Stubborn belly fat keeping you up at night? Have you ever wondered about what does your waistline say about your health? Check out this article to find out all about belly fat and why it’s more common in women after menopause, as well as the danger it poses to your health and the actions you can take to prevent it.
As we get older, an expanding waistline is typically considered the price of doing so. In women especially, this can be true after menopause, as this is when the body fat tends to shift to the abdomen.
However an an increase in belly fat does not just make it harder to zip up your jeans or that Zara pants. Recent research has clearly shown that belly fat also also typically carries serious health risks as we age. On the flip side though, all of this can be reduced and managed accordingly. Read on to find out more in this exclusive article by Health365pro.com
What lies behind that stubborn belly fat?
A person’s weight is typically determined by a these 3 key factors:
- Calorie consumption
- Calorie burn-off
Typically if you exercise too little and eat too much, you’re likely to put on the pounds in no time, and this applies to belly fat too.
Another fact is that muscles has tends to reduce slightly with age, meaning that whilst fat increase, your body fat tends to creep upwards. The loss of muscle mass also does reduce the rate at which your body burns calories, which then makes it a lot more difficult to maintain an ideal weight.
Most women also tend to notice an increase in the amount of belly fat as they age – this applies even if they’re not gaining any weight. This can be attributed to a decrease in oestrogen levels which affects where fat is stored in the body as we get older.
For women, the tendency to carry excess weight around the waist, which results in the ‘apple’ shape rather than a ‘pear’ shaped body could also be pointing to a genetic disposition as well.
What is belly fat?
Fat on your body is usually deposited in many areas naturally – including your hips, thighs and others. Fat around the middle or belly however, produces substances that can cause some serious health risks.
Excess far, no matter what kind of body you may have is never good your your long-term health. However a ballooning belly and saddlebags or affectionately known as ‘love handles’ are not the same. When it comes to discerning body fat, the location it’s deposited in matters, as growing research and evidence has shown that fat that is deep within the abdomen is more dangerous that the fat you can simply pinch with your fingers for example.
90% of the human body fat is referred to as being subcutaneous, or in other wordzqs it’s just a layer that lies underneath your skin. If you prod or poke your belly, the fat that feels soft is what’s known as subcutaneous fat. The other 10% however is referred to as visceral or intra-abdominal fat – meaning it lies way underneath the surface, or the abdominal wall. These type of fat is found in the surrounding areas of vital organs such as the liver, intestines and others. It is also typically stored in the ‘omentum’ – which is apron-like tissue flap that’s underneath the muscles of the belly and covers the intestines. The omentum typically gets harder and thicker as it gets filled up with fat.
Typically visceral fat only forms a very small proportion of body fat (less than 10%), however it’s often a key player behind the cause of a variety of health problems that crop up throughout a person’s lifetime as they age. This is something important you may want to keep in mind about belly fat.
As women typically age through middle years, their body proportion of fat to body weight tends to increase – in fact it does more in women compared to men. This is when the body’s fat storage tends to typically begin to favour the upper body area over the thighs and hips. So even if you don’t gain any weight, your waistline can add the inches on as visceral fat pushes more and more out against the abdominal wall of your body.
More than skin-deep?
Although belly fat is typically not very concerning, the trouble lies in the layer of belly fat, termed as ‘visceral fat’ as explained above. This layer of fat surrounds most of your vital internal organs over time.
Visceral fat is linked with health problems, such as:
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal cholesterol
- Breathing problems
Recent studies have also formed a strong relationship between belly fat and an increased risk of early death, regardless of body weight. In fact, some studies have also discovered that even women are considered as ‘normal weight’ based on the standardised Body Mass Index (BMI) measurements, also have an increased disk of drying prematurely due to cardiovascular disease in part due to larger waistlines.
How to tell when it’s too much?
So if your’e wondering how can you tell if you have too much belly fat, just do the following:
- Place a tape measure around your stomach, just above your hipbone.
- Pull the tape measure accordingly until it’s snugly warped around you, but it doesn’t dig into your skin. Do also ensure that the tape measurement is level all the way around your stomach.
- Relax your body, exhale calmly, and take the measurement of your waist. Do resist the urge to suck in your stomach.
A was it measurement of more than 35 inches or 89 centimetres in women, typically indicate a unhealthy concentration of belly fat as well as greater risk of health problems with age.
Losing the belly fat
Abdominal muscles can be toned by doing crunches or doing other super targeted abdominal exercises, however just doing these exercises religiously will not get rid of stubborn fat. Visceral fat, however does respond to a rigorous diet and exercise regiment over time, that will help shed the excess pounds and help you to lower your overall Toal body far percentage. To get rid of belly fat:
- Significantly reduce sugary drinks – Drink more water or other beverages with artificial sweetener instead if you must.
- Stick to a healthy diet – Eat more of a plant based food such as vegetables, fruits or whole grains, and choose a source of lean protein and low-fat dairy instead.
- Portion sizing – Even when you’re sticking to a healthy diet, calories to tend to add up without notice. When eating at home, simply reduce portion sizes. If eating out, try sharing meals or only eat half your meal and take the rest back I na takeaway container.
- Get moving – The recommended moderate aerobic activity by the Department of Health & Human Services for a typical healthy adult is brisk walking for at least 150 minutes a week or other means of vigorous aerobic actives such as running – for at least 75 minutes a week. Strength training can also be included at least twice a week. If your goal is to lose weight or meet other fitness goals, you may need to exercise more.
For beast results in losing stubborn belly fat and keeping it off over time, your target should be to aim for slow and steady weight loss over time. You may also wish to consult your physician for help in getting started on this and sticking to a routine.
Additionally certain supplements have also proven to be effective in helping lose weight with certain dietary changes being implemented. Supplements such as Leptitox weight management aids by ensuring that your body’s leptin levels are normal – hence aiding weight loss. Check out the review on Leptitox HERE.
Trimming the fat
You can tone abdominal muscles with crunches or other targeted abdominal exercises, but just doing these exercises won’t get rid of belly fat. However, visceral fat responds to the same diet and exercise strategies that help you shed excess pounds and lower your total body fat. To battle belly fat:
- Eat a healthy diet. Focus on plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and choose lean sources of protein and low-fat dairy products. Limit added sugar and saturated fat, which is found in meat and high-fat dairy products, such as cheese and butter. Choose moderate amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — found in fish, nuts and certain vegetable oils — instead.
- Replace sugary beverages. Drink water or beverages with artificial sweetener instead.
- Keep portion sizes in check. Even when you’re making healthy choices, calories add up. At home, slim down your portion sizes. In restaurants, share meals — or eat half your meal and take the rest home.
- Include physical activity in your daily routine. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends moderate aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, for at least 150 minutes a week or vigorous aerobic activity, such as running, for at least 75 minutes a week.If you use a step counter, remember that it takes an average of 10,000 steps a day to prevent weight gain. Some studies indicate it might take 15,000 steps a day to prevent the regain of weight after significant weight loss.Strength training exercises also are recommended at least twice a week. If you want to lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, you might need to exercise more.
To lose excess fat and keep it from coming back, aim for slow and steady weight loss. Consult your doctor for help getting started and staying on track.