Abdominal obesity consists of an uneven and localized distribution of fat in the abdomen. It is a problem that needs to be taken seriously because a large part of the vital organs is located in the abdomen. The abdominal fat surrounding these organs can, therefore, be responsible for serious illnesses. Also, it increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
How do you know if you suffer from abdominal obesity?
Several factors can tell if you have this condition. Firstly, the fat must be located mostly in the belly, which gives an apple-shaped silhouette usually found in men. If the fat distribution is located on the hips and thighs, it is not abdominal obesity.
Abdominal obesity can be measured by waist circumference. If the waist circumference is between 80 and 88 cm you are overweight. If the waist exceeds 88 centimetres, it may be abdominal obesity. We advise you, however, to confirm the diagnosis with a complete lipid check-up as well as a blood pressure measurement.
Attention: BMI is not a tool for detecting abdominal obesity, as it does not take into account the distribution of fat.
What are the causes of abdominal obesity in women?
In general, the problem is hormonal, as hormones determine where fat will be stored in the body. A good hormonal balance thus ensures the woman a good distribution of fats. A low level of estrogen and progesterone and a high level of testosterone will cause excess fat to be located in the belly. It is also important to pay attention to the level of insulin, the fat-storage hormone. Indeed, it can increase according to the number of calories ingested.
Abdominal obesity in women can also be due to stress. Indeed, if the level of cortisol – the stress hormone – is high, it will promote the appearance of abdominal fat. Excess abdominal fat can also occur from the age of forty or during the menopause, as the body changes and the distribution of fat are altered.
How to fight against excess abdominal fat?
This excess fat can be reduced through better stress management if the problem comes from the level of cortisol in the body. Meditation, a massage, a good night’s sleep or even a leisure activity can help to reduce stress and relax. One can also learn sophrology to better manage stress through breathing.
If excess abdominal fat is due to a poor diet and a lack of sport, it is necessary to change your habits. The best thing to do is to reduce the amount of fat and sugars ingested during the day. It is also necessary to restart the practice of a sport you enjoy at your own pace. This can be done through targeted exercises for fat loss. However, a sport such as intensive cardio training could have negative effects on abdominal fat loss. Indeed, it is a major source of stress.
Some foods are also very beneficial because they are rich in flavonoids. They then make it possible to reduce the level of cortisol in the blood. One can thus introduce blueberries, currants, nectarines or dark chocolate to one’s diet. On the other hand, be careful to always consume in moderation to avoid excess sugar.
Also read: 10 foods to burn abdominal fat