Exercise a Must for Losing Deep Belly Fat
Diabetic women can't rely on diet alone, study shows
March 4, 2005 -- When a woman with type 2 diabetes wants to lose her belly,
exercise is her best friend.
Even if she diets perfectly, eating all the right foods in ideal amounts,
her waistline may not budge unless she works out. Exercise is required to lose
excess fat deep in the abdomen, says a new study.
Why is it so important to lose abdominal fat? Researchers have shown that
having even a little extra fat in the wrong places can increase the chances of
developing disease. Fat deep in the abdomen, called visceral fat, poses a
greater health risk than fat on other parts of the body, such as the hips.
Exercise has already been shown to help obese people without diabetes lose
visceral fat. Now, the verdict is in for overweight diabetic women: Get moving
to get rid of this dangerous fat.
Fat metabolism is altered in women with type 2 diabetes, write the
researchers. That's why they focused their study on the effects of exercise in
obese women with type 2 diabetes.
Focusing on Food and Fitness
Thirty-three obese, postmenopausal women participated. On average, they were
about 57 years old and had had diabetes for at least one year.
The women were in for a major change when they enrolled in the 14-week
study. None had dieted or exercised regularly in a year.
The women were divided into three groups. Some women were given a
low-calorie diet high in healthy monounsaturated fats like olive oil.
The dieting women also got nutritional consultation, a week's worth of menu
ideas, and a weekly meeting for motivation and support.
Another group was given a supervised aerobic exercise program consisting of
walking 50 minutes three times a week, occasionally doing other activities for
variety. The third group followed both programs.
Before and after the study the women got MRI scans to see how much visceral
fat they had.
Diet alone did not reduce visceral fat. Only exercise alone or exercise plus
dieting reduced visceral fat.
The researchers say their study demonstrates the importance of exercise in
reducing visceral fat in the treatment of women with type 2 diabetes.
The study appears in the March issue of The Journal of Clinical
Endocrinology & Metabolism.