Unlike Fat accumulated near buttocks and thighs, fat accumulated at the mid-portion of the body results in serious health conditions. In this article Belly Fat: Causes & Solutions to reduce it, we will explore the reasons for abdominal fat, types of abdominal fats, how it affects our wellbeing, and how to get rid of it.
What is Belly/Abdominal Fat? & its Types
Regardless of what your body shape, accumulation of fat in your body isn’t healthy for your wellbeing. In any case, fat accumulated in the upper and lower part of the body and fat accumulated in the middle portion is not identical.
Numerous studies have proved that fat lying deep inside the midsection is riskier than the fat under your skin or upper fat.
In the vast majority of people, fat accumulations happen just underneath the skin which is referred to as subcutaneous fat.
However, fat deep inside behind the abdominal muscles which is referred to as visceral fat or intra-abdominal fat is the main problem.
This fat is found in the empty spaces near the liver, digestion tracts, and different organs. It is also accumulated in the omentum, a cover like a fold of tissue that lies under the stomach muscles and covers the digestive organs.
Hence, visceral fat is a small percentage of total body fat but it contributes to the majority of health problems.
As ladies experience in their 30’s and 40’s, their body fat increases rapidly more than it does in men. This fat starts accumulating in the middle portion rather than in the hips and thighs.
Regardless, of whether you put on weight or not, your waistline increases as visceral fat pushes out against the stomach walls. So, the main issue is with visceral fat.
Why Visceral Fat (VF) in the belly section, more dangerous than Subcutaneous fat (SF)?
VF is more dangerous than SF
- Research has proved that VF is an endocrine organ that secretes hormones which has many health hazards. It not only produces cholesterol by releasing free fatty acids into the blood and liver but
- It also produces many harmful chemicals which are the cause of many deceases.
- Visceral fat produces some proteins which are called cytokines, they cause low-level inflammation, which is a great risk factor for heart disease and other chronic medical conditions.
- VF also produces a precursor to angiotensin, a protein that causes high blood pressure.
- Compared with SF, VF produces retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4), which causes insulin resistance. As VF increases, the levels of RBP4 also increases.
Why SF in the belly is not as dangerous as VF?
- SF produces some useful molecules
- It produces hormone leptin which suppresses your hunger and helps to burn fat stored in your body.
- In also produces hormone Adiponectin which handles fat and sugar effectively and hence protects against diabetes
- It also helps in reducing blood pressure.
How to measure VF at Home?
(W ÷ H). For example, a person with a 30″ (76 cm) waist and 38″ (97 cm) hips have a waist-hip ratio of about 0.78.
VF can be measured in many ways, Citi scan and full-body MRI’s are the most accurate ways of measuring VF, but it is time-consuming and very expensive options. So one can measure the VF at home by simple measure tap.
A measuring tape is the best home alternative for monitoring VF. One should check their waist to hip ratio, it shows your VF levels, whether its high or low.
Measure your waistline at the degree of the navel. Every time measure at the same spot. Measure your hip circumference at the widest portion of your hips, with the tape parallel to the floor.
Now divide your waist measurement with your hip measurement (W ÷ H). For example, a person with a 30″ (76 cm) waist and 38″ (97 cm) hips have a waist-hip ratio of about 0.78.
Men – A waist to hip ratio of above 1 is high. Below 0.95 you are at a lower risk of any medical issues.
Women – A waist to hip ratio of above 0.85 is high. Below 0.8 you are at a lower risk of any medical condition.
The general rule of thumb is Women’s Waist Circumference should be below 35 inches and Men’s Waist Circumference should be below 40 inches
But don’t go nuts on these measurements, many other factors such as some health conditions, muscle size, etc are not taken into account so these measurements are not accurate.
Diseases due to Excessive VF (Belly Fat)
- Cardiovascular ailment & Type 2 Diabetes – Higher VF also has a very bad impact on several other heart disease risk factors. It increases blood pressure and levels of blood sugar and triglyceride and it lowers HDL Levels. This takes a heavy toll on our metabolism knows\ a metabolic syndrome.
- Dementia. Researchers believe that people in their early 40s with high VF, compared with people having low VF, are three times more likely to get dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease) by their mid-70s to early 80s. Dementia was not associated with increased thigh fat.
- Asthma. Researchers believe that mid-section fat raises the risk of asthma more than any other fat because of inflammatory effects in the entire body, including in the airways.
- Breast Cancer: A investigation has found that ladies with high VF were at more serious risk for Brest Cancer growth.
- Colorectal disease. Individuals with the most VF have multiple times the danger of creating colorectal adenomas (precancerous polyps) than those with the least VF
How to keep VF under control?
Increase in your general body fat depends on the quality of life, hormones, age, your birth weight (lightweight infants are more prone to put on fat latter in their life) and for ladies whether they are mothers (ladies who have conceived will generally put on VF than ladies who haven’t)
Normally Young ladies have less VF than men, however, that changes with menopause.
In a study following middle-aged ladies, all of them put on some subcutaneous tummy fat, but, ladies who entered menopause added VF also. It brought down estrogen levels and a proportional increase in testosterone.
Factors such as birth rate, genetics, and menopause are not in your control. You can’t change your birth weight or your qualities, and you can’t hold off menopause.
But there are a few different ways you can stop VF to accumulate. Fortunately, VF metabolizes fatty acids more easily than fat at your upper and lower body. Here are a few ways in which you can not only control the accumulation but reduce the VF.
Incorporate these lifestyle changes to reduce belly fat.
- Exercise can help you with inches loss in your waistline. Regardless of whether you lose weight or not or you get in shape or not, you lose VF and increase Muscles. It’s not important whether you go to a health club or gym, you can do a good workout at home, however, it should be done under the proper supervision of a personal trainer.
- If you Participate in 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise routine like cycling, swimming, climbing, brisk walking, aerobics, Zumba, etc, or some kind of functional fitness training you will surely benefit from it. In your day to day life, you can make some changes like climbing the stairs, playing with your kids, walk while talking on the phone, etc will also help.
- Some people try spot reduction like if your target is abdominal fat than sit-ups or leg raises will work, but unfortunately, it’s not the case. Studies have proved time and again that combination of cardio and strength training will only help reduce the fat and put on muscles. Exercise will not only reduce the VF but it will help keep it away.
- Clean Eating:
- Eat right, get professional help if necessary, your diet should be balanced with all the nutrients required for general wellbeing. Rule of thumb is to eat fresh, eat local, eat things that are close to nature, and avoid food that is processed or made in the factory. Use healthy cooking oil. Try Intermittent Fasting, many researchers have proved its many health benefits including fat loss and curing type 2 diabetes. Get more information on Intermittent Fasting on this website. https://thefastingmethod.com/
Avoid Smoking and Alcohol.
- The more you drink and smoke, the more you are likely to put on VF.
- Sleep at least 7 to 8 hours every day, Try to get REM sleep. That is when you dream. Studies have shown that people sleeping less than 5 hours or more than 8 hours a day are likely to put on more VF.
- A higher level of stress hormones cortisol is directly associated with a higher level of belly fat even if you are a lean structured person.
In his article “Belly Fat: Causes & Solutions to reduce it” it is clear that VF can’t be seen, hence it is difficult to know whether a person has VF and if he/she does have VF at what level it is.
Because Visceral fat is associated with very high health risks it is of most importance that the person who suspects their VF levels are high to seek advice from a health care professional.
Generally, it is possible to avoid high levels of VF by a healthy and active lifestyle. By clean diet, good sleep, regular exercise it is easy to lose VF than fats at other portions of the body.
You aren’t fat, You have fat.
Fat Does not Define You.