Many people are concerned with stomach fat. Belly fat is often a concern for people wanting to look their best for summer. Now that we are going into the winter months, stomach fat is a concern for those interested in better health. Losing weight can be especially important for anyone concerned about heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and many other serious health conditions.
Of course, fat is a natural part of our makeup. It is something we need. But as with many things related to our health, too much is not good. In this article, we will talk about both how much is healthy body (and stomach) fat and how to safely get rid of excess belly fat.
What is a Healthy Amount of Fat in People?
There are actually three kinds of fat, each with its own role in the human body. The fat most people concern themselves with is white fat. White fat is made up of large, white cells which are stored beneath the skin and near organs. It is most often the belly fat people want to rid themselves of.
While this fat is useful in hormone function, too much can be harmful. Knowing whether one has a healthy level of fat or not is measured as BMI. BMI is the body mass index and using this, a percentage of fat can be determined. The percentage differs depending on many factors including age, type of normal activity, and gender.
The American Council on Exercise recommends the following general percentages of body fat in men and women.
- Non-athletic men = 14-24% body fat
- Non-athletic women = 21-31% body fat
Of course, knowing your percentage of body fat is important to knowing how much of it you could safely lose. Just as having too much belly fat is unsafe, having too little can cause medical problems as well. Click here for a good BMI calculator.
How to Safely Reduce Stomach Fat?
Knowing how much to lose is only part of the equation. To lose weight is difficult for some. Most people know that there are only two ways to safely lose weight or burn fat: Exercise and diet.
Yet, if someone is significantly overweight or has not exercised in a long period of time, starting a diet or exercise regimen could be dangerous. We recommend speaking with your Kymera Primary Care Physician prior to starting any program of exercise or diet.
That said, here are six useful tips for losing unwanted belly fat.
- Avoid sugar and sugary drinks – Sugar added foods and sodas often account for a large amount of the accumulated fat in people. Just cutting this from our daily intake can have remarkable effects.
- Eat more lean meat protein or plant protein – protein is needed for building muscle and more muscle helps burn fat.
- Eliminate carbs from your diet – Although it may not be possible to entirely cut all carbs, cutting out refined carbs like white bread (including regular tortillas) and candy, will work wonders.
- Eat plenty of fiber, especially natural plant fiber – The best fiber to consume comes from vegetables, fruits, and legumes. Also healthy are whole oats (provided they are not swimming in butter and sugar).
- Exercise regularly – Especially helpful are aerobic exercises like running, walking, or swimming. Just 20 minutes a day is enough to slim and trim.
- Keep a journal of daily food intake – Often, just keeping track of what we are consuming can be enough to encourage us to cut back on the things which are contributing to our stomach fat. The adage, “Watch what you eat” works.
Need Help Losing Belly Fat?
If you have not exercised in a long time or have gained considerable weight, losing belly fat could be dangerous and difficult. Make an appointment with a Kymera Primary Care Physician today if you believe you need help.
We can help you lose that stomach fat safely. Also, if there is a medical condition affecting your ability to lose weight, this can be determined and addressed.
Too, if you used the BMI calculator above and found that you are in the range of “obese,” it is especially important that you see your physician before starting any diet or exercise program. Please, let us help. Request an appointment now.