If you do Zumba or CrossFit or power yoga or are in the midst of training for a marathon or the Miss Olympia contest, by all means continue. But whether you’re a couch surfer or an actual surfer, you’ll jump-start your weight loss if you add in a 10- minute walk outdoors. This easy a.m. ritual works on two levels. First, a recent study found that exposure to UV rays, even on a cloudy day, between the hours of 8 am and noon reduces your risk of weight gain. Researchers speculate that the morning light synchronizes your metabolism and undercuts your fat genes. And burning calories before you eat means you’re exercising in a fasted state. According to some studies, exercising in a fasted state can burn almost 20 percent more fat compared to exercising with fuel in the tank.

One reason excess visceral fat is so harmful could be its location near the portal vein, which carries blood from the intestinal area to the liver. Substances released by visceral fat, including free fatty acids, enter the portal vein and travel to the liver, where they can influence the production of blood lipids. Visceral fat is directly linked with higher total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower HDL (good) cholesterol, and insulin resistance.

Unless you hit the genetic jackpot, the chances are that your tummy isn’t immune to showing its fat gains. Something interesting is that there are different kinds of belly fat, and they all require different techniques for shedding it. Belly fat isn’t merely an issue of appearance. Sure, it looks and feels nice to have a shredded tummy, but more important are the health implications.
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