In the past, it was almost expected that women would gain weight with the drop in oestrogen levels after menopause. “Middle age spread”, especially around the belly, was almost considered inevitable after 40, but increasingly we know that we have a choice.
On top of this, a veritable tide of research is coming through to show us that an expanding waistline carries some serious risks to our health. Because the fat can actually go deep around our organs, it can dramatically increase the risks of Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer according to the world-renown Mayo Clinic. For women, a waist measurement of 35 inches (89cm) or more indicates an unhealthy concentration of belly fat and for men, a waist measurement of 40 inches (102cm) or more can be a recipe for trouble.
Much of the fat in the stomach area lies directly under the skin. This is called subcutaneous fat and is not necessarily hazardous to your health. The fat that is harmful is the unseen fat around your organs, otherwise known are visceral abdominal fat.
So reclaim your waistline and reduce visceral fat today by:
1. Eating healthy: Eating more plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and choose lean sources of protein and low-fat dairy products.
2. Blitz saturated fats: Yes, we may love our cheese and butter, but the sad reality is they are all saturated fat so review your dinner menus, ladies! Cutting down and limiting saturated fats also means having a good look at the meats and other high-fat dairy products that are probably gracing our fridge shelves as well.
3. Choose moderate amounts of healthy fats instead: These are found in fish, nuts, seeds, avocados and olive or coconut oils and known as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
4. Lose the sugar: Look at your everyday diet and make some positive changes by blitzing the sugary breakfast cereals, the sugary drinks, biscuits and high fat, high sugar treats. Enjoy them occasionally, not daily.
5. Keep portion sizes in check. The Mayo Clinic points out that even when you’re making healthy choices, calories add up. At home, they suggest downsizing how much you put on your plate. When eating out in restaurants, share meals — or eat half your meal and take the rest home for another day. Also, think about the number of snacks or nibbles you have between meals, these add up!
6. Make some enjoyable exercise part of your daily routine. In the US, it is recommended that most healthy adults undertake moderate aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, for at least 150 minutes a week or vigorous aerobic activity, such as jogging, for at least 75 minutes a week. In addition, strength training exercises are recommended at least twice a week.
7. If you want to lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, you might need to exercise more. If you have a bit of weight you would like to lose, exercise more to begin with then you can start to cut back as you reach your goal.
8. Have a goal in mind like fitting into a gorgeous dress or outfit that you have had to put to one side or the surprise you are going to see on your friend’s faces at an upcoming event or how good you are going to feel the next time someone sees you naked!
If you are interested in reading more on this topic, check out this website.