Joined: 16 January 2005
Joined: 03 March 2007
Body fat has a mind of its own. It appears where it wants to, and seems to disappear (under great duress) from all the wrong places. Is there any rhyme or reason to fat distribution?
Here is a complete guide to body fat distribution.
Types of Fat
We have adipose tissue all over the body. This tissue is made of adipocytes (fat cells) whose sole job is to store energy in the form of fat. Body fat distribution differs from person to person. There are generally two types of fat storage: visceral (surrounding organs), or subcutaneous (beneath the skin - about 80% of all body fat (src)).
When it comes to losing fat - it often does not go according to plan. Despite many claims of spot reduction (i.e. "lose belly fat first") - it rarely happens this way.
|Knee||Fat often builds up on the inside region of the knees in women.|
|Upper Arm||Also common in women, fat build up can occur in the middle to upper area of the upper arm - typically covering the tricep area.|
|Abdomen||Fat buildup around the navel area is common in both men and women. It is also one of the few fat deposits that are also found in slim women.|
|Inner Thigh||Fat storage between the thighs is common in women - but also occurs with men. It is more noticeable in women due to the width of the pelvis that in turn influences the position of the thigh (femur).|
|Outer Thigh||Sometimes called "Riding Breeches" - this area is the most likely place for the pitted or 'quilted' appearance of cellulite. This fat concentration also blends with fat tissue on the inner thigh and the buttocks.|
|Buttocks||Without fat here - sitting would be quite uncomfortable. Fat is held in place by the gluteal fold. If significant fat is lost from the buttock, then only appropriate training can prevent the buttock from sagging down against the thigh.|
|Lower Back||This fat concentration often merges with the buttock area.|
|Chest||Breast tissue comprises the mammary gland (one's 'endowment') surrounded by fat. Men also have atrophied glands and fat in this area. Both sexes gain fat in this area. In men this can sometimes be mistaken for the condition of gynecomastia - a condition that includes not only fat build up, but growth in gland tissue.|
There is considerable research showing that fat distribution varies between ethnic groups. For example Asian adults are more prone to visceral and central obesity than Europeans. Mediterranean women are prone to fat gain in the outer thighs.
Moreover, the way fat is shed is different from person to person. It tends to go from the most recent place it appeared. If your tummy started gaining first - this will be the very last place for the fat to disappear from.
This is why, for example, a man may complain of getting too thin in the face - and yet still have a small 'spare tire' around his waist. Or a woman may complain of a smaller bust, and yet the hips may have barely moved in inch.
This is further compounded by cellulite. With cellulite tissue, fatty acids are contained in a net of fibrous connective tissue. As fat loss occurs the net becomes compressed - making it difficult for the blood supply to readily remove the fat from these stubborn areas.During weight loss, the following trends have been observed:
It can be very frustrating but everybody is different. Stay committed to your training and nutrition - and don't be dissuaded by the commercials and images that show perfectly proportioned clones. Understand how your body works, and set achievable goals accordingly.
Joined: 02 September 2006
Joined: 02 September 2006
Joined: 07 January 2007
Joined: 02 September 2006
People who don't have a milk allergy may think it's easy to avoid eating foods that are made with milk or milk products. You just say "no" to ice cream and pizza, right? (Yeah, like that's easy.)
But so many foods are made with milk and milk products these days that people with milk allergies have to pay attention to what's in just about everything they eat. And a milk allergy is not the same as lactose intolerance — some people with food allergies can become suddenly and severely ill if they eat or even come in contact with the food they're allergic to.
Some foods that contain milk are obvious, like pizza. But others, like baked goods, may not be so obvious. Plus, teens need calcium and vitamin D, which milk has lots of, because their bones are still growing. So what should a person who's allergic to milk do? Read on to find out.
People who are allergic to cow's milk react to one or more of the proteins in it. Curd, the substance that forms chunks in sour milk, contains 80% of milk's proteins, including several called caseins (pronounced: kay-seenz). Whey (pronounced: way), the watery part of milk, holds the other 20%. A person may be allergic to proteins in either or both parts of milk.
When a person who is allergic to milk eats a food that contains milk products, the body's immune system mistakenly sees the milk proteins as dangerous "invaders." The immune system responds by creating specific antibodies, which are designed to fight off the "invader." These antibodies - called immunoglobulin E (IgE) – trigger the release of certain chemicals into the body, one of which is histamine (pronounced: hiss-tuh-meen).
