It’s common for women to notice an accumulation of belly fat as they age. After menopause, fat distribution in a woman’s body tends to shift and more fat settles in the abdominal area. In both men and women, metabolism slows with aging and physical activity often decreases as well, providing the perfect opportunity for belly fat to accumulate. Many people simply have a hereditary factor that influences the accumulation of abdominal fat. If one or both of your parents have extra belly fat, the likelihood that you will develop excess fat in this area is quite high, unless you take proactive measures to avoid and reduce it.
Belly fat has long been linked to an increased risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and even gallbladder problems. Belly fat has also recently been linked in some studies to migraine headaches, a correlation that is apparent in those under the age of 55.
Belly fat is not only unattractive, but it is unhealthier than having excess fat in other areas of the body. The fat cells located deep in the abdominal area are known as visceral fat cells. An abundance of visceral fat cells, which surround your abdominal organs, can produce hormones, such as hormones that promote insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes. They can also produce estrogen in post-menopausal women, which is linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. The subcutaneous fat, the fat located directly under the skin, is not as much of a concern, although still contributes to health risks.
The best measure of whether you have too much abdominal fat is a simple waist measurement. Measure your waist, right at your belly button, with a measuring tape. 35 inches and above for women indicates an increased risk of health problems. For men, a waist circumference of more than 40 inches is an unhealthy amount of belly fat. It’s entirely possible to be within a healthy weight range and still have an amount of abdominal fat that is a cause for concern. Even if you’re within a few inches of these measurements, it’s wise to take action to reduce your belly fat and avoid potential health concerns.
Preventing the accumulation of belly fat may be easier than getting rid of it once it’s there. Following a healthy diet and a regular exercise program will go a long way in helping you maintain a healthy body weight in general, as well as a healthy amount of abdominal fat. A minimum of thirty minutes of exercise three times a week is necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
If you already have too much belly fat, or your waist circumference is beginning to near the guidelines, there is hope. Promising studies have shown that visceral fat was lost among individuals who recently began an exercise program, indicating that this type of fat may be among the first to be burned with exercise. You’ll soon discover there are natural methods claiming to be highly effective in reducing belly fat. Commit to undertaking a holistic regimen now to take back your figure, and take back your health!