Diet. That word makes your hair stand on end? We say: eat to lose weight! Yes, we mean it! But [...]
A little hip gold is no reason for a diet: after all, adipose tissue regulates your body temperature, protects your internal organs and serves as an energy store for your body. Body fat is therefore important for your organism. However, an excess of internal abdominal fat can lead to health risks. Find out here how much abdominal fat is normal and healthy – and how best to lose stomach fat.
When should you lose stomach fat?
First of all, it is important to distinguish between subcutaneous (“under the skin”) and visceral (“concerning the inner abdominal cavity”) body fat.
Subcutaneous abdominal fat
The subcutaneous fat is located directly under the skin and behaves passively in the metabolism. As subcutaneous fat tissue it keeps you warm and serves your body as an energy store – it is therefore essential for life. The healthy body fat percentage of a woman is between 20 and 32 percent; that of a man between 8 and 18 percent.
Visceral abdominal fat
The visceral fat – the inner abdominal fat – is located in the abdominal cavity. It protects the internal organs such as the liver, intestines and pancreas. It is an important energy reserve and extremely active in metabolism: With the release of chemical messengers, visceral abdominal fat is involved in the regulation of blood sugar levels and blood fat values. Too much of it can cause your blood pressure to increase, your blood fat levels to be adversely affected, and your blood sugar levels to increase. In the long run, too much visceral abdominal fat can also promote cardiovascular disease, vascular disease, diabetes mellitus type 2 and cancer. From a medical point of view it is therefore important to reduce visceral abdominal fat to a healthy level.
However, visceral abdominal fat is only recognizable from a certain value onwards in a larger abdominal circumference. With various methods such as bioelectric impedance analysis or hydrostatic weighing, you can measure your general body fat percentage and find out whether there is a need for action from a medical point of view, regardless of the abdominal circumference.
The first step: Measuring the abdominal girth
Put on a measuring tape at the level of your navel and measure your abdominal girth at this point by putting the tape around your body. For women from a value of 80 centimeters, for men from 94 centimeters, there is a strong suspicion of a too high proportion of abdominal fat. The risk for the above-mentioned illnesses is considered to be greatly increased if women exceed 88 centimetres and men 102 centimetres.
A body fat balance or caliper are also useful tools for keeping track of your general body fat percentage.
Get rid of some abdominal fat: How it works
If you want to lose abdominal fat, it depends on an active fat burning. It is almost impossible to lose fat in a targeted way – but you can reduce your general body fat percentage quickly and healthily with a few simple measures. A balanced diet and enough exercise will get your metabolism going and stimulate fat burning – and this is how it goes for the abdominal fat:
- With a light calorie deficit you stimulate fat burning.
- Therefore, use foods that have a positive nutrient balance. Many types of vegetables are among these foods – and you can eat plenty of it.
- On the other hand, you should avoid simple carbohydrates, which for example are found in white flour products, many ready meals and sweets – they have an unfavourable effect on your blood sugar level, your sensation of satiety and your intestinal flora. Gradually replace them with adequate alternatives.
- Whole grain products, pulses as well as raw fruit and vegetables are rich in fibres: They stimulate your metabolism and keep you full for longer.
- Drink enough water: This will promote your digestion and boost your metabolism. Per day it should be at least 1.5 liters of still water.
- Regular strength training increases fat burning: One kilogram of additional muscle mass increases the basal metabolic rate by up to 100 calories per day.
- Also endurance training plays an important role: Even 60 minutes of moderate physical activity per day contribute to reducing the body fat percentage and thus also your abdominal fat.
- If you don’t have the time for an extensive sports program: Just a quick walk to the bus stop will get your cardiovascular system going and will activate your metabolism.
- The “stress hormone” cortisol counteracts fat loss. Therefore you should not only move more, but also relax sufficiently. Enough sleep, yoga, meditation or breathing exercises can help to lose abdominal fat.
Burn abdominal fat: Let your intestinal bacteria work for you
Even a bacterial imbalance in the intestine can lead to increased fat storage. Your intestinal flora can get out of balance for various reasons: Unbalanced diet, intake of antibiotics or chronic stress can be responsible for this.
With INTEST.pro from BIOMES you get an overview of your intestinal flora. The intestinal analysis is done according to the most modern biotechnological standard.1 With the test you find out whether certain bacteria in your intestines make fat burning difficult and you learn how you can support useful bacteria with your diet. Simply send a small stool sample to our laboratory. With personalized recommendations about your diet the nutritionists of BIOMES could help you to reduce your body fat and to lose stomach fat.