Let’s face it, folks. We aren’t exactly doing great in terms of general health and physical well-being. Obesity and type 2 Diabetes have scaled up to epidemic proportions everywhere in the world. In America, there are more obese women in their 40s and 50s than obese men in the same age group. And to make things worse, this is an ever-widening chasm. Across al age-groups, the females have taken a clear lead when it comes to this race to Obesity Mountain. And the scary thing is that we aren’t even taking into account the overweight group. So, let’s try to discuss the details regarding this epidemic and then figure out how to lose stomach fat for women.
Men vs Women
First, we need to understand few things that set obesity and body fat deposition. For men, the chest tends to store fat a lot, resulting in the so called “Man-Boobs”. And then, we have the tummy region and in extension, the love handles and the low back. In women, the hips, thighs, tummies, calves and back of the arms are the problem areas. The face, neck and stomach region are common for both. The difference in fat storage comes from hormonal differences for men are more testosterone driven creating a lot of visceral fat (fat in and around the internal organs) while the estrogen dominant females have more subcutaneous fat (fat under the skin).
Importance of Fat in the body
Granted, fat is actually important for the body to function well in terms of
- Protection against starvation – The fat in the body is a fail safe to keep us up and running even when food resources have depleted. A necessary survival mechanism for our ancestors in the harshness of the wilds back then but an utter nuisance these days.
- Protection of organs and cushion the joints
- Secretion of certain hormones.
- Shielding against the cold.
- Boosting of the brain.
- Promotion of absorption of Fat-Soluble Vitamins- A, D, E, and K.
Let’s take a look at some of the factors responsible for the deposition of extra fat.
- Overeating – One of the most common factors for the rapid increase in the rate of obesity and overweight categories is a simple phenomenon in the kitchen that we know very well called “Overeating”. The rising popularity of fast food, packaged food and other unhealthy eating options has made us blind to the real nutritious food. For comparison, a slice of pizza (about 300 calories) is never enough to satiate our hunger while a big bowl of vegetable salad with chicken as topping can creep up to a measly 100-130 calories in comparison. Juices filled with sugar can be equally problematic.
- Genetics – Rare but not impossible. The changes in a single gene, namely MC4R also known as Melanocortin 4 Receptors in our body when bound by alpha-melanocte can stimulate appetite causing a rare form of obesity. However, this is very uncommon and shouldn’t be taken into account when it comes to normal folks.
- Sedentary Lifestyle – The growing prevalence of a sedentary lifestyle confined to chairs or bed is another factor that should be addressed. In combination with Overeating, physical inactivity creates an obesogenic environment, which is conducive to the growth of obesity and overweight.
- Psychological Factors such as stress, anger, unhealthy relationship with food such as eating disorders, stress eating, binging etc and certain personality factors.
- Diseases and Medications – Certain medications like antidepressants, anticonvulsants, some histamines and diabetes medications promote the storage of fat in our bodies. Whereas diseases such as insulin resistance, hypothyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome etc can also cause obesity.
Symptoms of Obesity and Over Weight
This is fairly simple for all we need to have is a mirror and then everything will fall in place. It’s easy to self-diagnose this. However, we have to remember that for women, a Body Mass Index of 30 and above is a clear indication of Obesity and 25-29.9 is Overweight category. Some other symptoms that show how our body weight and fat percent have started affecting us is by observing these few symptoms –
- Low physical endurance and stamina.
- Back Pain.
- Joint aches.
- Psychological signs like low confidence, morale, self-esteem.
- Physical Isolation.
- Lack of motivation and Lethargy.
However, we can’t expect to get optimal performance and health beyond the lower range of BMI. For example, when the body fat percent falls below 15% for females, depleted levels of Leptin can affect menstrual cycles. It can also lead to other serious effects like hypogonadism, hypoglycemia etc in addition of hair loos, constipation, poor focus etc.
Complications and Risk Factors
- Type 2 Diabetes – 90% of patients suffering from Type 2 Diabetes are either overweight or Obese. This statistical data speaks volumes and is a red flag that warns us against the unnecessary accumulation of body fat.
- Hypertension or High Blood Pressure – A measurement of 140/90 mm Hg is taken to be high in blood pressure. The more mass we accumulate the higher the blood pressure as it needs more blood to supply oxygen and nutrients.
- Metabolic syndrome – It is a cluster of conditions like increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels. It increases the chances of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.
- Cardiac Diseases
- Gynecological Problems
It also affects the quality of life by promoting Depression, Sexual problems, Fatigue, Social Isolation, Guilt etc. It’s now imperative that we know how to lose stomach fat for women. However, the real goal we have to strive for overall fat loss. Spot Reduction is a myth and it can be really frustrating to believe this when we start out the journey to reducing fat.
This is the stuff that you have been waiting for. As we all know by now, being fat can be a hassle in almost any way. There are two factors that can contribute to overall fat loss.
- Healthy Eating – If you are overweight or obese, we have to learn how to count calories. Period. There is a sweet spot in between eating in surplus and eating way below the threshold that gives us a nice 1% reduction in our BMI or about 1-2 pounds a week. And once we lock on to that number, it’s a joy ride up to a healthy life. Weight loss does not equate Fat loss. No woman in their right mind would choose a muffin top look and a huge calorific deficit will bring us to that instead of the coveted washboard abs and tight booty. So, have a great meal plan (I will be updating the site with proper meal plans for this), use a great TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) like https://tdeecalculator.net/, maintain a slight calorie deficit and we are well on our way to being healthy. Also remember that Intermittent Fasting Protocol is a powerful tool in our arsenal when it comes to fat loss. Do check out my site for more info on Intermittent Fasting.
- Exercise – Yes, girls you need to incorporate some strength training in your health regimen. It’s not entirely necessary to be honest but having a good exercise plan in motion can give you a lot of traction when it comes to health and cosmetic purposes. You don’t want to look like a sack of loose skin and flesh after you shed those stubborn adipose tissues. When it comes to exercise selection, I strongly profess either Traditional Strength Training with barbells, dumbbells and Kettlebells or High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) with either bodyweight or a TRX Strap System. Don’t worry, you won’t turn into Thor by picking up a 5 pounder. It takes years of hard work for even the most Testosterone abundant male to reach such stages of “Muscular Godhood”. The reason I chose Strength Training or HIIT is because it can burn a ton of calories while maintaining and adding more muscle in the frame, a wise addition to your fortress of health. Traditional Cardio is also good but it tends to focus more on endurance and can give you the muffin top look everyone dreads so much. I will update another article with an exercise regimen for women, though you will get excellent results with any program.
Some Helpful tips
- Monitor your weight at least twice a week. Make sure you take it in the morning after relieving yourself in the washroom and wear minimum clothing. Use the same scale for more accuracy.
- Have a reliable partner to undertake this journey with you. He/She can become a powerful ally.
- Avoid triggers and stay away from factors that will lead you to break everything and go back to your original state.
- No to extreme and fad diets.
- Hydration, hydration and hydration. Shoot for 4 liters a day.
It is not easy and it sure will not come fast. But it will come and when it does, you will enjoy it thoroughly. The satisfaction of beating Obesity or being overweight is beyond words and the morale and confidence boost you will derive from this are reasons enough for you to go through this. If thousands around the world can do it, why can’t you? And no excuses either!!! Please leave comments down below suggesting the topics you want me to cover.