What the Belly Really Holds
- 1 Minute Read
- May 3, 2012
What the Belly Really Holds Excess body fat doesn't always distribute itself evenly over our bodies. Sometimes we see a concentration of it around our midsections, including our belly, hips and thighs. Unfortunately, when this happens it can signal that our excess weight can lead to more serious...
Excess body fat doesn't always distribute itself evenly over our bodies. Sometimes we see a concentration of it around our midsections, including our belly, hips and thighs. Unfortunately, when this happens it can signal that our excess weight can lead to more serious health issues. Carrying extra weight in these areas have been associated with increased risk for heart disease, stroke, dementia, high blood pressure, Alzheimer's disease and type 2 diabetes. And though genes may play a role in this, it can also be triggered by our lifestyles and eating habits.
While it would be nice to point to high-fat foods as the culprit behind a bulging belly, any kind of excess calories lead to weight gain in our midsections. However, there is one exception to this. High calorie drinks, especially ones with alcohol, have been shown to be linked specifically to belly fat. Our livers are so busy burning off the alcohol it can't get to burning fat, so the excess is stored in the midsection.
We can guard ourselves against excess calories by keeping a food diary, but we can also be aware that certain fats can actually redistribute existing fat in our bodies to our bellies. Trans fats, according to research by Wake Forest University, have been shown to redistribute fat tissue to the stomach area.
In addition to avoiding trans fats, we can also eat foods high in fiber. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown that diets high in whole grains can trim extra fat from our waistlines.
And when it comes to the differences between men and women, it's men who tend to collect more belly fat than women. However, once a women hits age 40, estrogen levels drop and body fat can get redistributed to the belly.
All is not lost though if you have belly fat. If you are actively losing weight through diet and exercise, belly fat is often the first to come off. Spot exercising, such as doing crunches and sit-ups to get rid of belly bulge, do not work quite in the way we hope them too. They can have some benefit, but not a lot. Aerobic exercise is the best for burning fat.Weight Loss->Body composition