Most of us living in Thailand have some interests or concerns over health and fitness issues, so Inspire will each week share some of the most relevant articles for you
Excess fat around the belly is related to a number of health implications, but simple lifestyle changes can help reduce your waistline and several health risks.
Belly fat and your health
Belly fat is a type of visceral fat – which describes fat that is surrounding the internal organs in your abdomen1. While being overweight increases your chance of developing several lifestyle diseases, having this type of fat around your abdomen in particular can put you at a higher risk of these diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer2.
Research into weight distribution in the body has found that it’s not just your weight that matters, but where you carry it. In one study3, those with a normal body mass index but a large waist-to-hip ratio were found to be at greater risk of dying than those who carried their weight in other parts of the body, such as the legs or hips4.
Four ways to reduce belly fat
Visceral fat can affect anyone, but excess fat around the belly usually occurs due to a higher intake of calories than are burned.
A healthy waist circumference for men is less than 94cm (37 inches), while for women it’s less than 80cm (32 inches)5.
As we get older, our metabolism slows and we may lose muscle and gain fat more easily. This can make it feel harder to lose weight. But despite this, it is possible to maintain a healthy weight, no matter your age.
Reducing your belly fat can be done healthily and gradually by adopting a healthy eating plan and exercise regime.
One thing to note is you can’t ‘spot reduce’ fat. In other words, you can’t target just one area of the body to lose weight from, such as the abdomen. Instead, a whole body approach is recommended.