So when a person with a milk allergy eats a food that contains milk, the immune system unleashes an army of chemicals to protect the body. The release of these chemicals can affect the respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, skin, and the cardiovascular system — causing allergy symptoms like wheezing, nausea, headache, stomachache, and itchy hives.
Milk allergy is like most food allergy reactions: It usually happens within minutes to hours after eating foods that contain milk proteins. Most reactions last less than a day and may affect any of three body systems:
Most people have some of the reactions listed above, but a few people may have a very strong reaction called anaphylaxis (pronounced: ah-nuh-fuh-lak-sis). This severe allergic reaction causes swelling of the mouth, throat, and airways leading to the lungs, resulting in an inability to breathe. In addition, there is a dangerous drop in blood pressure, which can make someone dizzy or pass out, and may quickly lead to shock.
People often confuse milk allergy with lactose intolerance because people can have the same kinds of things happening to them (like stomach pains or bloating, for example) with both conditions. But the conditions are not related. Milk allergy is a problem involving the immune system, but lactose intolerance involves the digestive system. For someone who is lactose intolerant, the digestive system doesn't produce enough of the enzyme needed to break down the sugar in milk.
If your doctor suspects you might have a milk allergy, he or she will probably refer you to an allergist or allergy specialist for further testing. The allergy specialist will ask you questions. These may cover things like how often you have the reaction, the time it takes between eating a particular food and the start of the symptoms, and whether any family members have allergies or conditions like eczema and asthma.
The allergy specialist may perform a skin test on you. This test involves placing liquid extracts of milk protein on a person's forearm or back, pricking the skin a tiny bit, and waiting to see if a reddish, raised spot forms, indicating an allergic reaction.
You may need to stop taking anti-allergy medications (such as over-the-counter antihistamines) 2 to 3 days before the skin test because they can interfere with the results. Most cold medications as well as some antidepressants may also affect skin testing. Check with the allergist's office if you are unsure about what medications need to be stopped and for how long.
Some doctors may also take a blood sample and send it to a lab where it will be mixed with some of the suspected allergen and checked for IgE antibodies.
These types of tests are used for diagnosing what doctors call a fast-onset type of milk allergy. But for people whose allergic reactions to milk develop more slowly, skin and blood tests are not as helpful.
In these cases doctors try to diagnose the person using a food challenge. The person is told not to eat or drink anything made with milk for a period of time — usually a few weeks. Then, during the challenge, the person eats foods containing milk under a doctor's close supervision. If symptoms come back after eating milk products, it's a pretty sure bet the person has a milk allergy.
To treat a milk allergy, the person who is allergic needs to completely avoid any foods that contain milk or milk products.
Avoiding milk involves more than just leaving the cheese off your cheese fries. If you are allergic to milk, you need to read food labels carefully and not eat anything that you're not sure about. It's a good idea to work with a registered dietitian to develop an eating plan that provides all the nutrients you need while avoiding things you can't eat. Check out our section on Living With a Milk Allergy (below) for more tips.
If you have a severe milk allergy — or any kind of serious allergy — your doctor may want you to carry a shot of epinephrine (pronounced: eh-puh-neh-frin) with you in case of an emergency. Epinephrine comes in an easy-to-carry container about the size of a large marker. It's easy to use — your doctor will show you how.
If you accidentally eat something with milk in it and start having serious allergic symptoms, like swelling inside your mouth, chest pain, or difficulty breathing, you can give yourself the shot right away to counteract the reaction while you're waiting for medical help. Always call for emergency help (911) when using epinephrine. You should make sure your school and even good friends' houses have injectable epinephrine on hand, too.
Keeping epinephrine on hand at all times should be just part of your action plan for living with a milk allergy. It's also a good idea to carry an over-the-counter antihistamine as this can help alleviate allergy symptoms in some people. Antihistamines should be used in addition to the epinephrine and not as a replacement for the shot.
If you've had to take an epinephrine shot because of an allergic reaction, then you should go immediately to a medical facility or hospital emergency room so they can give you additional treatment if you need it. Up to one third of anaphylactic reactions can have a second wave of symptoms several hours following the initial attack. Therefore, you might need to be observed in a clinic or hospital for 4 to 8 hours following the reaction.
