Why your middle matters

Why your middle matters

 

WHY YOUR MIDDLE MATTERS

Extra padding round the waistline can sneak up on you all too easily. The jeans don’t fit, the love handles start appearing and that hard-won flat stomach starts to vanish.

An over-round stomach isn’t just a matter of limited wardrobe choice. There is strong evidence that abdominal fat is a real health risk.

Time for action!

1. WHY MIGHT STOMACH FAT BE BAD FOR US?

Stomach fat tends to lie deeper within the body than at other locations, where fat is usually just under the skin.

This so-called ‘visceral fat’ may affect organ function and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

In women, it can be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.

2. I’M NOT FAT OVERALL – WHY IS MY WAISTLINE SUFFERING?

Unfairly – it is because we are designed that way.

Ageing and hormonal changes give us all a tendency to the unflatteringly-named ‘middle age spread’.

Stress is another route to rotundity, as the age-old reflexes make us stock up for hungry times ahead. Those hungry times don’t come and then we are overstocked.

3. WHAT DIET CHANGES SHOULD I MAKE?

As always, it is probably just a matter of balancing food intake with energy expended.

Check your portions and watch for those little nibbles that can swiftly become a habit.

Calorie control doesn’t have to be painful.  Fill up on protein and vegetables, go for complex carbs and keep an eye out for hidden sugar.

4. WHAT ABOUT EXERCISE?

Any exercise is good for cardiovascular fitness, flexibility and using up those calories.

A few pounds lost overall are quite likely to go from your middle first.

To finish the job, try these moves. You can’t spot reduce with exercise, but you can definitely tone up wobbly bits:

Go on – wipe out that wobble and whittle that waistline. It isn’t just your belt and buttons that will thank you.

 


The Author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.

Comments

Olga N.
6 July 2016

Olga N.

The discomfort that comes with a muffin top doesn't go away quickly - I've been working to keep mine flat every since because I still have photos of when I was bursting out my jeans! Not even close to the girl in the photo but I'm happy that I've worked hard to get to where I am and don't plan to stop any time soon.

Sasha B.
5 July 2016

Sasha B.

My middle hasn't looked like that for years - if ever! Thank you for the standing abdominal workout, never thought of that before. And every little helps!

Sarah L.
5 July 2016

Sarah L.

That picture is something to aspire to...I really find that excess goes on my middle so I'm working on these ideas. Don't want to be shaped like a barrel when I'm older!

Sasha B.
4 July 2016

Sasha B.

I'm in no way fat but have always had a pot belly. I do worry it's visceral fat because no abdominal exercises I've done have helped and I eat really healthily.

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