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Here's my problem : my BMI is 18.5, so I can't put myself on a diet, but I have a thick layer of belly fat ( I'm an apple shape women ). If I do some exercice, I'll not only lose belly fat but also fat in other areas ( which will make legs, thighs etc. very skinny )... So.. What can I do to lose my belly fat according to my situation ?!
Question sent in anonymously
Fitness Expert replies:
Dear Wonder Walker
Thank you for your email regarding your ‘belly fat’ – believe me, you are not alone with this problem! I don’t know your age, but rest assured that females whether post-children or pre- and post menopause often find that they do accumulate belly fat as their oestrogen levels fluctuate. It is generally labeled as either visceral fat (fat that accumulates around the internal organs and is underneath the abdominal fat) or abdominal fat which lies on top of the visceral fat. Unfortunately as you are finding out, it is one of the hardest areas to target and if you increase your cardio then depending on your genetics and your body-type, you may find that you lose fat in other areas rather than the ‘problem’ area.
Spot-reducing is not an option, but people get this mixed up with ‘spot-toning’. Toning means that you are stimulating the muscles underneath the layer of fat to strengthen using some form of ‘over-load’ or resistance. So, abdominal toning and core-resistance exercises will help develop and tone the abdominal muscles lying underneath the fat layer. The other thing that will help will be to continue walking at a moderate intensity and ‘tighten’ your abdominal muscles as you walk.
Fat loss in specific areas is also associated with a correct nutritional plan as well. So stick with a low saturated fat intake and increase your consumption of fruits and vegies so you meet your carbohydrate needs this way and not through high sugar sources. Minimise alcohol and cut down on highly refined foods such as white bread. Without checking out your nutritional intake, then it’s a bit difficult to recommend specific changes to you but this is something that you might want done by a nutritionist.
Whatever the reason for this increased accumulation of ‘belly-fat’ the unfortunate thing is that it does pose some cardiac risk to women. Hence it is really important to maintain your exercise, add some resistance training and revise your nutritional intake. Surgical intervention is the last resort, but it is also an option.