Belly fat is actually an excess of visceral fat or abdominal fat. This visceral fat is located inside the abdominal cavity found in between the different organs present in it like liver, spleen, intestines, kidneys, etc .It is different from the fat present elsewhere in the body for example in thighs and buttocks where it is mainly present under the skin and is known as subcutaneous fat. This type of fat usually raises cosmetic concerns whereas belly fat is far too more dangerous for the health of an individual.
RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH BELLY FAT
Before jumping over to the ways and methods of losing belly fat it is important to know about the potential harms that this excess fat predisposes your health to. Belly fat has a strong co relation with cardiovascular disease. In addition diabetes mellitus type2, insulin resistance, hypertension and certain types of cancers are also linked to it .One of the possible explanation is the hormonal imbalance caused by this excess fat leading eventually to these health hazards.
HOW TO KNOW YOU HAVE EXCESS BELLY FAT
With the help of a measuring tape u can easily find out about your belly fat. Simply measure your waistline that is put the measuring tape just above your hip bones, about the level of your navel on your bare stomach. Relax and exhale while you take the measurement. Do not pull the tape measure too tight around your waist.
For women a measurement of 35 inches (89cm) or more indicates belly fat.
For men 40 inches (102cm) or more should be dealt seriously.
BELLY FAT IN POST-MENOPAUSAL WOMEN
After menopause a woman’ s body undergo many hormonal changes and one of these is the accumulation of more and more belly fat and hence weight gain. Some genetic factors also play role in this increase in belly fat and no doubt lifestyle effects as well. But it is not something you can not control. You can still stay healthy by sticking to your basic balanced plan discussed below.
THINGS TO REMEMBER
Spot reduction of belly fat is difficult but the good news is that the belly fat is the first to respond when you are trying to lower your total body fat. As a matter of fact targeted abdominal exercises help to tones these muscles and they don’t help to reduce the belly fat. Rather it is the effort to reduce the total fat that actually helps. So basically sticking to the basics of losing weight is the key to get rid of belly fat.
BEFORE YOU START
1. MOTIVATION: This is one of the most important thing you should have before you start as you can never do it if you don’t want to.
2. AVOID SHORTCUTS: According to latest recommendations an average rate of 0.5-1.0kg/wk or 1-2lb/wk is considered to fine.
3 .SETTING GOALS: Be careful to set realistic goals as health benefits come early in most cases.
4. FOOD DIARY: You should exactly know what are you eating and in what amounts so a food diary recording your eating habits will be helpful.
EAT LESS AND HEALTHY
1. Include plenty of fibre (whole grain bread, brown rice and pasta, lentils , oats, fruits, vegetables)
2. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables, ideally 5 portions of different fruits and vegetables daily.
3. Limit fatty food (fatty meats, fried foods, full cream milk and dairy products)
4. Keep your portion sizes small. Share your food with a friend if you happen to eat out.
Keep a check on what you drink. Excessive use of sugary drinks, tea and coffee with added sugar and milk and alcohol all add to your daily caloric intake .Use of plain water instead is very healthy.
BOOST UP PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
According to recommendations all adults should have at least 30minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on at least 5 days a week. The activity can be all in a single go or you can split it according to your stamina and ease. Of course if you are aiming for a goal or are overweight you will have to increase your physical activity than the average to get the desired results. These moderate intensity activities include jogging , dancing, swimming, brisk walking. Get help and advice from your doctor before you start any kind of aerobic activities.
Get support from friends and family and stay motivated and stay healthy. To lose excess fat and to keep it off it is necessary to be slow and steady.