As we age, many of us get that dreaded big belly look. Belly fat accumulates and causes an increase in waist size. This increase in belly fat, which affects more women than men, also shows up in your waist, hips, and thighs. An increase in this kind of fat is more than skin deep; it is deep in the abdomen. Belly fat surrounds your organs and is called visceral fat. It is linked to dangerous health risks and increases the chances of breast cancer, diabetes, gallbladder disease, heart disease, and premature death
5. Causes of Belly Fat
The main causes of belly fat include:
- Overeating and stress
- Slowed metabolism from too much sugar and too little exercise
- Aging, which diminishes muscle mass and increases fat
- Menopause-related changes in female hormone levels like estrogen
The good news is that belly fat will respond to the same kinds of diet and exercise that usually helps you shed any excess weight and body fat.
4. Build Yourself a Healthy Diet
We all know what this means: more veggies and fruits, and less of the unhealthy trans fat products used in processed foods.
3. Lower Your Sugar Intake
Studies show that those who drink or eat high fructose corn syrup, as used in sodas, sugary coffee drinks, muffins, and cookies, experience an increase in belly fat.
2. Decrease Your Portions
Eat less by decreasing portions and calories. This helps when your exercise level and metabolism slows down, like in aging individuals.Related: Carbs & Belly Fat
1. Increase Your Physical Activity
Exercise or start some kind of workout that fits your health situation. It is better if you can work yourself up to moderate aerobic activity along with some strength training and toning of abdominal muscles. Even chair yoga helps if you have pain or are unable to do more intense exercise.
There has been evidence that genetics can play a small role in obesity and belly fat. Most studies say this is only about 10% of the issue, and diet plays the biggest role in the fat increase.
The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine has linked poor quality and short duration of sleep cycles to the development of abdominal fat. So, try to get the recommended amount of seven to eight hours of sleep per night.Related: 15 of the Worst Foods for Your Cholesterol, and How to Swap Them for Healthy Fats