MID­DLE MAN­AGE­MENT

Healthy Food Guide (Australia) - - FEATURES -

Why is it that some of us tend to gain weight around our tummy while oth­ers keep it off? Un­for­tu­nately there is no sin­gle an­swer. Eat­ing too much and not mov­ing enough are the usual cul­prits, but there are other fac­tors also at play, such as hor­mones, genes and even stress.

Hor­mones

Testos­terone pre­dis­poses men to ac­cu­mu­late fat around their ab­domen, while the fe­male hor­mone oe­stro­gen causes women to store fat over time around their hips, bot­tom and thighs.

Stress

When you’re ex­posed to chronic stress, your body is lit­er­ally bathed in a flood of the stress hor­mone called cor­ti­sol. Ex­cess amounts of cor­ti­sol cause fat to be stored cen­trally around the or­gans. A study found that even women of a healthy weight are more prone to belly fat if they are highly stressed.

In­sulin re­sis­tance

The main symp­toms of in­sulin re­sis­tance are ex­tra weight around the midriff and dif­fi­culty los­ing weight. When in­sulin lev­els are high, your body finds fat eas­ier to store and harder to burn. Left unchecked, in­sulin re­sis­tance can worsen and may even­tu­ally progress into type 2 di­a­betes.

Ge­net­ics

Every­one is ge­net­i­cally pro­grammed to store fat in dif­fer­ing pro­por­tions around the body. Gen­er­ally, pear-shaped peo­ple store more sub­cu­ta­neous fat in their lower body, whereas the ap­ple-shaped per­son stores largely vis­ceral ab­dom­i­nal fat.

Menopause

Women’s lower oe­stro­gen lev­els dur­ing and after menopause can lead them to store weight around their belly as men do, gain­ing vis­ceral fat and also in­creas­ing their risk of heart dis­ease.

Al­co­hol

It’s not only high in kilojoules — when you drink, your liver is too busy burn­ing off the al­co­hol to burn off the fat. Al­co­hol can also af­fect the hor­mones that reg­u­late sati­ety, caus­ing you to overeat. The re­sult of all this: waist gain.

Food in­tol­er­ances

While you may not be gain­ing weight around your tummy, 90 per cent of peo­ple who suf­fer from ir­ri­ta­ble bowel syn­drome (IBS) report un­com­fort­able bloat­ing, of­ten caused by diet.

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