It seems everyone is pregnant. Look around and you see both men and ladies with abdominal fat or belly fat. From the mass media to social media are invitations by many so-called experts advertising ways to reduce belly fat in two weeks- Is it that easy? For African men, the pot belly is regarded as an evidence of a well-to-do person, hence the somewhat lackadaisical attitude towards managing the accumulated fat. A “big” man, therefore, is expected to have the tubby tummy. Potbellies in men mostly result from consumption of alcohol and food. What about the female folk?
Women are more concerned because as they go through their middle years, their proportion of fat to body weight tends to increase, more than it does in men. Women, particularly young ladies, however, know that belly fat tampers with their “figure eight” structure.
But beyond the desire to preserve a good physique and appear appealing in public, a number of people, male and female alike might be ignorant of the risk that belly fat pose. Similarly, one observes the frequency at which ladies slap their tummies hoping that for each slap, their protruding bellies tuck it’s in. Interestingly, people with excess belly fat produce loud or silent fart “windbreaks” which are unbearable. Succinctly, gathering belly fat can have serious health implications that go beyond physical appearance.
1. Abdominal obesity.
Belly fat or abdominal fat is a combination of both visceral and subcutaneous fat. It can also be called abdominal obesity, android obesity or truncal obesity. Fat accumulated in the lower body is subcutaneous, while fat in the abdominal area is largely visceral. The trouble with belly fat is that it is not limited to the extra layer of padding located just below the skin (subcutaneous fat), it also includes visceral fat which lies deep inside the abdomen, surrounding the internal organs. Although subcutaneous fat poses cosmetic concerns, visceral fat is linked with far more dangerous health problems.
Why the concern for women? There is cause for alarm because belly fat could be pathological or physiological. “It is pathological in the sense that it is harmful to the body; and physiological in the sense that it is not harmful. Also noted that it could also be genetic as African women naturally have fat in their abdomen after childbirth. Especially at menopause, she adds, extra pounds tend to park themselves around the midsection, as the ration of fat to lean tissue shifts and fat storage begins favouring the upper body over the hips and thighs.
Furthermore, It was averred that women who deliver through Caesarean Section tend to have the bigger tummy than those that deliver via the vagina. Really, an expanding waistline is sometimes considered the price of getting older. On the other hand, men with low testosterone have larger bellies while women with higher testosterone levels have thicker waists.
2. The belly fat syndrome.
Evidently, the belly fat syndrome is even more common in ladies of nowadays than women. According to an instructor at Kayrom Lee Squash Gym and Fitness Centre posited. “We have a lot of ladies and women alike who come here just because they want to reduce belly fat. We also have females in their teens that have accumulated body fat,” she said.
Our eating and drinking habits are major factors for this phenomenon. The more people consume a lot of fatty food, the more their tendency to have belly fat. In addition, people who live a sedentary lifestyle with little exercise are also at risk of belly fat accumulation.
The fat storage in the belly is caused by consumption of processed foods, particularly, food from eateries. Similarly, cooking oil and chocolate has abundant cholesterol. Many young ladies have belly fat due to their heavy consumption of fatty food, chocolate and calorie ingestion. The more fat we consume, the greater the tendency to accumulate belly fat.
There are dangerous health risks associated with failure to check belly fat beyond an uninteresting physical appearance.
The risk factors include:
1. Diabetes mellitus (Type 2)
2. Fatty liver disease
3. Heart disease and Hypertension.
Other serious health implications that can result from visceral abdominal fat are:
1. Breast cancer
2. Colorectal cancer
3. Gallbladder problems
4. Cardiovascular disease
5. Metabolic syndrome and other chronic conditions.
In fact, there is warning that excess abdominal fat can lead to organ failure. Also, research has also associated belly fat with an increased risk of premature death since it disrupts normal balance and hormonal functioning of the body.
3. How to get rid of abdominal fat.
Belly fat can be cut down to size. While many bother about how they look and worry about their bellies, they seem unwilling to drop their eating and drinking habits. For the few that take the step to work on their bellies, they fail to show the needed commitment to the task. General Exercise is key.
A fitness instructor holds that exercises like Sit-ups, Aerobic dance, jogging and cycling must be combined, over time, for any reduction effect. Aerobic exercise is very necessary because it burns more calories and more easily zaps fat from the core. These specific exercises help because the body adapts to change. Also important, are the reduction in alcohol intake, reduction in eating chocolate and checking the cholesterol level of cooking oil. There must be cautious consumption of fatty foods.
People must watch what they consume, how and when they consume them to reduce their belly fat.
To get rid of abdominal fat, in short, regular exercise and healthy low-calorie eating must be combined. The fitness instructor, however, emphasizes that only consistency and commitment to these exercises and cautious lifestyle can produce required results.
Researchers found that “non-exercisers experienced a nearly 9 percent gain in visceral fat after six months. A regular moderate-intensity physical activity at least 30 minutes per day and perhaps up to 60 minutes per day would greatly help control weight. In addition, attention must be paid to portion size, and consumption of complex carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and lean protein must be emphasized more than simple carbohydrates such as white bread, refined-grain pasta and sugary drinks”.