Belly Fat, Causes, Treatment, Information
An expanding waistline is sometimes considered the price of getting older. For women, this can be especially true after menopause, when body fat tends to shift to the abdomen.
Yet an increase in belly fat does more than make it hard to zip up your jeans. Research shows that belly fat also carries serious health risks. The good news? The threats posed by belly fat can be reduced.
What’s behind belly fat
Your weight is largely determined by how you balance the calories you eat with the energy you burn. If you eat too much and exercise too little, you’re likely to carry excess weight — including belly fat.
However, aging also plays a role. Muscle mass might diminish slightly with age, while fat increases. Loss of muscle mass also decreases the rate at which your body uses calories, which can make it more challenging to maintain a healthy weight.
Many women also notice an increase in belly fat as they get older — even if they aren’t gaining weight. This is likely due to a decreasing level of estrogen, which appears to influence where fat is distributed in the body.
The tendency to gain or carry weight around the waist — and have an “apple” rather than a “pear” shape — might have a genetic component as well.
Why belly fat is more than skin deep
The trouble with belly fat is that it’s not limited to the extra layer of padding located just below the skin (subcutaneous fat). It also includes visceral fat — which lies deep inside your abdomen, surrounding your internal organs.
Although subcutaneous fat poses cosmetic concerns, visceral fat is linked with far more dangerous health problems, including:
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal cholesterol
- Breathing problems
Research also has associated belly fat with an increased risk of premature death — regardless of overall weight. In fact, some studies have found that even when women were considered a normal weight based on standard body mass index (BMI) measurements, a large waistline increased the risk of dying of cardiovascular disease.
Measuring your middle
So how do you know if you have too much belly fat? 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.
For women, a waist measurement of more than 35 inches (89 centimeters) indicates an unhealthy concentration of belly fat and a greater risk of health problems.
Belly Fat Treatment with Liposonix
Dr. Sergio Verduzco offers Liposonix®, a non-invasive fat reduction treatment. Liposonix uses high-intensity focused ultrasound energy to destroy targeted fat cells without surgery. Compared to more invasive fat reduction procedures like tummy tuck and liposuction, the Liposonix cost and risk factor are minimal.
This treatment is designed for people who are close to their ideal shape, but have stubborn areas of fat that just won’t go away no matter how much they exercise or diet. The procedure takes about one hour.
The treated fat tissue is removed through the body’s natural healing process, leaving the patient with a thinner, more contoured waistline. Liposonix reviews boast results. Patients typically resume normal activities immediately after the procedure, and a healthy diet and exercise program are recommended in order to maintain results.
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