For both, men and women alike, belly fat is a huge concern. While aesthetically, belly fat may be an issue affecting their overall appearance, from a health perspective, belly fat can be one of the main reasons for developing hypertension, heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, glucose/insulin imbalances, dementia, and certain cancers.
You want your waist size to be less than 35″ if you are a woman and less than 40″ if you are a man to avoid developing the above-mentioned health disorders associated with increased belly fat. It is a myth that belly fat is only found in individuals who are overweight or obese. Even thin people can have dangerous amounts of visceral fat or fat found surrounding the abdomen.
Such individuals are dubbed as skinny fat. Belly fat reduction occurs through a combination of dietary and lifestyle changes. There are many different approaches to reducing belly fat; however, the four most effective ways to achieve safe results are as follows:
- Keep Moving: one of the most effective ways to reduce belly fat is to include aerobic activity such as running, swimming, jogging, walking, climbing stairs, in other words, any activity of choice that can help elevate the heart rate can help reduce belly fat.
- Diet rich in good fats or omega-3 fatty acids: foods like nuts, sunflower seeds, avocado, salmon, and almonds are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids: These good fats will help reduce belly fat, stabilize blood glucose and insulin values, and ultimately reduce the risk for developing heart diseases and diabetes.
- Consumption of green tea: studies have shown that consumption of green tea, which is a very rich source of the antioxidant catechin can help reduce belly fat in both, men and women alike. Approximately two cups of this antioxidant rich beverage can help reduce visceral fat.
- Do Not Skip on Sleep: irregular sleep patterns can result in elevation of stress hormones such as cortisol which can further result in storage of fat around the abdomen. Furthermore, lack of sleep can result in improper functioning of appetite hormones causing storage of belly fat. Therefore, it is imperative to not only have regular sleep patterns but also, to not skip on the hours and ensure to complete at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night to avoid accumulation of any belly fat.
- Mayo Clinic staff. Belly fat in women: taking—and keeping—it off. Mayo Clinic Web site. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/womens-health/in-depth/belly-fat/art-20045809.
- Zhang Y, Yu Y, Meguro S, et al. Effects of catechin-enriched green tea beverage on visceral fat loss in adults with a high proportion of visceral fat: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial. J Funct Foods.2012;4(a):315-322.