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Please HELP! What do I do about my Belly Fat?

Excessive belly fat (a waistline over 40 inches in men or over 35 inches in women) can destroy your metabolism and damage your arteries. It is also an early sign that you may be on your way to becoming diabetic, developing high blood pressure and, later, heart attacks or stroke. It also increases your chances of colon and breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. So what do you do?

Given the importance of belly fat, it is natural for people to try to get more information by googling it. If you google “belly fat” you may be directed to websites with advertisement for pills, supplements, shakes and drinks that “guarantee” you will lose belly fat. Should you believe them? Like most health-related issues, there are no easy fixes for abdobesity (excess belly fat); if they existed there would have not been as many people with a big belly walking around. But, in order to be fair about the web, one can find credible sites from reputable hospitals like Cleveland and Mayo Clinic, professional medical organizations like the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association or recommendations from professionals like physicians, registered nurses, registered dieticians or exercise physiologists. None of these credible websites will ever claim that you can lose your excess belly fat in a few weeks and keep it off for the rest of your life with a minimum effort.

In my book Abdobesity, I explain the seriousness of the belly fat and show how it is damaging our body’s metabolism and arteries’ health. As opposed to fat under the skin or around our hips (which is metabolically innocent), belly fat is directly wired to the liver, our chief metabolic factory. Under the constant negative influence of the belly fat, our liver is turned into a production line of chemical poisons that induce inflammation all over our body and promote cholesterol plaque development in our arteries; along with the other risk factors (smoking, high blood pressure, high LDL, diabetes, aging and family history) these cholesterol artery plaques mature overtime and they may become unstable as unpredictably as an earthquake. If this happens a heart attack, a stroke or sudden death follow with little or no warning. This is why a healthy lifestyle and early and aggressive treatment (with medications, if necessary) of high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol or diabetes are so important; to effectively protect our artery health, however, they must be implemented as early in life as possible.

Don’t let abdobesity (excess belly fat) and the catastrophes that may follow it irreversibly damage your health and ruin your life. Espouse the elements of a healthy lifestyle; monitor your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol; and nurture a close relationship with your primary care physician. Start by measuring your waist; if your numbers are in the red, don’t wait; take action. And, if you ever find your daily battle against abdobesity difficult or impossible, think of those who need you and believe in you: how will they be affected if your health takes a turn for the worse?

 

To your health!

Dr. Anthony