Life isn’t always fair and the battle against the bulge is often a greater concern for women than men. As women enter their middle year, ‘middle-aged spread’ becomes a concern; the proportion of fat to body weight for women tends to increaser more than it does for me. During the menopausal years, those stubborn pockets of fat park themselves around the midsection.
Preventing the inevitable
Women used to accept these changes as a fact of life. But it doesn’t have to be that way and for health reasons, they shouldn’t be. Abdominal or visceral fat is a key concern because of the associated health risks. Visceral fat lies deep within the abdominal cavity, padding the spaces between abdominal organs and has been linked to an increased risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and breast cancer.
When fat accumulates in the lower body, this is referred to as having a pear shape. When it is located in the abdominal area, it’s referred to as an apple shape. Where it ends up is determined by several factors including heredity. Estrogen production decreases after menopause are also linked to an increase in abdominal fat.
Studies also indicate waist circumference may be a better predictor of health issues than measuring body mass index (BMI), which only provides overall body fat.
Eliminating abdominal fat
Exercising and diet may not eliminate visceral fat. Why? Hormones heavily influence abdominal fat, especially the hormone cortisol. Even though you may be hitting the gym regularly and eating all the right foods, you may experience difficulty getting rid of stomach fat with traditional methods, especially as you age.