Hey! While a perfectly flat stomach may not be within your reach, a healthier body certainly is. And when it comes to losing belly fat, the most successful approaches are typically a combination of a healthy diet with regular exercise.
How to determine your belly size
A waist measurement of more than 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women indicates an unhealthy concentration of belly fat and a greater risk of health problems.
Measure your waist:
- Stand and place a tape measure around your bare stomach, just above your hipbone.
- Pull the tape measure until it fits snugly around you, but doesn’t push into your skin. Make sure the tape measure is level all the way around.
- Relax, exhale and measure your waist, resisting the urge to suck in your stomach.
Causes of belly fat:
- You will pack on excess pounds; including belly fat if you eat too much and do not exercise enough to match the number of calories that you take in.
- As you age, you lose muscle mass; especially if you are not physically active. And that will decrease the rate at which your body uses calories. That way, you need to make extra effort to maintain a healthy weight. According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines men in their 50s need about 200 fewer calories daily than they do in their 30s due to this muscle loss.
- Your genes also can contribute to your chances of being overweight or obese, as well as play a role in where you store fat. However, if you balance the calories you consume with activity, it can help prevent weight gain, despite your age and genetics.
- Drinking excess alcohol of any kind; including beer can cause you to gain the beer belly because alcohol contains calories. Recommendations for drinking alcohol is up to two drinks a day for men, and one drink a day for women.
What to do to reduce belly fat
- You should eat more offruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and fish.
- Even when you’re making healthy choices, calories add up. At home, slim down your portion sizes. In restaurants, share meals or eat half your meal and take the rest home.
- You should drink more water and green teas.
- If you want to lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, you might need to exercise more. Try and include physical activity in your daily routine. If you are a healthy adult, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends that you engage in 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, add strength training exercises if possible, at least twice a week. Losing belly fat takes effort and patience. To lose excess fat and keep it from coming back, aim for slow and steady weight loss.
If you’re ready to banish your excess belly fat, schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider for help to get started and to stay on track.