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Memory Affected By Weight and Belly Fat

July 27, 2010
(Article first published as Lose Weight to Improve Memory, Burn Belly Fat on Technorati.)
The extra weight carried by nearly three-quarters of the American adult population increases the risk of many diseases ranging from heart disease and stroke to metabolic disorders such as diabetes. New research indicates that memory loss and dementia should be added to the long list of health afflictions exacerbated by excess weight.

A study assembled with data from the Woman’s Health Initiative indicates that the memory of woman as they age declines by approximately 1% for every single-point increase in Body Mass Index, a statistical indicator used to determine normal and excess weight.

Researchers believe that excess weight around the hips increases inflammation in the body which is known to be detrimental to the normal function of many organ systems, including the brain.

Reversing Memory Loss and Belly Fat

Excess weight, especially when stored as abdominal fat causes high levels of cortisol to be released which creates metabolic disturbance, increased blood pressure and weight gain. It’s essential to control your metabolism through dietary and lifestyle changes that will reduce your risk of memory loss and lead to natural weight loss. Fortunately, there are important steps you can follow which will specifically target belly fat and lead to improved health and reduced risk of illness.

Proper Diet is Key to Burning Belly Fat

Abdominal fat is caused by a poorly balanced diet and lack of physical activity leading to metabolic disruptions in the body. The food you eat is the single most important signal you send to your body, and the composition of every calorie instructs your metabolism to either burn or store fat.

Consuming a diet full of refined junk food causes a surge of excess sugar in the blood. This is interpreted by your body as a sign that food is plentiful and the excess energy should be stored as fat. Your belly is the primary target for fat storage, and this is the most dangerous type of fat as it forces the release of cortisol and other hormonal and chemical messengers throughout the body.

Read Nutrition Labels and Make Smart Food Substitutions
You can break this fat storage cycle and release belly fat from storage by modifying the type of foods you eat. Begin by replacing high calorie junk foods and snacks with healthier choices such as nuts, seeds and limited amounts of fruit. Read the nutrition labels, and avoid any food which has more than 10% of calories in the form of sugar, or 20% of calories from carbohydrates. This provides a general guideline of foods which will cause an excessive blood sugar spike.

Compliment Diet with Exercise
Exercise is a natural component to any lifestyle modification to reduce abdominal fat. It’s important to note that while exercise will provide toning and re-shaping benefits, it has less effect on directly removing belly fat. Stick to moderate physical activity for 20 to 30 minutes on most days of the week. Excessive exercise will lead to higher food intake and work against your weight loss goal.

Less Stress, Less Fat
Continual stress causes the release of cortisol, which leads to abdominal fat storage. It’s critical to determine the cause of your stress and resolve the problem quickly. Many people find that aerobic exercise and yoga techniques are helpful in reducing stress levels.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep to Increase Metabolism
Studies show that people who receive less than 4 hours of sleep each night are 70% more likely to be overweight or obese. Sleep affects hormone levels in the blood which control the effectiveness of insulin. Too much insulin signals the storage of fat, especially when you sleep. Always be careful not to eat at least 3 hours before going to sleep to improve your metabolic efficiency and fat burning ability.

It’s not surprising to find a link between belly fat and a decrease in memory. Excess abdominal fat causes a cascade of chemical and hormonal alterations in the body which have a broad reaching impact on all key organs, including the brain. Develop a plan to improve your diet, drop the refined junk foods and make the necessary lifestyle changes which will improve your life, burn belly fat and lead to natural weight loss.

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