It’s normal to put on a pound or two here and there, especially as we age as our metabolism slows down, but we need to keep an eye on our growing waistline and not let it get out of control. “Belly fat, or excess weight around the midsection, has significant health implications,” Dr. Christopher McGowan, Gastroenterologist and Founder True You Weight Loss tells us. “More specifically known as central or visceral obesity – excess weight around the waist is directly linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and hypertension – and defines one of the key components of the metabolic syndrome. In fact, individuals with central obesity have higher overall morbidity and mortality rates. A waist circumference of 40 inches or more for men or 35 inches or more for women is an indicator of central obesity.” Read on for five ways to get rid of your belly fat — and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss them Surefire signs that you’re already over COVID.
dr. McGowan says, “Exercise, especially strength and resistance training, leads to an increase in lean muscle mass and a corresponding decrease in visceral fat. This effect is independent of actual weight loss and is the most effective way to directly target abdominal fat. Dr.”
dr. McGowan says, “People often overlook the impact that sleep has on weight. Lack of sleep results in a state of increased stress in the body, increased production of stress hormones (including cortisol), decreased production of GLP-1 (a key regulator of appetite) and increased cravings. after carbs and sweets. All of these factors can contribute to overall weight gain, especially in the visceral region. Getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep is essential when you’re trying to lose weight.”
“Alcohol is one of the worst offenders when it comes to your weight and your waistline,” reminds us Dr. McGowan. “Alcohol affects weight through a variety of mechanisms—including excess calories, decreased inhibition, and disrupted sleep—and may directly cause an increase in visceral fat accumulation.”
dr. McGowan says, “Reducing your intake of foods high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, especially sodas and other sweetened beverages, is one of the easiest ways to reduce the excess caloric load that directly contributes to visceral fat.”
“The most effective intervention for weight is metabolic and bariatric surgery,” says Dr. McGowan. “For individuals with obesity and complications of visceral fat (such as diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia), bariatric surgery is by far the most effective treatment. It reduces weight, improves metabolic conditions, and improves longevity.”
Although there are many ways to get rid of excess weight around your waist, Dr. McGowan says the following are ineffective.
– “Liposuction: While direct liposuction fat removal may benefit body contouring, it only addresses subcutaneous fat and does not address the real culprit: intra-abdominal visceral fat. As a result, liposuction fat removal does not provide the same benefits for insulin sensitivity, metabolic syndrome, and overall health .
– Abdominal exercises: Sit-ups and planks can help directly strengthen the rectus abdominis muscles, but they will not directly target the overlying fat.
– Fat burners: Over-the-counter supplements marketed as “fat burners” are largely caffeine-containing products. These supplements are not regulated by the FDA and are not supported by scientific evidence. And frankly, they don’t burn fat.”
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather is currently a freelance contributor to several publications. Read more about Heather