Obesity is near epidemic proportions in Canada and the United States. It creates many health concerns such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. This article will deal with some of the problems associated with belly fat in particular.
Belly fat is more of a concern for medical problems that the fat you have accumulated on other parts of your body. Your genes contribute to being overweight but, lifestyle has a lot to do with it as well. In fact there is no single cause for belly fat. Fatty foods are just as much to blame as your genetic makeup. If you are eating too many calories even if you are eating non-fatty foods you are adding excess weight to your body. Some of this weight will accumulate in your belly.
Oversized portions of food and alcohol are adding fat to your waistline just like anything else. One thing to note is that alcohol does cause your liver to work hard to burn the alcohol. This means it is spending less time burning off calories. Thus you end up with the proverbial beer belly.
Trans fats are particularly troublesome; they can transfer fat from different parts of your body to your midsection. According to research coming out of Wake Forest University, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, hydrogenated oil from the trans fats is the culprit. Trans fats are found in fried foods, margarine, crackers, pastries, and fast foods.
Some foods are helpful such as blueberries and green tea to burn off belly fat. Green tea contains catechins which stimulate your body’s fat burning process. Also in some experiments, rats which were fed on a high blueberry diet lost belly fat.
We all know that fast foods put the weight on. Certain studies show that when restaurants provide healthier foods people will choose these foods over the fast food.
There is a controversy over diet drinks and their ability to add belly fat. There are studies pointing either way. One theory in particular suggests that diet drinks trick the body into thinking it is consuming sugar and thus contributes to a fat belly. However, there is not enough research done either way to confirm or deny this claim.
Eating fiber can help trim your belly back into shape. Whole grain foods are the best choices; brown breads, pasta, and rice should be chosen over the white variety which adds inches to your waist. Another whole grain food that people often overlook is popcorn. When you choose popcorn just remember not to have it prepared with oil or added butter for flavoring.
It is interesting to note that men tend to store more belly fat than women, but women after the age of 40 catch up when their estrogen levels are depleting.
When you start losing weight, belly fat is often easier to lose than other places such as the buttocks. To help combat belly fat one must exercise. To lose belly fat the best exercises are aerobic exercises. These exercises include: running, jogging, tennis, swimming, and cycling.
“Belly fat appears to be especially bad for the heart. Studies have linked belly fat to heart failure, atherosclerosis, and other cardiovascular problems. It also has been associated with osteoporosis, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, colorectal cancer, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, and other health problems.”