If you overeat on the wrong foods you are going to end up with belly fat. However, it is understood that women from mid-life are more prone to developing fat around the middle. Nearly every menopausal woman has had to deal with this distressing issue.
Eating foods high in calories and doing no or little physical exercise leads to belly fat but so does aging. As you age, you lose muscle weight and gain fat weight. If you have less muscle weight your body will burn up fewer calories. It is harder to maintain a healthy weight as you age.
Women can gain this type of fat without it showing on the scales. It is likely that belly fat is also caused by loss of the estrogen hormone. This is the hormone that decides where and how fat is to be distributed.
Of course, body shape is also influenced by genetics.
Most of us are very concerned about belly fat changing our shape and looking unattractive but there’s more to it than looks. This type of fat is also made up of ‘visceral fat’. It is deep down in the abdomen and is encircled by your organs.
Subcutaneous fat lies just below the skin. It is visceral fat that is unhealthy. This kind of fat releases substances, including hormones that lead to hypertension and bad cholesterol. It can also result in the body becoming insulin resistant. Visceral fat can lead to serious illnesses like:
* Colorectal cancer
* Type II Diabetes
* Heart disease
* Breast cancer
Belly fat could also be the cause of early death and it is essential to know if you have too much of it. You can measure your own belly fat by doing the following:
* Put a tape measure about your nude stomach (above hipbone).
* Tug until tape measure is secure without biting into your skin.
* The tape measure must be level all the way round.
* Relax your stomach and measure.
Eighty nine centimeters (thirty five inches) or higher in women shows too much fat and a high risk of illnesses developing. One hundred and two centimeters (forty inches) or higher in men is too much fat.
The only way to get rid of excess belly fat is to consume fewer calories due to portion controlled meals and physical exercise.
Cut out high fat foods like dairy products (cheese and butter) and meat. Instead choose portioned olive oil, nuts and fish. A moderate amount of aerobic exercise is a must. Choose to walk briskly for one hundred and fifty minutes spread over a week. Vigorous aerobics like running should be done for seventy five minutes spread over a week.
Belly fat must be lost slowly or it will pack back on. Staying free of belly fat means you must do moderate aerobic exercise regularly and eat a diet that is mainly low fat. Considering the health benefits of being belly fat free, it’s worth the effort. Keeping your body free of belly fat is the same as keeping ageing at bay.