Everyone has some belly fat, even people who have flat abs.
That’s normal. But too much belly fat can affect your health in a way that other fat doesn’t.
Some of your fat is right under your skin. Another fat is deeper inside, around your heart, lungs, liver, and other organs.
It’s that deeper fat — called “visceral” fat — that may be the bigger problem, even for thin people.
Deep Belly Fat
You need some visceral fat. It provides cushioning around your organs.
But if you have too much of it, you may be more likely to get high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and certain cancers, including breast cancer and colon cancer.
If you gain too much weight, your body starts to store your fat in unusual places.
With increasing obesity, you have people whose regular areas to store fat are so full that the fat is deposited into the organs and around the heart.
Myths and Facts associated with Belly Fat:
Having Whole Grains Help Reduce Belly Fat
This statement may be true in some dieters. A calorie-controlled diet rich in whole-grain foods helped obese research subjects lose more weight from their middles than those who ate the same diet but ate refined carbs instead of whole grains. The whole-grain foods may make it easier for the body to mobilize fat stores. But weight loss happens when you reduce your calorie intake, so your whole grains should be part of a complete low-calorie program to slim down.
Regular Sit-ups Reduce Belly Fat
This statement is fiction. Unfortunately, doing tons of sit-ups or crunches won’t actually flatten your belly area if you are overweight. If your abdominal muscles are covered with excess fat, strengthening them won’t make your belly area look slimmer.
You need to follow One Special Diet to Reduce Belly Fat
This statement is fiction. Some diets might make you feel like you are losing weight only in the belly area.
You Have to Do High-Intensity Workouts to Burn Belly Fat
This statement is fiction, but there is some truth that hard workouts are good for fat loss. Reducing belly fat doesn’t require high-intensity exercise, but some vigorous workouts are very effective for fat-burning. However, you can lose weight simply by putting one foot in front of the other. Walking for two and a half hours per week was able to shrink belly fat by one inch in just a month in their test subjects. Walking even appears to reduce abdominal fat before it’s reduced in other areas. Ones who walked between 30 and 55 minutes three times a week cut the size of their abdominal fat cells by almost 20%.
This statement is fact. Belly fat is dangerous because of its location. Belly fat, often called visceral fat, surrounds your organs and increases your risk for heart disease. Women with a midsection that measured more than 28 inches were twice as likely to die from heart disease than their slim-stomach counterparts. You can find out if your belly fat increases your risk for heart disease and other illnesses by measuring your waist circumference or by calculating your waist-hip ratio.
Less Dietary Fat Means Less Belly Fat
This statement is both fact and fiction. If you reduce fat in your diet, you may also reduce the number of calories you consume each day. If you eat less, you will probably lose weight. But, eating dietary fat in moderation can also help you stick to your weight loss program. The key is the choosing the right kind of fat, like nuts and olives.
Remember that there is no magical pill, potion or product that will help you lose weight only from your belly. The best way to reduce belly fat is with traditional methods like a healthy diet and plenty of exercises.
Most Common Myths on the Belly Fats are:
MYTH: Belly fat protects your bones
It’s no surprise to any of us that abdominal fat is bad for your heart and your lungs, but recent studies show that it’s also detrimental to your bones. People (especially men) had stronger skeletons and were protected against bone loss as they aged. The latest research, however, suggests that visceral fat—the type that surrounds the organs and accumulates around the midsection—is actually associated with lower bone-mineral density in adults of both genders.
MYTH: Sipping green tea burns belly fat.
This may be true in controlled studies, but the largest analysis on this topic found that even the most promising scientific results have been “modest at best.” Green tea can be a healthy drink—and a calorie-free one, if you’re brewing your own and not adding sugar—but don’t expect to see weight-loss results just from this one dietary change.
You’ve probably seen lots of estimates like this: Spin class blasts 600 calories an hour! Swim 20 laps to burn off that candy bar! But those numbers are just that—estimates—and depending on your metabolism, you may burn considerably more or less. Even two women of similar age and the body-mass index may notice significant differences in calorie burn.
MYTH: A big belly is fine as long as you have a healthy BMI.
Although body mass index is currently the best indicator of whether someone should be considered overweight or obese, experts agree that it’s not foolproof. Men and women with a large waist circumference were more likely to die younger (and more likely to die from heart disease, respiratory problems, and cancer) than their slimmer peers, even when they had BMIs in the “healthy” range.
Myth: The only answer to a flat stomach is dieting
Fact: Dieting definitely helps one to reduce weight and lose body fat, provided you are eating the right fruits and vegetables. However, it is not the only thing that you can resort to. For a properly toned body, you would need to include abdominal exercises in your daily routine as well.
Myth: Running on a treadmill is better than running on pavement
Fact: Whether you are running on a treadmill or asphalt, it can impact the knees. On which platform you are running is not that important as it is the force of the bodyweight on the joints that causes the stress and not asphalt or treadmill.
Fact: Though Body Mass Index (BMI) is one of the best indicators to consider if one is obese or not, waistline also plays a major role. Men and women with a considerable larger waist circumference are likely to die younger than their slimmer counterparts.
Myth: One of the best ways of losing belly fat is eating less
Fact: If you thought not eating too often is good for your health and it will prevent weight gain, then think again. To have a high metabolism rate, you need to burn more calories and the only way you can burn calories is through your intake of calories. One should be eating in small proportions frequently rather than restricting to 2 meals a day.
Myth: Drinking Green Tea helps in reducing belly fat
Fact: Well, it is a fact that green tea has a lot of promising results but it does not do much when it comes to reducing belly fat, provided you are able to drink seven cups of green tea a day to match the level of antioxidants or catechins. Green tea does give excellent results but again it cannot do miracles on its own unless you have brought in other dietary changes.
How Much Belly Fat Do You Have?
The most precise way to determine how much visceral fat you have is to get a CT scan or MRI. But there’s a much simpler, low-cost way to check.
Get a measuring tape, wrap it around your waist at your belly button, and check your girth. Do it while you’re standing up, and make sure the tape measure is level.
For your health’s sake, you want your waist size to be less than 35 inches if you’re a woman and less than 40 inches if you’re a man.
Having a “pear shape” — bigger hips and thighs — is considered safer than an “apple shape,” which describes a wider waistline.
Thin People Have It, Too
Even if you’re thin, you can still have too much visceral fat.
How much you have is partly about your genes, and partly about your lifestyle, especially how active you are.
Visceral fat likes inactivity. In one study, thin people who watched their diets but didn’t exercise were more likely to have too much visceral fat.
The key is to be active, no matter what size you are.
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