Jun 25, †Ј The starting point for bringing weight under control, in general, and combating abdominal fat, in particular, is regular moderate-intensity physical activity Ч at least 30 minutes per day (and perhaps up to 60 minutes per day) to control weight and lose belly fat. Strength training (exercising with weights) may also help fight abdominal fat. Jun 14, †Ј 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 .
Though the term might sound dated, "middle-age spread" is a greater concern than ever. As people go through their middle years, their proportion of fat to body weight tends to increase Ч more so in women than men. Extra pounds tend to park themselves around the midsection. At one time, we might have accepted these changes as an inevitable fact of aging. But we've now been put on notice that as our waistlines grow, so do our health risks. Abdominal, or visceral, fat is of particular concern because it's a key player in a variety of health problems Ч much more so than subcutaneous fat, the kind you can grasp with your hand.
Visceral fat, on the other hand, lies out of reach, deep within the abdominal cavity, where it pads the spaces between our abdominal organs. Visceral fat has been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In women, it is also associated with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery. Fat accumulated in the lower body the pear shape is subcutaneous, while fat in the abdominal area the apple shape is largely visceral.
Where fat ends up is influenced by several factors, including heredity and hormones. As the evidence against abdominal fat mounts, researchers and clinicians are trying to measure it, correlate it with health risks, and monitor changes that occur with age and overall weight gain or loss.
The fat you can pinch is subcutaneous fat. The fat inside your belly the visceral fat can be seen and what is the initial for maryland, but not pinched.
How do you lose belly fat? No surprise: exercise and diet. Staying physically active throughout the day as well as scheduling how to wire a light switch nz diagram for structured exercise may be even more important than diet. Research suggests that fat cells Ч particularly abdominal fat cells Ч are biologically active. It's appropriate to think of fat as an endocrine organ or gland, producing hormones and other substances that can profoundly affect our health.
Although scientists are still deciphering the roles of individual hormones, it's becoming clear that excess body fat, especially abdominal fat, disrupts the normal balance and functioning of these hormones. Scientists are also learning that visceral fat pumps out immune system chemicals called cytokines Ч for example, tumor necrosis factor and interleukin-6 Ч that can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
These and other biochemicals are thought to have deleterious effects on cells' sensitivity to insulin, blood pressure, and blood clotting. One reason excess visceral fat is so harmful could be its location near the portal vein, which carries blood from the intestinal area to the liver. Substances released by visceral fat, including free fatty acids, enter the portal vein and travel to the liver, where they can influence the production of blood lipids. Visceral fat is directly linked with higher total cholesterol and LDL bad cholesterol, lower HDL good cholesterol, and insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance means that your body's muscle and liver cells don't respond adequately to normal levels of insulin, the pancreatic hormone that carries glucose into the body's cells.
Glucose levels in the blood rise, heightening the risk for diabetes. Now for the good news. So what can we do about tubby tummies? A lot, it turns out. The starting point for bringing weight under control, in general, and combating abdominal fat, in particular, is regular moderate-intensity physical activity Ч at least 30 minutes per day and perhaps up to 60 minutes per day to control weight and lose belly fat. Strength training exercising with weights may also help fight abdominal fat.
Spot exercising, such as doing sit-ups, can tighten abdominal muscles, but it won't get at visceral fat. Diet is also important. Pay attention what is the canadian red cross involved in portion size, and emphasize complex carbohydrates fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and lean protein over simple carbohydrates such as white bread, refined-grain pasta, and sugary drinks.
Replacing saturated fats and trans fats with polyunsaturated fats can also help. Scientists hope to develop drug treatments that target abdominal fat. For now, experts stress that lifestyle, especially exercise, is the very best way to fight visceral fat.
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No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician. Abdominal fat and what to do about it Visceral fat more of a health concern than subcutaneous fat Updated: June 25, Published: September, Find the weight-loss plan that works for you Are weight-loss drugs worth trying? Small tricks to help you shed pounds and keep them off Is lack of exercise a problem if I'm at my ideal weight?
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What does your waistline say about your health? Find out why belly fat is more common after menopause, the danger it poses Ч and what to do about it. An expanding waistline is sometimes considered the price of getting older. For women, this can be especially true after menopause, when body fat tends to shift to the abdomen. Yet an increase in belly fat does more than make it hard to zip up your jeans.
Research shows that belly fat also carries serious health risks. The good news? The threats posed by belly fat can be reduced. If you eat too much and exercise too little, you're likely to carry excess weight Ч including belly fat.
Also, your muscle mass might diminish slightly with age, while fat increases. Loss of muscle mass also decreases the rate at which your body uses calories, which can make it more challenging to maintain a healthy weight. Many women also notice an increase in belly fat as they get older Ч even if they aren't gaining weight.
This is likely due to a decreasing level of estrogen, which appears to influence where fat is distributed in the body. The tendency to gain or carry weight around the waist Ч and have an "apple" rather than a "pear" shape Ч might have a genetic component as well. Subcutaneous fat is the belly fat you can feel if you pinch excess skin and tissue around your middle. Visceral fat is belly fat that accumulates in your abdomen in the spaces between your organs.
Too much visceral fat is strongly linked with a greater risk of serious health problems. The trouble with belly fat is that it's not limited to the extra layer of padding located just below the skin subcutaneous fat. It also includes visceral fat Ч which lies deep inside your abdomen, surrounding your internal organs.
Although subcutaneous fat poses cosmetic concerns, visceral fat is linked with far more dangerous health problems, including:.
Research also associates belly fat with an increased risk of premature death Ч regardless of overall weight. In fact, some studies have found that even when women were considered a normal weight based on standard body mass index BMI measurements, a large waistline increased the risk of dying of cardiovascular disease. For women, a waist measurement of more than 35 inches 89 centimeters indicates an unhealthy concentration of belly fat and a greater risk of health problems.
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:. 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 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, steps a day to prevent weight gain. Some studies indicate it might take 15, 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.
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Open pop-up dialog box Belly fat Close. Belly fat Subcutaneous fat is the belly fat you can feel if you pinch excess skin and tissue around your middle. Show references Perreault L, et al. Obesity in adults: Prevalence, screening, and evaluation. Accessed May 10, Understanding adult overweight and obesity.
Hoffman BL, et al. Menopausal transition. In: Williams Gynecology. New York, N. Accessed May 21, Obesity adult. Rochester, Minn. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd ed. Department of Health and Human Services. See also 3 diet changes women over 50 should make right now Asthma and menstruation Breast-feeding nutrition: Tips for moms Ovulation Caffeine and menopause symptoms Diabetes and menopause Fitness tips for menopause Headaches and hormones Menopause hormone therapy: Follow-up appointments?
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