|Doctor’s Talk: Fat to Fit Tips to Burn Belly Fat and Get in Shape in a Safe and Healthy Way|
“Belly fat” or visceral fat is more than a nuisance that makes us feel uncomfortable and lowers our self-esteem. It is also considered a silent killer linked to a number of harmful health risks such as metabolic syndrome. Today, I would like to share with you the must-know facts about this excess fat, as well as some useful tips to get rid of it by changing your daily habits. It will help you get back in shape, say goodbye to belly fat, and ultimately live a healthier, happier life.
Risk Factors of Visceral Fat and Expanding Waistline
Visceral fat is a type of body fat stored within the abdominal cavity, wrapping itself around vital organs. Having too much of it is extremely dangerous, as it could increase the risk of health issues such as cardiovascular diseases and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes, hypertension, and diabetic kidney diseases.
A study conducted in 2017 examined the association between body mass index (BMI) and Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) risk in Thai adults . BMI was calculated using self-reported weight and height at baseline (Weight (kg)/ Height (meters2)). The study showed that men who have a BMI of < 25 kg/m2 are two times more likely to develop T2DM than those with a BMI <20.75. Meanwhile, women with a BMI of < 25 kg/m2 are six times more likely to develop T2DM than those with a BMI <20.75. A BMI cut-point of 22 kg/m2, one point lower than the current 23 kg/m2, would be justified for defining T2DM risk in Thai adults.
Going for a CT or MRI is the most accurate way to assess visceral fat. However, there is an easy way to find out if you have an unhealthy level of visceral fat: waist circumference measurement. The healthy waist measurement for women is less than 80 cm and less than 90 cm for men.
Burning Fat through Exercise
Our stomach contains abdominal fat and muscles. We need to do exercises to burn belly fat and tone muscles. The best for this are cardio exercises or endurance training workouts which burn calories. Try to build your endurance with low- or moderate-intensity cardio workouts for at least 30-45 minutes.
If you want to burn fat quickly, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts may be a good option. A typical HIIT workout involves exercising intensely for short periods, followed by periods of rest or lower-intensity exercise. For example, you can start with fast running and then alternate it with walking at a relaxed pace. However, HIIT is not suitable for everyone, as it is a high-intensity exercise that may place a lot of stress on your muscles, joints and heart.
To tone your muscles, I would also recommend a 360-degree core strength workout for a stronger, more balanced core. You’ll have great abdominal and back strength plus improved flexibility.
*It is highly recommended that you consult your physician before you start any exercise program.
Counting Calories and Choosing a Healthy, Balanced Diet
Aside from exercising, eating a well-balanced diet can also play an important role in helping you lose belly fat. Fat is stored not only in the stomach, but in different parts of the body as a result of excess calorie consumption. Knowing the calorie content of what you eat and drink, as well as how many calories you need in a day, would be an effective approach. The average recommended calories per day is 1,800-2,500 Kcal for men and 1,500-2,000 Kcal for women. Thais can consult the food and drinks calorie list compiled by Mahidol University . For example, Thai basil chicken stir-fry with rice is 188 Kcal per 100 grams, or 500-600 Kcal per serving.
We should be aware that if we eat fatty food and do not burn enough calories, we will gain excess fat as a result. So we should be more diligent in counting our calories and in choosing healthy, balanced food which contain a reasonable amount of carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and fluid. If you get proper nutrition from balanced meals or high quality meal replacements , your hunger can be curbed and your food cravings and snacking reduced, helping you meet your weight loss goals.
Changing your Lifestyle for Healthy Results
A healthy and active lifestyle is key to help you get back in shape, and improve or maintain your overall health. Getting good quality sleep is also essential in order to help you recover from fatigue, relieve pain and balance body systems. Drinking lots of water can also help improve the circulation of blood in your body, keep cells healthy and nourish the skin. Moreover, it is important to eliminate all the waste in your system regularly to maintain overall good health. And make time for some creative activities or travelling – anything that will bring your spark back. It can help keep you from overeating and eventually, can boost your self-esteem.
Making lifestyle and dietary changes and exercising regularly may require time and effort. But this is a safe and effective way to lose belly fat and improve your overall health in the long term. Write down everything you eat and do this week, then compare it to the suggestions above. You will start to notice the improvements gradually. Lastly, be kind and patient with yourself, stay fit and active, and enjoy a healthier, happier life.
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| Post by : Theeratorn