WANT TO REDUCE FAT???
Is a Fat Stomach Unhealthy?
Yes. For people with a BMI of 34 or less, a fat belly is regarded as an additional health risk. Fatty tissue which is stored around the stomach and abdomen (sometimes called intra-abdominal, or visceral fat) carries a greater health risk than fat located in the lower body around the butt and thighs. Some health studies show that abdominal fat leads to raised blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, high blood sugar, insulin resistance syndrome (metabolic syndrome X) and heart disease. Because of this, some experts believe that waist circumference and fat-distribution is more important than your actual weight in predicting future health risks.
What Causes a Fat Belly?
Where we store fat (surplus calories) is largely a combination of gender, age and genetic inheritance. Men tend to store fat around their middle (apple shape), whereas women typically store fat around the pelvic region, hips, butt and thighs (pear shape). However, women are prone to develop an apple shape in mid-life, after menopause. This is because the female hormones are present in smaller amounts and so their shape tends to become more ‘male’.
NOTE: To understand how surplus food calories from carbohydrate, fat or protein are converted to body fat and stored in adipose tissue cells, see How We Gain Body Fat (Adipose Tissue).
Stress and Stomach Fat
Some health studies show that abdominal fat can develop as a result of stress. This is because the hormone cortisol is released during stress, and a high level of cortisol in the body appears to stimulate the storage of fat around the belly and abdomen. Researchers at Yale University studied 60 women and found that the more stress they were under, the more fat they stored around their stomachs. So it appears that a fat belly is most likely to develop in stressed men of any age, and older stressed women.
How to Prevent a Fat Belly?
If you are prone to store fat around your middle, the healthiest solution is to maintain a normal weight. By matching your calorie intake to your calorie needs and prevent weight gain, you will prevent the development of any excess fat.
How to Reduce a Fat Stomach?
However, if you already have a fat belly, the best option is to follow a healthy weight loss diet, combined with fitness exercises such as aerobics (to burn extra calories) and a stomach-toning workout to help tighten and strengthen abdominal muscles. That said, reducing a fat stomach takes time – especially if you are an apple-shape. Despite what commercials say, there is no diet-plan or type of exercise that can “target” your fat stomach. So please don’t get impatient. Your fat belly will disappear, I promise.
10 Ways to Reduce Fat
The main appeal of keeping your fat intake low and eating starchy carbohydrate foods instead is that you can enjoy so much more food. You can relish vast quantities of starchy, high fibre foods. Whilst a high-fat snack is over in seconds, you are still munching on an alternative carbo food. It is possible to eat a whole meal for the equivalent calorific value of one packet of crisps!
Red Meat Poultry Fish Cheese Soups
Most of the fat content of chicken is just under the skin, so remove the skin before cooking and the fat comes away with it. Try organic chicken or turkey – the flavour of the meat is different compared with intensively produced birds which can be rather tasteless. You get a better eating experience, the birds get a better life!
This is such a fabulous food. We need to eat more of it, but save the fried variety for a real treat. Tuna fish risotto, salmon stir-fry or smoked mackerel with baked potatoes make excellent meals. These oily fish are higher in fat compared with white fish such as cod or hake, but the fat is essential fat. We need a small amount of these essential fats every day. They are the omega 3 and omega 6 fats which are used by the body to balance hormone levels, reduce inflammation in joints and produce elastic connective tissue – which is the basis of wonderful skin.
All hard and cream cheeses are high-fat foods. Reduce the amount of cheese in sauces and dishes by using smaller amounts of strongly flavoured cheese or adding the cheese to the top of the dish instead of in the dish. Try lower-fat cheeses such as Edam, Gouda and Jarlsberg cheese as well as cottage cheese. They make great sandwich or baked potato fillings mixed with chopped spring onion, watercress, pickles or chutneys.
Soften vegetables in a splash of olive oil before making soups. Use a vegetable stock or just add water and then season with herbs, a dash of Tamari or some Shoyu. These last two ingredients are used a lot in Chinese cooking and are made from fermented soya beans. They add a richness to soups – without a trace of meat or fat. Great for vegetarians.
Mayonnaise and salad cream contain a lot of fat. Make salad dressings with natural yogurt, herbs, spices, tomato juice, vinegar and lemon juice. Don’t be afraid of using French dressing. Make your own from lemon juice, first presses organic olive oil, cider or wine vinegar, crushed garlic and a teaspoon of ready made mustard. Toss a mixture of wonderful green salad leaves with a few walnuts, flaked toasted almonds, pumpkin seeds and chopped fresh dates, apples and celery and mix in some French dressing for a fabulous salad. The small amount of fat that this salad does contain is essential fat – so enjoy the flavours, colours and wonderful fats!