Our body is divided into two compartments: Fat mass and fat free mass. Ideally, the amount of body fat in normal weight men is 13-21% and is 23-31% in normal weight women. Moreover, there are two major types of fat deposition: one mainly in the abdominal area and this is called the apple shape – android obesity which is mainly in males, and the other type is called the pear shape or gynoid obesity where fat is accumulated mainly in the legs, thighs and buttocks. The later type is mainly in females. Studies have shown that independently of BMI or total fat, abdominal obesity is associated with many chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, HTN, gallstones and some cancers.
One way to measure your abdominal fat is to take the circumference of the waist. Normally, waist circumference in women should not exceed 35 inches, and in men not more than 40 inches.
So far, studies could not identify one cause of abdominal fat. Many factors contribute to this finding such as genetics, diet, age, and lifestyle. Therefore, changing one’s dietary and lifestyle habits can help fight against belly fat.
- Read food labels
- Reduce saturated and trans fats
- Increase fiber by increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables, and consuming whole grains instead of processed
- Control your calories and portion sizes
- Engages in 30 to 60 minutes of exercise most days of the week.