Get Stuffed 

Battle of the bulge

How to slim down for summer

While any insomniac with extended cable can probably rattle off the names of 10 different mail order ab-busters on the market, the same dilemma hits many of us every year – what’s the quickest way one can shed all that winter flab so we can take our clothes off at the beach?

The problem is not the lack of information, or of products that we can purchase with three easy payments of $39.95 and fold up neatly to slide under our beds. The problem is too much information between A) your actual body, and B) a body by Baywatch.

When you throw the time element in, things get even more confusing.

There are hundreds of different diets and programs available, and all of them will swear that they can help you get results. If you read the fine print, however, all of them will insist that you consult a physician before undergoing any diet or fitness program. Most will advise against the quick fix.

One of the most comprehensive examinations of fat, what it is and how to lose it, is available at www.howstuff works.com.

Fat is also known as adipose tissue, and is found beneath our skin, on top of our kidneys, in our liver and muscles, and in a few other places dependent on our sex. Men tend to carry body fat in our chests, abdomens, and buttocks although we are often accused of having a surplus in our heads as well.

Women carry fat in their breasts, hips, waist and buttocks, and not necessarily in that order.

There are two types of fatty tissues, white fat, which is important for energy metabolism, heat insulation, mechanical cushioning, and balancing beer cans on our stomachs watching hockey games.

Brown fat, found mostly in newborn babies between the shoulders is important for making heat. Nobody avoids the beach because of brown fat.

Fat tissue is made up of unique cells that are designed to store fat. The first are formed as the fetus develops during the last three months of pregnancy, and again at the onset of puberty when our sex hormones kick in. Fat cells, contrary to popular belief, do not multiply after puberty, they simply get bigger.

The key to weight loss is shrink these cells. They don’t like that, and may send signals to your brain to get you to eat more fudge. It’s part of our survival mechanism.

Fat enters the body through the food. Through television and labels you’re probably already aware of the different kinds of fat found in foods, including saturated fat, unsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, mono-unsaturated fat, fatty acids, essential fatty acids, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and partially hydrogenated fat.

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