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The Much Dreaded Belly Fat

March 2012

I subscribe to Peter’s Principles Newsletter.  All too often his suggestions are just a touch over my head.  I care about my health, sure, but some of his recommendations take on too much of a micromanaging look…  Eat this many grams of this, take that many milligrams of the other – Crime in Italy Chuck, I don’t have time for all of that (nor would I want to).  That said, he’s always got some really good advice about some important topics:

“There are more serious concerns about those extra inches around your waist than buttoning your jeans. Belly fat is not limited to the extra layer of padding known as subcutaneous fat, it also includes visceral fat. Visceral fat exists deep inside the abdomen and surrounds internal organs. An excessive amount of visceral fat produces hormones and other substances that can raise blood pressure, negatively alter good and bad cholesterol levels and damage the body’s ability to process insulin. It also increases the risks of breast cancer and colorectal cancer”.

Now I certainly didn’t know about all of those little nasty problems, but it’s fairly obvious; fat = bad.  So what if you went the American route and had that fat sucked out?

“Additionally, a study published in 2004  in The New England Journal of Medicine found that liposuction removal of subcutaneous fat on 15 obese patients had no effect on the levels of their blood sugar, blood pressure, response to insulin, or cholesterol levels, while weight loss through exercise and diet spurred positive health changes”.

Why am I not surprised…  In any event, this next little tidbit is what I really found interesting:

Watermelon. The University of Kentucky conducted a study where watermelon was found to have a significant effect on artery plaque deposition because it altered blood lipids and lowered the risk of developing belly fat”.

Perhaps one of the greatest suggestions I can offer the workout community is to enjoy watermelon after a workout.  If you’ve never had watermelon after a workout but like it, even a little bit, the next 80 degree day that you run or ride in, cut one up into four-bite sized chunks and have it waiting in the fridge for your return.  On finishing, before you even have time to wipe the sweat from your brow, dig in.  Our gang will go through a watermelon after a hot Saturday run.  I promise you, it’s manna from Heaven.  It’s so good, my buddy Dennis and I have had the exact same conversation every week after the second piece for the last ten years or so.  It goes like this:

Dennis:  Isn’t that good?

Jim:  Umhmmm.  (Wipes juice from face with forearm)

Dennis:  It’s like manna from Heaven

Jim:  Nom, nom, nom, nom…

Dennis:  Nom, nom, nom, nom…

Jim:  Man, that is so good.

Dennis:  This is what it’s all about.

Jim/Dennis:  Nom, nom, nom, nom…

Try it, you’ll like it.


  1. Kelly Wright says:

    Haha, thanks for the tip.

  2. lampenj says:

    I’m guessing watermelon flavored jolly ranchers aren’t what you’re talking about, huh? 🙂

    I do love the watermelon, though. I’ll have to start packing a cooler with it for after my trail rides.

    • bgddyjim says:

      You are correct my friend, watermelon Jolly Ranchers, while yummy and satisfying (and much more portable) are not what I was talking about. ROTFL

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