Belly fat is unattractive. You may feel self-conscious and embarrassed when fat is clearly visible over the waistline of your clothes. It can also be uncomfortable.
When you have excess fat in your abdominal area, tight-fitting clothing produces discomfort. While your appearance and comfort are important, there is a more important issue to consider. Too much belly fat can lead to serious health risks.
What Is Belly Fat- And Why Is It Different?
Belly fat is more than excess weight. The fat in your abdominal area actually consists of two different types of unique fat. The bulge that you see is known as subcutaneous fat. The fat itself is directly underneath your skin.
While an excessive amount of subcutaneous fat can be harmful, it is the second type that is most dangerous. Known as visceral fat, it is located underneath your abdominal muscle. Visceral fat surrounds your internal organs, resulting in more health risks than subcutaneous fat.
Because of these differences, your abdominal area is the most dangerous part of your body to have excess fat. While excess fat is unattractive anywhere on your body, belly fat produces an increased risk of many serious health problems.
Health Risks From Belly Fat
Some experts have said belly fat can double your risk of a premature death. There are many health issues connected to belly fat that may shorten your lifespan, or interfere with your overall quality of life.
Belly fat increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, gallbladder disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and coronary artery disease. It can lead to high cholesterol levels, a stroke, and may even result in infertility.
These health risks can occur in both men and women, even if you are not actually obese. Excess belly fat can cause health problems for children, too.
What Can You Do About Belly Fat?
Belly fat can result from an unhealthy diet or lack of exercise. Hormonal factors can be present if you are under too much stress or do not get enough sleep on a regular basis. When you want to conquer belly fat, you need to address all of these issues.
Contrary to popular belief, fat responds best to full-body workouts. Choose forms of exercise that involve your entire body. If you exercise daily, you will start to see lean, strong muscle instead of fat.
Calories matter, but they are not nearly as important as your food choices. Build your diet around fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, grains, and plenty of lean protein.
A hormone known as cortisol increases belly fat. When you do not have enough sleep each night, or cope with excessive stress, the cortisol levels in your body increase, and so does the belly fat. Eight full hours of sleep each night, and less stress in your life will start to resolve this problem.
Lose Belly Fat For Your Health
You may want to be free from belly fat because of its effects on your physical appearance. However, your health should be your main priority.
When you take these steps to eliminate belly fat, you are greatly reducing your risk of serious health problems. Regardless of your age or gender, a flat belly can mean a longer, healthier life. The improvement to your appearance will be an added bonus that you will appreciate.