Reduce belly fat: It Isn’t just ugly, It’s dangerous
Belly fat can be highly troublesome for women as it arrives even before they realize it. But getting rid of it requires attention, care, time, and effort. A woman is considered to be suffering from abdominal obesity if she has a waist circumference of more than 35 inches. Reducing belly fat is important not only for a good figure but also for the health risks associated with it.
1. Age related hormonal imbalances: In women of early to mid 30s, the progesterone level starts to decline very rapidly as compared to estrogen level. This results in an imbalance of progesterone to estrogen ratio. Medical research shows that this results in gain of one to two pounds every year between the age of 35–55. This extra weight accumulates around your belly.
2. Heredity: In some cases genetic factors affect your appetite, metabolic rate, and fat storage. This can increase the chances of abdominal obesity in women. Our lifestyle defines how our genes develop. So, bringing changes in our lifestyle can safeguard our future generation from the problem of obesity.
3. Pregnancy: Research shows that women tend to retain some of the weight that they have gained during pregnancy. This could be due increased appetite, lack of physical activity, and hormonal fluctuations. Surgical delivery shows higher percentage of cases of abdominal obesity in women.
4. Menopause: Sudden sprouting of abdominal obesity happens a lot to postmenopausal women. It is the result of physiological changes associated with menopause. Slowed metabolism, less physical activity, and hormonal imbalances contributes to fat belly.
5. Stress: Slender women who are vulnerable to the effects of stress are more likely to have abdominal fat. This is due to increased level of stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol affects fat distribution by storing fat centrally around the organ.
6. Lifestyle: Lifestyle influences levels of abdominal fat in women. Smoking, drinking alcohol, inactiveness, and inadequate sleep contributes to abdominal fat greatly.
1. Adequate sleep. It has been shown in studies that women’s sleep affects their body fat. An adequate sleep of 6–7 hours is required to maintain a healthy weight.
2. Soy Supplements. The soybean contains proteins, fibers, vitamins, minerals, and isoflavones. This reduces belly fat and is especially recommended for obese postmenopausal women. It can be consumed in the form of tofu, miso, tempeh, and soy milk.
3. Probiotics. This is the latest buzzword when it comes to diet related issues. They seem to cleanse the gut by introducing into it the Lactobacillus bacteria. These bacterial culture breaks down the food in stomach, releases nutrients and fights against microorganisms.
A recent study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Kadooka et al. 2010), explored on the effects of probiotics on abdominal obesity. Probiotics can be found in yogurt and whey.
4. Green tea. It is considered safe for human consumption and is shown to be incredibly healthy. Green tea is very effective in reducing abdominal fat as it contains a natural fat burner called catechins. Catechins stimulate fat metabolism and helps the body to burn fat
efficiently. Natural caffeine present in green tea is a well proven fat burner and endurance enhancer.
5. Fibers. Consuming food rich in fibers is an effective way for women to get rid of belly fat. Fibers absorb fats, glucose, and detoxify the body. Food rich in fibers are oatmeal, corn bran, spinach, broccoli, oranges, and apples.
6. Regular exercising. You can start with aerobic exercises. Then, switch to some of the specific exercises for women to reduce belly fat like pelvic lifts, pelvic tilts, and crunches. Crunches are the traditional and most effective tummy toner. Start with as many as you can do till you’re abdominal muscles starts burning.
7. Drinking water is effectual as it reduces unwanted fats. The amount of water you drink should depend on your body mass index. If you exercise, then that should be compensated with extra glasses of water.
8. Yoga. Yoga is beneficial in reducing abdominal fat along with managing stress. Some of the asanas are Pavanmuktasan, Dhanurasan and Bhunagasan.
Frequently asked questions
1. What problems can be caused by abdominal obesity?
Abdominal obesity in women can lead to increased sweating, difficulty in breathing, diabetes, high blood pressure, and myocardial infarction.
2. What treatments are available for abdominal obesity in women?
Surgical treatment is usually not recommended. Some treatments available are liposuction surgery, gastric banding, and gastric bypass.
3. How can belly fat be be avoided during pregnancy?
A well balanced diet, daily walking or yoga (after consultation from doctor) can prevent weight gain during pregnancy.
4. Do birth control pills leads to fat belly?
Birth control pill contains estrogen which can often induce fat deposition in abdominal, hip, and thigh areas.