat is stored just beneath the skin, such as the fat on your thighs and hips, and provides another fuel reserve for your body.
Checking vs. Retirement
The visceral fat in your abdomen is more metabolically active than subcutaneous fat under your skin and typically easier to lose. Visceral fat is like your body's checking account, while subcutaneous fat is more like a retirement account in which fat is saved and hard to pull out. However, visceral fat releases large amounts of fatty acids into your bloodstream, which prompt your body to produce insulin, putting you at risk of type 2 diabetes. Elevated levels of insulin enable your kidney to absorb more sodium, which can result in a rise in your blood pressure. If you're unable to lose stomach fat, it can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Excess visceral fat is also associated with colon cancer, breast cancer, gallstones, Alzheimer's disease, sleep apnea and ovarian cystic disease, according to Discover Magazine.
Regimen for Tire Melt
If you're carrying excess fat around your stomach, you may need to do up to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise per day, according to Harvard Health Publications. A sedentary lifestyle is your stomach's worst enemy. In the 2007 study вЂњExercise Training Amount and Intensity Effects on Metabolic Syndrome,вЂќ published in вЂњThe American Journal of Cardiology,вЂќ researchers at Duke University evaluated the difference in visceral fat between subjects who jogged 20 miles per week versus subjects who did no exercise. While sedentary subjects experienced an increase in visceral fat of 8.6 percent, the runners exhibited an 8.1 percent reduction in visceral fat.