Getting rid of your belly bulge is important for more than just vanity's sake. Excess abdominal fat - particularly visceral fat, the kind that surrounds your organs and puffs your stomach into a "beer gut" - is a predictor of heart disease, type-2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and some cancers. If diet and exercise haven't done much to reduce your pooch, then your hormones, your age, and other genetic factors may be the reason why.
There are three types of fat: triglycerides (the fat that circulates in your blood), subcutaneous fat (the layer directly below the skin’s surface), and visceral fat (dangerous belly fat). Visceral fat is located beneath the muscles in your stomach and poses many dangers to your health when there is too much of it.
Belly fat doesn’t just sit there; it can have negative impacts on almost every organ in your body through the productions of excess hormones and chemicals. Having too much visceral fat can put you at risk for many other health issues such as cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes, and colorectal cancer.
How do you know if you have too much belly fat?
An easy way to determine if you have too much belly fat is to measure yourself at home. Take a measuring tape and wrap it around your bare stomach, directly above your hip bone. The tape should be snug but not too tight. For women, a measurement of 35 inches or more indicates an unhealthy amount of belly fat. For men, a measurement of 40 inches or more indicates an unhealthy measure.