To the frustration of many, some body fat just won’t go away.
Women have to deal with the stubborn fats in their hips, thighs, and buttocks while men do their best to rid their bodies of love handles. For both men and women, eliminating belly fat is a common challenge.
Belly fat could either be subcutaneous or visceral. Subcutaneous fat is stored directly below the skin while visceral fat is stored around the abdominal region. The presence of excess abdominal fat poses different health risks like diabetes, heart disease, and different types of cancer.
Waist size is one way to tell if a person has dangerous levels of visceral fat. A waist size of 40 inches is a cause for alarm among men, while a waist size of 35 inches is an indicator of excess visceral fat among women.
More Filipino women at risk
According to the 8th National Nutrition Survey (NNS) of the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), many adult Filipinas have a high waist circumference, a marker of high abdominal fat levels.
In 2013, the percentage of women with a high waist circumference went up from 19.9 to 23.1. The 8th NNS also showed that the number of women with high waist-hip ratio remained high.
The 8th NNS also showed the number of Filipino men with high waist-hip ratio and waist circumference was steadier in the last few years compared to women.
Why belly fat remains stubborn
Though exercise and a healthy diet are crucial to removing belly fat, there are a number of different factors that make abdominal fat harder to manage. Hormones, genes, and age are all complicating variables.
A person’s metabolism tends to slow down as they age. Hormonal changes in both and women also result in more abdominal fat.
When a woman reaches menopause, production of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone slows down and her belly tends to amass more fat. Hormonal changes in a man—specifically the drop in testosterone levels—can make for a larger gut.
Loss of muscle mass makes it harder for both men and women to use its calories. As a result, the abdominal area accumulates more visceral fat.
Stress is another factor behind those unwanted pounds. A high-sugar and high-calorie diet is just one of many behaviors found in stressed people. It is the stress hormone cortisol, however, that causes enlargement of fat cells.
A study also revealed that that those who slept five hours or less increase their chances of gaining 30 pounds or more. The US National Institute of Health recommends seven to eight hours of sleep at night to prevent weight gain.
Body contouring as a choice
For people who can’t shed stubborn fat through diet and exercise, fat-removing procedures remain an option.
Conventional laser devices have been used to remove unwanted fat but thermal or heat-based injuries to the skin that tend to be painful and inconvenient. They also cause significant erythema, a reddening of the skin.
Body contouring is a new clinical application of laser technology. SculpSure®, the latest laser applicator used for body contouring treatment is much smaller and shortens treatment time to 25 minutes. This spares patients from the inconveniences of conventional laser treatment.
SculpSure® has US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for non-invasive lipolysis of the abdomen among individuals with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or less.
Cynosure Inc., the creator of SculpSure®, is a leader in medical devices for surgeries and aesthetic procedures.