Thursday, October 21, 2021

The Never-ending Saga between Fat and the Belly – Part III

Belly fat can be dangerous to your health, however good eating habits can help you gain a healthy body shape. By Vinita Alvares Fernandes

Belly fat is indeed most dangerous to health. So, what are your spare tyre, muffin top or love handles trying to tell you?

Cortisol is a stress hormone which stores fat, many people picture ‘belly fat’, as the outer layer of fat that sits just below the skin on their tummies, known as subcutaneous fat. But the truth is that most belly fat is much deeper than just the ‘muffin top’.

Visceral fat is packed around your organs including your stomach, liver and intestines. Belly fat increases your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease, high cholesterol, pancreatitis and breast cancer.

Pre-menopausal women found that those with more belly fat had lower bone density, a risk factor for osteoporosis and men with more belly fat have weaker bones.

Your body shape can say quite a bit about your health. But it’s important to remember that it’s just one factor. People of all shapes and sizes can be healthy or at risk for problems like heart disease or diabetes. You should see your doctor for regular checkups to test your blood pressure, cholesterol, and other measures of your health.


Reducing the stress in your life could be the first step towards losing weight. Many of us have become used to shallow breathing, which keeps the body in a state of ‘stress alert’. Daily deep breathing exercises will help reduce stress, which in turn reduces Cortisol and stored body fat.

So, get into a regular exercise routine, 30 minutes five days a week is a good start. Try a mix of Cardio (walking, swimming and cycling) and weight training (Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates or light weights).

Eat for a Healthy Body Shape

  • Portion control is the most sensible way to shed unwanted kilos.
  • Trans fats and sweetened foods and drinks seem to boost belly fat while a diet focused on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains and lean protein are advisable.
  • Add foods in its natural state
  • “Stevia” sweeteners, Green vegetables, Free range eggs, Fish, lean meat, Olive oil, Coconut Oil, Avocado oil

You will lose weight without losing muscle.

You will lower your cholesterol and reduce the fat in your liver.

Ten super foods that may ignite your metabolism

Black coffee: Caffeine, the stimulant contained in coffee, has an immediate effect on fat oxidation thus enhancing your metabolic rate.

Grapefruit: vitamin C found in grapefruit is known to regulate fat metabolism and Naringenin, which lowers your blood’s insulin levels. 

Oats: are rich in fibre, which helps you to feel full through the day.

Almonds: Packed with protein, fibre and healthy omega-3 fatty acids, reduce the glycaemic effect of other carbohydrates.

Ginger: contains thermogenic qualities, which causes a rise in your body temperature helping it to burn calories.

Apples: The soluble fibre in apples prevents your cells from absorbing fat and aids water absorption; they are full of vitamins and minerals, which assist in converting fats, carbohydrates and protein into energy.

Cinnamon: contains antioxidants and phytochemicals, which both energise metabolism, it also is a natural stabiliser of blood sugar.

Green tea: contains catechins, an antioxidant that hinders the storage of stomach fat.

Salmon: Full of good fats and high-quality protein, support weight loss and has a positive effect on inflammation and insulin sensitivity.

Dark chocolate: dark (with high cocoa content) consumed in moderation, contains antioxidants, which help rid the body of free radicals and kick-start your metabolism.

The next time you grab something to eat, ask yourself?

“Would my grandmother recognize this?’

In a matter of decades, Covid-19 will be forgotten, but this scourge of the 21st century will proliferate.

Make sure you end the never-ending saga between fat and the belly!

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