Waist' management - the inside story
The first step towards winning a battle is knowing your enemy. Here is a complete guide to fat and how it goes from your mouth to your belly. A lot of us may be thinking we do not need fat in our bodies - to the extent that we try everything on the market that might help us get rid of it. However, knowing the facts about fats will surely save your waist-line and maybe even your life.
Open wide - all fat in the body is derived from the food we consume. Saliva begins the process by breaking down food into its components: Fats, sugars and proteins. Add lemon to your water or tea to trigger more saliva production. This stimulates the body’s thermogenic process, so you burn fat efficiently.
Get a reaction - your stomach contents empty into the first part of the small intestine, called the duodenum. Bile is released here, making fat easier to absorb. To reduce the amount of fat you absorb, eat daily. Bile binds fat, so a lot goes directly through your alimentary ‘U-bend’ rather than onto your belly.
Fat transformation - your pancreas releases enzymes which break dietary fat down into smaller fatty acids and monoglycerines. They are absorbed through your gut wall and form fats you can transport in your bloodstream. I would advise that you snack on blueberries, as they are said to reduce chylomicrons and fat levels.
The fats now head into your bloodstream. They then find their way to fat-storing cells called ‘adipose tissue’. Adipose is the home of human fat. Up your protein intake as research shows that exercise and adding protein-rich small meals to your daily diet trim body fats.
Once the chylomicrons reach the blood capillaries surrounding fat cells, enzymes break them into fatty acids. The fatty acids are then taken up by the fat cells. Thus the cells grow, as does the adipose tissue.
What isn’t taken up by fat cells is transported to the liver where it is converted into glucose. High insulin levels cause fat cells to store more fat, so limit fat storage by keeping insulin levels low. High-sugar foods prompt your body to produce more insulin so avoid chocolate and sugar drinks. The same goes for simple carbs such as foods made with white flour. Switch to wholegrain.
It is not just there to taunt you; body fat has its uses. It cushions our organs and insulates nerve fibres to help transmit nerve impulses. In addition, fat cells provide essential energy reserves. If we need to ‘tap into’ our energy reserves, the body converts stored fat into energy by a process called lipolysis; it’s converted into fatty acids and glycerol which are then transported via the bloodstream to where the energy is needed.
FOODS THAT TORCH FAT:
Fear not, your kitchen offers more metabolism boosters than you think. Eat more and weigh less with these:
Ginger - Research has found that ginger contains acids that stimulate gastric enzymes to up your metabolism by 20 per cent. Ginger has also been found to lower cholesterol and thin your blood.
Cayenne pepper - It increases the rate at which your metabolism burns up fat by 15-20 per cent for three hours after eating. Plus, it lowers your appetite between meals.
CINNAMON - Research shows that the active ingredients in cinnamon make fat cells significantly more responsive to insulin, upping your metabolism by 20 per cent.
MUSTARD – A mere half-teaspoon boosts your kilojoules’ burning by 20-25 per cent almost instantly.
WATER - Water aids digestion and raises your metabolism by up to 30 per cent.
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