Having a ‘spare tyre’ around belly worse than being obese, a long-term scientific study has found.
The Annals of Internal Medicine in the US found that normal-weight men with extra fat around their middles were twice as likely to die than those classed as overweight or obese.
The damaging effect on women was slightly less pronounced but still increased their risk of death by up to 40 percent.
This is because having a “spare tyre” is connected with the accumulation of visceral fat around the internal organs
Unlike subcutaneous fat, which lies just below the skin, deep-lying visceral fat is associated with many health problems, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
The good news is that you can do something about it. And no, the right response isn’t to put weight on all over!
Eating less calories and burning off calories is the way to go. A weight loss of five to 10 percent of your total body weight can help reduce visceral fat stores.
You can work with a dietitian to design a nutrition plan for you that focuses on improving your health.
To start with, increase your exercise – any activity that gets your heart rate up and you moving for an hour is good. This should also be mixed with some high-intensity training.
For every 10% of overall weight loss, you lose 30% of your visceral fat – and you can target it effectively with a 60-minute workout involving rowing machine sprints, light weight reps, squats and press-ups, for example.
Weight loss takes time. Don’t expect to lose weight overnight – you didn’t gain it overnight.
So maintaining motivation is key – and a good trainer is invaluable for this.