Celebrity trainer and best-selling author Jorge Cruise isn’t shy when it comes to talking belly fat — and how he, 40 pounds overweight years ago, carried a lot of it. “Belly fat robs us of confidence at any age,” says Cruise, who is 52, with a very flat belly. “But more than that, our waistline is our lifeline, particularly as we get older. You can have hip fat, butt fat and arm fat, and still be relatively healthy. But if you have belly fat, it will crush your health.”
Researchers agree: Belly fat, specifically something called visceral fat, is harmful to your health. This fat in the belly area can lead to health problems including cardiac disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, dementia and stroke. What’s more, it’s an indicator of premature death.
This is the type of fat that affects the health of millions of Americans, with more than 50 percent of U.S. adults struggling with it, according to researchers from the National Institutes of Health.
If your belly protrudes, you’re likely one of them, though a more accurate way to determine if you’re at risk is to pull out the tape measure. A waist measurement of 35 inches or more for women or 40 inches or more for men is an indication of bad belly fat.
Exercise to get rid of belly fat
Experts say the only way to get rid of belly fat is a comprehensive lifestyle approach that incorporates both diet and exercise. “The ideal approach involves addressing your overall lifestyle, including eating a balanced diet of whole, naturally fiber-rich foods, being regularly active, prioritizing sleep, not drinking excessively and managing stress,” says Cynthia Sass, a private practice dietitian who works with clients long distance and specializes in nutrition for mental and physical performance and longevity.
To learn of other ways to help prevent or get rid of unwanted belly fat, from AARP, CLICK HERE.