Lose weight: reduce belly fat and thereby reduce health risks

Lose weight: reduce belly fat and thereby reduce health risks

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Diabetes and heart disease: Abdominal circumference is crucial for the health risk

Being overweight can promote illness. It favors the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure and metabolic disorders such as diabetes. But how can you specifically reduce belly fat?

The body mass index (BMI) can be used to calculate whether you are too fat, but the measurement number does not take into account where the fat is located. But that is exactly what is decisive for the health risk. The Federal Center for Nutrition (BZfE) points this out in a contribution.

Being overweight is bad for your health

Numerous scientific studies have shown that being fat is unhealthy. The circumference of the waist plays a very special role here.

If the additional fat is stressed on the hip, i.e. on the thighs, legs and buttocks, the additional plus on the scales is less harmful to health, according to the BZfE.

But the fat that accumulates on the internal organs, especially in the abdominal cavity, is more metabolically active: the so-called visceral fat particularly favors the risk of cardiovascular diseases and the development of metabolic disorders such as diabetes mellitus or increased cholesterol levels in the blood.

The risk of diabetes is ten times higher for overweight people and 30 to 60 times higher for obese people. Not enough for men: The typical "beer belly" can also be accompanied by a lack of testosterone.

For larger belly girths and a high BMI, the following applies:

Everybody can easily determine exactly where the fat is located by measuring the waist circumference with a tape measure. To do this, the measuring tape is placed in a straight line around the stomach at the level of the navel with the upper body free.

The waist circumference should not exceed 88 cm for women and 102 cm for men.

The BMI can be calculated by dividing the body weight in kilograms by the height in meters squared. The BZfE also provides a simple BMI calculator on its website.

There is a health risk for those who have a larger abdominal circumference and a BMI over 25 and thus overweight. The recommendation here is: Lose weight and see your family doctor for another risk check.

Move enough

But how can you specifically reduce belly fat? In principle, this is only possible if the total body fat decreases. In addition, the stomach can be shaped and strengthened within certain limits with specific exercises.

Exercise is helpful when losing weight. This not only burns calories, but also increases the blood flow to the tissue. Everyday movement, such as walking or riding a bicycle instead of using the car, climbing stairs instead of taking the elevator and evening walks instead of sitting in front of the TV, is helpful here.

Endurance or weight training are of course even more effective. Special exercises can be used to build and strengthen the abdominal and trunk muscles. In addition, more pounds can be lost by building muscle.
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Proper nutrition helps with weight loss

However, exercise alone does not help against obesity. Nutrition is more important. Above all, the type and amount of calories we consume is to blame for the fact that many people accumulate too much weight.

If you want to reduce belly fat, you should avoid certain foods. Saturated fatty acids, which are found primarily in animal products such as meat, sausages, cheese and butter, lead to obesity, increased blood lipid levels, deposits in the vessels and fatty liver.

In order to let the pounds shed, you should rely on unsaturated fatty acids. Good fat suppliers are, for example, avocados, legumes, fish, coconut oil and also the fat from flax seeds or nuts.

In addition, the good from the bad carbohydrates can be distinguished if you want to get rid of excess kilos. With quickly usable carbohydrates such as those found in white flour products, ready meals, sweets, soft drinks and sometimes sweet fruit, the blood sugar level rises quickly and you quickly get hungry again.

Slowly usable, complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, slowly raise blood sugar levels and satiate you for longer. They can be found in wholegrain products, vegetables and legumes, among others. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Video: How To Lose: Lower Belly Fat With 10 Easy Ab Exercises (September 2022).