How to Win the Battle of the Bulge: Belly Fat Loss Tips for Women
Guest Post by Francine Luke
Men are more likely to deposit fat in their abdomens but women are not immune from having belly fat. Normally, you tend to have fat deposited in your buttocks, hips, and thighs, but you can also accumulate fat in your midsection as you grow older even if you don’t gain too much weight in other parts of your body. You are also more likely to have an increase in belly fat if you have recently given birth.
An expanding waistline can cause lower self-esteem and give you problems fitting in your clothes. But, aside from embarrassment and not being able to wear outfits that you normally put on, the accumulation of fat in your belly can put your health at serious risk.
Belly Fat and Your Health
The United States is currently experiencing an obesity epidemic. The average American adult has some 30 billion fat cells. An obese person can carry as much as 100 billion fat cells! But even if you are not obese or overweight, it is still possible for you to have belly fat.
There are three types of fat that can be found in your midsection: intramuscular fat, subcutaneous fat, and visceral fat. If you like eating beef, you may have noticed that certain lean cuts still have some fat deposits. This type of fat is known as intramuscular fat because it is deposited within your abdominal muscles. It is not very common in your midsection but it’s presence can make you more prone to diabetes. If you pinch your belly, the fat that you can feel and hold is known as subcutaneous fat, which is found just under the skin. It’s the same type of fat found in your buttocks, hips, and thighs.
The third type of fat found in your abdomen is known as visceral fat, or intra-abdominal fat. This deep-lying fat surrounds vital organs, including your heart, liver, and lungs. But, while visceral fat provides a cushion for these important organs, it’s benefits end there. Visceral fat has been associated with a laundry list of serious conditions including breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, high cholesterol, hypertension, insulin resistance, memory problems, metabolic syndrome, reduced verbal fluency, and type 2 diabetes, among others.
Losing Belly Fat for Women is Not Easy but Definitely Achievable
Belly fat is easy to gain but quite difficult to lose — if you don’t know how. If your waist size is 35 inches and above, you should waste no time starting a belly fat loss regimen. Losing belly fat for women — and also for men — boils down to two things: eating and exercise habits. Many women think that they can shed excess pounds by dieting only, but this is just not the case. Diet and exercise go hand in hand when it comes to fitness and weight management.
One of the important things you need to remember is that there is no such thing as “spot reducing”. You cannot design a diet and exercise program that is aimed at just losing belly fat because weight management doesn’t work that way. When you lose weight, you lose it all over your body, not just in one body part. When it comes to modifying your diet, you don’t have to starve so you can lose those excess pounds. Low-fat diets won’t do you much good either. That said, there are several strategies that you can try that can help you manage your weight better.
Reduce your consumption of grains and sugars. Limiting your carbohydrate intake will help keep your glucagon and insulin levels down. The levels of these two hormones help determine how the calories that you consume will be stored and eventually used for energy. Instead of chugging a soda, try drinking vegetable juice instead. Increasing your consumption of vegetables will help you keep your weight in check. If you are not really fond of eating vegetables, juicing is an easy and delicious way to increase the amount of veggies in your diet.
As mentioned above, you can’t spot reduce so don’t waste your time doing hundreds of crunches or sit-ups, which only work your superficial abdominal muscles and cannot trim abdominal fat. You need to start a well-rounded workout regimen that includes aerobic exercises, anaerobic exercises, core workouts, and strength training. Aerobic and anaerobic exercises will help you burn calories. Strength training helps you build muscle. The more muscle gain, the faster you can burn fat. Core workouts strengthen and sculpt your abdominal muscles. Once you have trimmed a substantial layer of fat from your belly, you will see the results of your core workouts.
About the Author: Francine Luke writes about belly fat loss tips and other fitness articles for women for SweetSweat.com. Sweet Sweat is a scientifically-tested thermogenic topical workout enhancer used by athletes and fitness enthusiasts to help them reach their training goals.