Being a real sports-a-holic, when I look at other people on the street I look first at the abdominal area. I simply cannot help it. Beyond the fact that it is nice to have a flat abdomen, it is extremely unhealthy to have layers of bumps covering your muscles.
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How dangerous is abdominal fat?
Well, other than the fact that there are clinical studies done over the years that abdominal fat leads to death, there are no other concerns.
In the USA a study was conducted for 14 years on a sample of 12,785 people. Both BMI (body mass index) and W2HR (Waist to Hip Ratio – abdomen circumference versus thigh circumference) were taken into account. At the end of the 14 years 2562 people died. The researchers analyzed their death and found that most had a normal BMI but had excess abdominal fat despite other risk factors: smoking, age, diabetes, etc.
Abdominal fat has been shown to be metabolically different from other types of adipose tissue. Visceral fat (or abdominal fat) results in the release of hormones that promote insulin resistance, a condition that leads to diabetes. According to some studies, fat on the legs and bottom is associated with a healthier metabolic profile, being totally opposite to visceral fat.
If you are interested in where you are, you can calculate your W2HR here. For women it is normal to be below 0.85 and for men 0.90.
How do you reduce your abdominal fat level?
First of all, if you ask yourself this question, you should change your lifestyle. Not the idea, but the lifestyle.
- give up sausages of all kinds, dairy products in simple form, legumes, cereals, bread, sweets, alcohol
- sport has to be part of your life, as is going to work
- eat 5-6 meals a day, this means 3 main meals and 2-3 snacks depending on how active you are
- eat a little at a meal and more often
- try an alkaline diet, meaning many “leaves”, salads, lemon, vegetables
- eat quality proteins: meat of any kind, seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, chia, almonds, macadamia etc), fermented cheeses (yogurt, kefir, bell pepper etc).
There is no localized fat-loss
So, don’t be fooled by wonderful massages, electrical impulses that build your 6-packs and magical tea that help you lose weight. The only healthy long-term weight loss, which leads, by default, to low abdominal fat, is that achieved through a healthy and well-rounded lifestyle and some (or any!) form of physical activity.