Middle age spread, and abdominal fat is a great threat to our
health. As women approach and go through muddle age their fat to
body weight proportion increases more than men. It is most prevalent
at menopause especially as extra weight decides to live in its new
home, our mid section. Even women who don’t’ gain weight may still
experience a thicker mid-section or new inches in this area.
Unfortunately, as our waists get larger so do our health risks.
There are two kinds of fat that affect this area of the body and it is
important to understand the difference between the two.
Abdominal or visceral fat, lives deep within the abdominal cavity
lying between our abdominal organs. Subcutaneous fat, the less
threatening fat, is the fat we grab and pull with our hands.Visceral fat
increases our risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Of additional
concern is its association with breast cancer.
For those of us who are pear shaped, this fat is referred to as
subcutaneous. Fat in our middle section, known as apple shaped is
referred to as Visceral Fat.
Heredity is one of the influences as to wear our fat ends up.
Look at the women in your family and notice where they hold
their weight. Do you know someone who is thin except for the
hip and thigh area? There are specific genes that determine
where fat will reside in our body and in what quantity.
Hormones are another factor for increased fat. During
menopause estrogen production decreases.
Lack of regular exercise along with a diet high in saturated fats
and calories also contributes to abdominal fat.
Current research has shown that abdominal fat are active producing
hormones and substances that travel through our body systems and
dramatically affect our health and well-being.
There has been research done through imaging that shows that
waist size is a reflection of abdominal fat. Some researchers and
scientists believe that waist size and not body mass index (BMI) is
a better indicator of health risks and problems.
A bigger waist size can be a risk predictor for many common
health concerns that millions of people develop and struggle with
High blood pressure
High Blood Pressure
Good FAT Facts
Here’s the good news. Visceral fat is profoundly affected by
exercise and diet and can not only lessen the severity of an illness
but can directly determine whether we get ill at all!
The belly fat that we pinch and grab, subcutaneous fat, is not
as much of a health threat especially in people with normal weight.
What to do about the FAT
There has been so much research, which consistently supports
that regular exercise, for 30 to 60 minutes daily, not only decreases
the amount of visceral fat we currently store in our bodies, but also
helps us to not gain additional visceral fat.
Strength Training using weights and loading our muscles for
just 2 hours per week can reduce body fat by 4% and again can help
us to be more successful at not gaining visceral fat.
Diet is also extremely important. Watch portion size, and read
the labels of food you purchase to help make better choices. Replace
saturated and trans fats with healthy substitutes. Make sure you are
eating Lean protein, fruits and vegetables.
Developing and sustaining good health requires effort. Elicit
help from a Wellness Coach or Personal Trainer who can help you
develop wanted habits, set goals and will help you be accountable for
your success. By implementing consistent routines, unwanted
behaviors can be eliminated. Good routines turn into good habits that
we do daily. These habits become part of who we are. They are the
foundation to enhance the quality of our health, well-being and life.