So you have a wobbly, jiggly tummy that you would like to tighten and tone? You are NOT alone. While The Healthy Mummy’s 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge can help you combat tummy fat with healthy recipes, meal plans and exercises – it’s probably never occurred to you to ask yourself ‘how much belly fat is too much fat?‘ and ‘when is my belly fat considered unhealthy?’
Again, you are NOT alone.
In this article, with the help of Healthy Mummy nutritionist Cheree Sheldon, we highlight how much belly fat is too much belly fat and two ways you can measure your tummy fat.
The problems with tummy fat
Belly fat is a problem on several levels.
Cosmetically not many of us are happy with having an extra layer of belly fat, but there’s also the deeper layer of fat, known as visceral fat, which surrounds our organs and can pose a great health risk.
Visceral fat is metabolically active, it releases hormones, inflammatory markers, and fatty acids into our system and leads to higher LDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, high blood glucose and high triglycerides.
Diseases and health issues linked with excess visceral fat include:
- Insulin resistance
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Breathing problems
2 ways to measure if you have too much tummy fat
There are two main ways to measure if you have too much belly fat. These include:
- Waist circumference and;
- Waist to hip ratio.
Measure your waist on your bare skin just above your hipbone. Breathe in and out, then take the measurement. Do the same at your waist.
For a woman if your waist circumference is at 31 inches or more, and for a man if you are 37 inches or more, than this is a marker for health risks.
To work out your waist to hip ratio divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement (eg waist is 30 inches and hip is 35 inches, then 31/35= 0.88), the health risks are greater if your ratio is 0.85 for women and for men: 0.90
One study of 44,000 women found that those with large waists, even if they were at a low BMI, had the greater risks of heart disease and cancer.
Ways to reduce tummy fat
There are many ways to attack belly fat. However, the best recipe for blasting belly fat is by improving your diet, moving more and managing stress.
To get you started you could check out the below:
- The 14 best foods to BLAST belly fat
- 5 best exercises for blasting belly fat
- 11 hormones and enzymes that impact belly fat
Need some help to blast your belly fat?
Check out the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge
With more than 4,000 healthy, family-friendly recipes and more than 350 exercises and 24/7 support from fellow mums to help you achieve your goals.