The notion of belly fat made us spontaneously think of jovial character as Santa, smiling statues of Buddha. However, belly fat is not a good thing. Research involving abdominal fat with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer continue to accumulate.
Fat as such is not bad. Our body needs it, our store fat energy, regulate the functions of our hormones, helps us absorb vitamins and minerals, and in fact 20-30% of the calories we consume each day should come from fat. Yes, our body needs fat, but not too much, and not in some places. Too much fat, especially saturated fat and too much fat, makes our body vulnerable to disease.
You wonder why abdominal fat can cause more harm, for example, the fat that creates dimples on things or one that gathers on the hips. Know first that two types of fat found in our belly, or the subcutaneous fat and visceral fat.
The subcutaneous fat is what you can see and pinch: the “beer bellies”, the “spare tire” and “the love handles.” This is the fat that makes someone looks fat. Visceral fat that hides inside, it is the fat that surrounds the organs of the abdomen. Visceral fat is more insidious because it is very difficult to detect and is influenced by heredity, as well as an unhealthy diet and physical inactivity.
You wonder now if visceral fat lies in your abdomen. Scientists have used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), whereby a magnetic field and pulses of energy create an image to look inside the abdomen. Like most of us, you probably do not have access to MRI, but you can use other methods to assess your abdominal fat.
For example, you can use the waist-hip ratio. Those with an apple shape, those with more weight around the waist are more likely to store visceral fat. Know that visceral fat is not a burden reserved for obese and beer bellies. A thin person can have too much visceral fat and may have many health risks that someone weighing twice its weight.
5 tips to eliminate hidden belly fat
- Aim for the center. Check your waist-hip ratio and your body mass index (BMI) make a note in your calendar to remind you to measure your waist and hips roughly every two months. If your waist is larger than your hips, it is an urgent signal that warns you that you should try to lose weight in your abdomen. If you are women, beware if your waist exceeds 35 inches. If you are a man, your upper limit is 40 inches. If your waistline falls into the danger zone and your BMI is 25 or more, you are at risk of heart disease.
- Eat good fats. If 20-35% of the calories you consume daily should come from fats, choose the right, either monounsaturated fat or polyunsaturated. Among the tasty foods that contain healthy fats include salmon, avocados, olives and nuts. Cook with vegetable oil, such as; canola oil, olive oil or sunflower oil. Avoid foods high in saturated fats and carbohydrates.
- Move and melt. Regular moderate exercise helps to prevent the accumulation of fat and more energetic activities allow them to eliminate the fat already in place. And here’s good news that might encourage you: visceral fat is the first to disappear when you start to lose weight! As weight loss is localized difficult, focus on the overall result when you exercise. A series of crunches will not disappear on its own visceral fat layers underneath. Choose cardiovascular exercises that melt fat, more movements that strengthen and reinforce the abdomen. Consult your doctor before starting any vigorous exercise program.
- Relax; do not let this belly fat anxious you and find ways to relax. Research has shown that the level of physiological stress may be associated with abdominal fat. When observing the stress level of our contemporaries, we believe that we are all pursued by wild animals! Exercise can help you relax and avoid the accumulation of abdominal fat. Yoga can also act on the body and breathing exercises and meditation can help to soothe the mind.
- Pass examinations. If you’re worried about your risk, consult your physician. Physicians assess visceral fat using tape measure or MRI or CT scan (a series of X-ray images of the body compiled by a computer to produce a three dimensional image). A blood test can also be used to measure the rate of protein RBP-4 in the blood, which indicates the presence of health problems such as heart disease or diabetes.