The Risks of Belly Fat -- and How to Beat Them
A Tough Change to Make continued...
Bulk up. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so the more you have, the more pounds you’ll torch, even when you’re sitting still. Do strength training exercises twice a week. That’s on top of at least half an hour a day for 5 days a week of a moderate activity like walking or biking.
Stand up and move. Despite what Grandma said, fidgeting can be good for you. Sitting all day and all night isn’t. Even if you get enough exercise during the week, it won’t do as much for you if you’re on your rear end for 8 to 9 hours a day. If you sit too much:
- Take short breaks every hour and move your body. Stretch at your desk or take a stroll around the office.
- Gesture while you're talking and tap your foot when you’re sitting down.
- Skip the elevator and take the stairs.
- When you get home, keep the TV off and do something more active.
Don’t skimp on sleep. Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and other health problems. Four or 5 hours a night just isn’t enough. Try to get between 7 and 8.
Keep your cool. The stress hormone cortisol can override your diet and workouts. When it goes through your body, fat deposits relocate to your belly area. Exercise and meditation can both be great ways to dial down your stress to nontoxic levels.
Life Beyond Belly Fat
Seventeen years after joining Dagogo-Jack’s program, Ginger Moore is still going strong. Despite hip replacements and cataracts, she still exercises every day. And she never got diabetes.
Walking, yoga, and Zumba classes help her keep her body, mind, and spirit in shape. “And I try to stay mindful about every single bite I put in my mouth. That’s the biggest challenge,” Moore says. When she craves that comfort food, she’s learned to reach for a banana instead of a cookie, or a slice of watermelon instead of ice cream.
It comes down to personal choice. “You have to decide that this is what you want to do. There’s no magic. You just have to make up your mind that you’re going to turn it around,” she says.