I remember laying on the bed at university and my friend straddling me trying to help me get my pants zipped.
I also remember that those were jeans that I had borrowed (I say “borrowed” loosely because she never got them back) because I had out-grown MY clothes and only had enough money for cigarettes, beer, and the Bash! 🙂
Even though I had to wear larger pants and as hard as those jeans were to zip-up – it wasn’t belly fat that was the real bother. It was my butt-fat!
I am a pear!
This means I can easily be 40 – 50 lbs overweight and most of it sits on my ass and thighs. For the most part I can get away with gaining a fair bit of weight and most people don’t notice (unless they are helping me put on pants!)
Now, advancing into middle-age and dealing with all the effects of hormonal changes, slower metabolism, weight gain, and fat-redistribution – I get to have all the fun of ass-fat, hip-fat, and NOW I get to have belly fat too.
Nature and her infinite wisdom, for whatever reason, thinks that we women should have new fat that needs to be relocated to our belly’s, arms, and backs. As well as the usual places we’ve grown used to like our hips, ass’s, and thighs.
Gee – thanks mama Nature!
What’s so Bad About Belly Fat?
It is thought that belly fat produces its own type of protein that can cause damage. Some of the effects are blood vessel constriction resulting in higher blood pressure. Another causes insulin resistance and cause heart disease by clogging arteries. It can also cause inflammation, diabetes, and cancer.
There are two types of belly fat and the one that is of most concern is called Visceral Fat. Oddly enough we form this visceral fat as we move into our menopause years and as our ovaries produce less estrogen, this visceral fat tissue becomes the main source of estrogen.
It is this production that may be linked to cancerous tumours that form in the breast. Another common cancer among people with higher visceral belly fat is colorectal cancer.
Another health issue that seem to be related to this belly fat is early dementia.
Visceral fat is the fat you can’t pinch or grab. The stuff you can move out of they way so you can see your zipper is called subcutaneous (below the skin) fat and not thought to be as dangerous as the fat behind the walls. This visceral fat is within the abdominal cavity and surrounds the organs. Blood circulating throughout the visceral fat will drain into the liver through the portal vein.
Assessing Your Belly Fat
A simple way of measuring your body fat is to use the waist-to-hip ratio. To do this you need a measuring tape so you can record the size of your hips – measured around the widest area. Then you measure the smallest area around your waist located above your belly button.
Normal waist to hip = 0.85 or less
High waist to hip greater than 0.85.
Normal waist to hip is 0.90 or less
High waist to hip is greater than 0.90
You can also use the waist measurement to further (generally) assess abdominal fat risks for various disease and illness. Because waist size can imply the amount of fat a body is carrying the following can be considered.
Overweight – 31.5 to 34.6 inches
Obese – over 34.6 inches
Overweight – 37 to 40 inches
Obese – over 40 inches
Get Rid of Belly Fat
Three major ways to get rid of belly fat are diet, strength training, and increasing your metabolism.
One very simple way of increasing metabolism and burning off this new belly fat is to switch to coconut oil.