As we age, our bodies change in the way it processes fat. This is simply a hard truth that we all have to come to terms with. And if you're like the rest of us, you store the majority of your fat in the belly. Even if you're active and eating a healthy diet, an expanding waistline may be very frustrating and discouraging. As seen on The Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Oz explores the reasons why we carry a spare tire around the waist as we age and what we can do to battle the bulge.
According to Dr. Oz, the number one reason why belly fat is so easy to gain and hard to lose is due to hormones. For those of us approaching or are in the midst of menopause, the decrease in estrogen changes where we store our fat - the visceral fat finds a new home in the belly. Stress from life changes may also lead to an increase of cortisol, "the stress hormone," which has also been attributed to increased bulge around the waist.
Aesthetics aside, the health risks of increased visceral fat includes Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease. Recent research released at the Radiological Society of North America 96th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting, showed that women with heavy visceral fat in the belly area add fat to bone marrow causing women to have weaker bones.
It is therefore, imperative for women who are starting to carry their fat around the waist to make a few lifestyle changes to turn back or stop the growth of visceral belly fat. Here are 3 ways that Dr. Oz suggests to change/add to your lifestyle:
- Change Up Your Exercise
Traditional sit-ups and crunches are not going to cut it when it comes to midlife belly. Alternatives such as pilates and yoga encourage muscles to stretch and strengthen. Instead of repetitions, think stretching and holding those abdominal muscles for a longer period of time, such as in a plank position.
- Avoid Transfats!
At all costs! Transfats are the enemy - they actually increase the visceral fat around the waist and may even work to redistribute other fats on your body to your belly. Just say no to transfats. We understand that avoiding all packaged foods is not feasible for most people but these contain partially hydrogenated oils and enriched flours, which again, are not belly fat busting friendly.
- Eat More Foods That Battle Belly Fat
It's true - you can eat food that fights the fat around your midsection! According to the MayoClinic.com, monounsaturated fats (MUFAS) are rich in many foods and oils. Many MUFAS are liquid in room temperature, such as olive oil and safflower oil. Other foods that burn fat are nuts, whole grains, avocados (in moderation) and green tea.
Not only will these three tips help manage and potentially rid the visceral fat at your waistline, they will also give you more energy and make you happier. Another option that may address the hormonal changes you may experience is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement treatment. BHRT treats hormonal imbalances with natural hormones in place of chemically manufactured hormones. Designed from the same molecular structure of the hormones made by your own body, they are created from natural extracts such as soy or yams. A benefit to BHRT is the fact that they are natural and the body metabolizes them with little or no side effects, unlike their synthetic counterpart, which may be powerful and apt to develop harsh complications.