Here’s Why It’s Important To Lose That Belly Fat

And it's not about weight


Chandré Davids |

Visceral fat or better known as belly fat is linked to increased inflammation and other chronic diseases, like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. In a recent study, they found that having an excess amount of belly fat is linked to an elevated risk of heart disease — especially in women.

READ MORE5 Basic Rules You Need To Follow To Erase Belly Fat

Waist-To-Hip Ratio Don’t Lie

The waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) is a quick measurement that can give you an insight into your health. The more fat you carry around your waist the higher your risk of developing certain health conditions. To measure your waist-to-hip ratio divide your waist circumference by your hip circumference. If the total is over 0.85 you have a greater chance of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and fertility problems.

The following chart shows how the World Health Organisation classifies the risk of being affected by weight-related health conditions according to WHR

Health risk Men Women
Low 0.95 or lower 0.80 or lower
Moderate 0.96-1.0 0.81-0.85
High 1.0 or higher 0.86 or higher

READ MORE: The 3 Most Important Changes To Make If You’re Trying To Lose Belly Fat

The Dark Underbelly

Belly fat is made up of subcutaneous and visceral fat. Subcutaneous fat is often found in your thighs and bum and is relatively harmless — it’s the visceral fat we need to worry about. Visceral fat accumulates around abdominal organs and has potentially damaging effects to your health.  This is because visceral fat is thought of as ‘active fat’ as it can influence how hormones function in your body. This active fat disrupts how your vital organ react which can result in digestion problems, insulin resistance and increased risk of stroke. And get this —  you don’t have to be a certain weight or BMI to have visceral fat.

READ MORE: This Is What A Perfect Day Of Eating Looks Like If You’re Trying To Lose Tummy Fat

Lose The Belly

It’s really no secret that losing belly fat is not easy. And in all honesty, there really isn’t a way to specifically get rid of visceral fat. No magic pill or shake will dissolve that belly fat. If you’re gonna tackle that hard-to-budge fat deposit, the only way is with good ol’ hard work. But no worries you don’t have to spend an hour in the gym or suffer through eating dull salad. Making simple small changes can make all the difference. Ensure that you’re doing 30 minutes of moderate to intermittent exercise a week and practise good eating habits.

If you need help losing that excess belly fat, give the official Women’s Health weight loss programme a go. It’s designed by experts this exercise and meal plan will help you shed that stubborn weight in a healthy way — no pills or meal replacements.

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