I am a bit overweight and seem to carry most of it in my belly. What can I do to slim my waist?
A. Excess belly fat (called visceral fat) creates serious health risks, even if you are only mildly overweight. So, it's great that you want to reduce it. Visceral fat lies deep inside your abdomen, below the layer of subcutaneous fat just underneath the skin. Visceral fat also can surround the intestines, liver, and other abdominal organs. It takes a multipronged approach to shrink visceral fat. Here are five areas you should address.
Aerobic exercise. Do at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity five or more days per week. Better yet, strive to get 45 to 60 minutes each day. Even if you don't lose weight with aerobics, you can lose visceral fat as well as gain muscle mass.
Resistance training. Aim for two to three sessions per week with free weights, bands, machines, or push-ups.
Carbs and fiber. Choose complex carbohydrates and high-fiber foods over simple carbs found in sugary foods and beverages, especially those containing fructose. Of all carbs, fructose may add the most inches to waistlines as it can trigger cravings and overeating.
Sleep. Adults should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep. Too little sleep or too much are both associated with a greater accumulation of visceral fat.
Stress. Chronic stress raises your cortisol level, which stimulates the formation of abdominal fat. Make time every day for activities that help with relaxation.
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