It may be challenging to eliminate milk from your diet, but it's not impossible. Because most people don't get enough calcium in their diets even if they do drink milk, many other foods are now enriched with calcium, such as juices, cereals, and rice and soy beverages. But before you eat or drink anything calcium enriched, make sure it's also dairy free.
Milk and milk products can lurk in strange places, such as processed meats. Chocolate is another product that may contain dairy — so be sure to check the label before you eat it.
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As of January 2006, manufacturers of foods sold in the United States must list on their labels whether a food contains any of the most common allergens. This means that you should be able to find statements like these somewhere on the label: "contains milk ingredients," "made with milk ingredients," or "processed in a facility that also processes milk products."
This new labeling requirement makes it a little easier than reading the ingredients list — instead needing to know that the ingredient "hydrolyzed casein" comes from milk protein, you should be able to tell at a glance which foods to avoid. But the government is allowing companies to use labels that were made before 2006, which means it's still a good idea to get to know the "code words" for milk products when you see them in the ingredients of a food.
Vegan foods are made without animal products, such as eggs or milk. You can buy vegan products at health food stores. Be careful to read the labels of soy cheeses, though. They may say "milk-free," but they could contain milk protein.
For your sweet tooth, soy- or rice-based frozen desserts, sorbets, and puddings are good substitutes for ice cream, as are ice pops. For baking, milk substitutes work as well as milk and some come out better. Dairy-free margarine works as well as butter for recipes and spreading on your bagel.
Try to avoid fried foods or foods with batter on them. Even if the batter doesn't contain milk products, the oil used to fry the foods may have been used to fry something that contains milk.
People are usually understanding when it comes to food allergies — nobody wants to risk your health. When eating out, order the simplest foods and ask the waitstaff detailed questions about menu items. At a friend's house, explain your situation and don't be embarrassed to ask questions if you're staying for a meal.
Having a milk allergy doesn't mean you can't still enjoy eating. In fact, some people think that some of the milk substitutes — like vanilla soy milk — taste better than regular cow's milk. As with any specialized diet, you'll probably find avoiding milk gives you the opportunity to explore and discover some great foods that you'd never have found otherwise!
Joined: 02 September 2006
What's the first step in digesting food? Believe it or not, the digestive process starts even before you put food in your mouth. It begins when you smell something irresistible or when you see a favorite food you know will taste good. Just by smelling that homemade apple pie or thinking about how delicious that ice cream sundae is going to taste, you begin to salivate — and the digestive process kicks in, preparing for that first scrumptious bite.
If it's been a while since your last meal or if you even think about something tasty, you feel hungry. You eat until you're satisfied and then go about your business. But for the next 20 hours or so, your digestive system is doing its job as the food you ate travels through your body.
Food is the body's fuel source. The nutrients in food give the body's cells the energy and other substances they need to operate. But before food can do any of these things, it has to be digested into small pieces the body can absorb and use.
Almost all animals have a tube-type digestive system in which food enters the mouth, passes through a long tube, and exits as feces (poop) through the anus. The smooth muscle in the walls of the tube-shaped digestive organs rhythmically and efficiently moves the food through the system, where it is broken down into tiny absorbable nutrients.
During the process of absorption, nutrients that come from the food (including carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals) pass through channels in the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream. The blood works to distribute these nutrients to the rest of the body. The waste parts of food that the body can't use are passed out of the body as feces.
Every morsel of food we eat has to be broken down into nutrients that can be absorbed by the body, which is why it takes hours to fully digest food. In humans, protein must be broken down into amino acids, starches into simple sugars, and fats into fatty acids and glycerol. The water in our food and drink is also absorbed into the bloodstream to provide the body with the fluid it needs.
The digestive system is made up of the alimentary canal and the other abdominal organs that play a part in digestion, such as the liver and pancreas. The alimentary canal (also called the digestive tract) is the long tube of organs — including the esophagus, the stomach, and the intestines — that runs from the mouth to the anus. An adult's digestive tract is about 30 feet long.
Digestion begins in the mouth, well before food reaches the stomach. When we see, smell, taste, or even imagine a tasty snack, our salivary glands, which are located under the tongue and near the lower jaw, begin producing saliva. This flow of saliva is set in motion by a brain reflex that's triggered when we sense food or even think about eating. In response to this sensory stimulation, the brain sends impulses through the nerves that control the salivary glands, telling them to prepare for a meal.
