header
   
BELLY FAT HEALTH RISKS

How Women Can Lose Weight
in Mid-Section

Women tend to naturally have a higher body fat percentage than men and often have a more difficult time losing weight than their male counterparts. Many husband and wife teams have set out to lose weight together only to have the man slim down faster while the woman fights for every tick off the scale.

What's Your Body Shape?

As cruel as this fate may seem for the female race, ladies do have one big advantage over men – women tend to gain less belly fat than men.

The reason has to do with the different body types men and women inhabit. The female body tends to look like a “pear”—that is, their bodies carry fat in the rear and thighs.

Woman Working Out

On the other hand, men usually take on the “apple” shape as they gain weight. Fat excess is deposited into the stomach, giving them a round appearance.

Some women do have apple-shaped bodies, while some men take on a more pear shape. For the most part, however, men pulled the short straw when it comes to body fat deposits.

While no excess body fat is welcomed anywhere on your frame, belly fat is much more volatile and dangerous then fat in other parts of the body. Pear-shaped body types usually have a lower risk for the types of diseases—diabetes, heart disease, cancer—that are associated with belly fat.

Stomach Fat and Menopause

Women are not entirely off the hook, however. Menopause fundamentally alters the hormone balance and metabolism of a woman’s body.

Often, this will affect fat placement. As if hot flashes, muscle loss and weaker bones weren’t bad enough, many women gain belly fat after menopause. While a woman may have been a pear shape in pre-menopause, menopause could change her into an apple.

A woman may not even see a change in her weight on a scale, but if she begins to store fat in her belly, she risks all the same detriments that come with having a high amount of belly fat.

Self-Assessment

The same strategies that work for losing weight in any other area of the body also work on belly fat.

Take a look at your body in the mirror. Determine where your fat deposits like to hang out. If you are like most women, your fat will be mostly below your hips. If this is the case, then you are a pear, and you have an important advantage over the unfortunate apple-shaped people of the world.

No matter what your body shape, belly fat is an issue for everyone. If you are overweight, you likely have more belly fat than is healthy.

Consider measuring your waist-to-hip ratio to find out if you have an unhealthy amount of belly fat.