Having a healthy body weight goes far beyond the number on the scale. Two people who weigh the same may look very different based on the percentage of muscle, fat, and abdominal fat they have. The body composition analysis test measures the relative percentages of muscle and fat and can predict whether your weight is healthy or not. It is important to note that when starting a weight loss program, you should make sure that there is a focus on fat loss primarily instead of just overall weight loss. Many weight loss programs can cause participants to lose water, muscle, fat, and even bone mass which can sometimes be translated to large amounts of weight being lost but with very small amounts of that being fat. Of all the places to store fat on the body, abdominal fat presents the greatest health risks.
Generally speaking, abdominal fat is either visceral (surrounding the abdominal organs) or subcutaneous (lying between the skin and the abdominal wall). Fat accumulated in the lower body (the pear shape) is subcutaneous, while fat in the abdominal area (the apple shape) is largely visceral. There’s also evidence that waist circumference is a better predictor of health problems than the popular body mass index (BMI), which indicates only total body fat. The good news here is that visceral fat yields fairly easily to diet and exercise with benefits ranging from lower blood pressure to more favorable cholesterol levels.
One reason excess visceral fat is so harmful is that its location may be near the portal vein, which carries blood from the intestinal area to the liver. Substances released by visceral fat, including free fatty acids, enter the portal vein and travel to the liver, where they can influence the production of blood lipids. Visceral fat is directly linked with higher total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower HDL (good) cholesterol, and insulin resistance.
The starting point for bringing weight under control, in general, and combating abdominal fat, in particular, is regular moderate-intensity physical activity — at least 30 minutes per day (and perhaps up to 60 minutes per day) to control weight. In addition to intense physical strength training may help fight abdominal fat. A University of Pennsylvania study, followed obese women, ages 24-44 years of age, for two years. Compared to participants who received only advice about exercise, those given an hour of weight training twice a week reduced their proportion of body fat by nearly 4% — and were more successful in keeping off visceral fat.
Lastly, diet is vital. Pay attention to portion size, and emphasize complex carbohydrates such as fruits, veggies, and whole grains, and lean proteins vs. simple carbohydrates like white bread, refined-grain pasta, and sugary drinks. Replacing saturated fats and trans-fat with polyunsaturated fats can also help. Something to keep in mind is that you are not drastically
cutting calories. This will cause your body to go into starvation mode, which will slow your
metabolism down and cause it to store fat more efficiently later on.
Now, here are 6 Tips on Losing Abdominal Fat...
1. Eat plenty of fresh fruits, veggies, protein, and fiber.
2. Say no to soda or other sugary drinks. They will fill your caloric intake and provide no nutrition that your body needs.
3. H20 - Drink plenty of water.
4. Regular moderate/intensity exercises.
5. Listen to your body. Give yourself 20 minutes after completing your meal to see if your appetite is satisfied. If not, eat an apple or other high-fiber foods so you don't end up overeating.
6. Try replacing a meal with a delicious Easy Meal smoothie.