As the teeth tear and chop the food, saliva moistens it for easy swallowing. A digestive enzyme called amylase (pronounced: ah-meh-lace), which is found in saliva, starts to break down some of the carbohydrates (starches and sugars) in the food even before it leaves the mouth.
Swallowing, which is accomplished by muscle movements in the tongue and mouth, moves the food into the throat, or pharynx. The pharynx (pronounced: fair-inks), a passageway for food and air, is about 5 inches long. A flexible flap of tissue called the epiglottis (pronounced: ep-ih-glah-tus) reflexively closes over the windpipe when we swallow to prevent choking.
From the throat, food travels down a muscular tube in the chest called the esophagus (pronounced: ih-sah-fuh-gus). Waves of muscle contractions called peristalsis (pronounced: per-uh-stall-sus) force food down through the esophagus to the stomach. A person normally isn't aware of the movements of the esophagus, stomach, and intestine that take place as food passes through the digestive tract.
At the end of the esophagus, a muscular ring called a sphincter (pronounced: sfink-ter) allows food to enter the stomach and then squeezes shut to keep food or fluid from flowing back up into the esophagus. The stomach muscles churn and mix the food with acids and enzymes, breaking it into much smaller, more digestible pieces. An acidic environment is needed for the digestion that takes place in the stomach. Glands in the stomach lining produce about 3 quarts of these digestive juices each day.
Most substances in the food we eat need further digestion and must travel into the intestine before being absorbed. When it's empty, an adult's stomach has a volume of one fifth of a cup, but it can expand to hold more than 8 cups of food after a large meal.
By the time food is ready to leave the stomach, it has been processed into a thick liquid called chyme (pronounced: kime). A walnut-sized muscular tube at the outlet of the stomach called the pylorus (pronounced: py-lore-us) keeps chyme in the stomach until it reaches the right consistency to pass into the small intestine. Chyme is then squirted down into the small intestine, where digestion of food continues so the body can absorb the nutrients into the bloodstream.
The small intestine is made up of three parts:
The inner wall of the small intestine is covered with millions of microscopic, finger-like projections called villi (pronounced: vih-lie). The villi are the vehicles through which nutrients can be absorbed into the body.
The liver (located under the ribcage in the right upper part of the abdomen), the gallbladder (hidden just below the liver), and the pancreas (beneath the stomach) are not part of the alimentary canal, but these organs are still important for healthy digestion.
The pancreas produces enzymes that help digest proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. It also makes a substance that neutralizes stomach acid. The liver produces bile, which helps the body absorb fat. Bile is stored in the gallbladder until it is needed. These enzymes and bile travel through special channels (called ducts) directly into the small intestine, where they help to break down food.
The liver also plays a major role in the handling and processing of nutrients. These nutrients are carried to the liver in the blood from the small intestine.
From the small intestine, food that has not been digested (and some water) travels to the large intestine through a valve that prevents food from returning to the small intestine. By the time food reaches the large intestine, the work of absorbing nutrients is nearly finished. The large intestine's main function is to remove water from the undigested matter and form solid waste that can be excreted. The large intestine is made up of three parts:
Nearly everyone has a digestive problem at one time or another. Some conditions, such as indigestion or mild diarrhea, are common; they result in mild discomfort and get better on their own or are easy to treat. Others, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), can be long lasting or troublesome. A doctor who specializes in the digestive system and who can be helpful when dealing with these conditions is called a GI specialist or gastroenterologist.
Conditions affecting the esophagus may be congenital (meaning people are born with them) or noncongenital (meaning people can develop them after birth).
Some examples include:
Almost everyone has experienced diarrhea or constipation at some point in their lives. With diarrhea, muscle contractions move the contents of the intestines along too quickly and there isn't enough time for water to be absorbed before the feces are pushed out of the body. Constipation is the opposite: The contents of the large intestines do not move along fast enough and waste materials stay in the large intestine so long that too much water is removed and the feces become hard.
Other common stomach and intestinal disorders include:
Conditions affecting the pancreas, liver, and gallbladder often affect the ability of these organs to produce enzymes and other substances that aid in digestion.
The kinds and amounts of food a person eats and how the digestive system processes that food play key roles in maintaining good health. Eating a healthy diet is the best way to prevent common digestive problems.
Joined: 08 June 2007
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