A little bit of belly fat protects the stomach, intestines, and other delicate organs. But too much fat is not at all healthy. Extra fat cells in your abdomen (aka visceral fat) generate adipose hormones and adipokines — chemical troublemakers that travel to your blood vessels and organs, where they cause inflammation contributing to problems like heart disease and diabetes.
But, don’t be disheartened. There is good news. Every pound you shed can help reduce your girth.
"Once women start losing weight, they typically lose 30 per c ent more abdominal fat compared with total fat," says Rasa Kazlauskaite, MD, an endocrinologist at the Rush University Prevention Center in Chicago.
Here are nine common pitfalls — and ways to undo them: