In a recent study, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that excessive belly fat is as deadly as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.
Pittsburgh neurosurgeon and author of The Longevity Factor, Joseph Maroon, MD, FACS, recommends the following tips to reduce belly fat, thereby promoting improved health and potentially increasing longevity:
>> In general, waist size should be less than 35 inches for women and less than 40 inches for men.
>> Studies have shown that routine exercise can control and reduce the formation of excessive belly fat better that diet alone. At least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise four to five times per week is effective.
>> Consider high linoleic safflower oil to selectively reduce belly fat.
>> Take stress management seriously as a means to control fat storage locations and also to reduce emotional or stress-eating habits that can pack on pounds with high fat and sugary foods.
>> Sleeping less than five hours per night has been shown to be a major risk factor in increasing belly fat stores. Adequate sleep—about seven hours per night—gives the body time to restore needed hormones used up during the day.
>> Toning abdominal muscles can also help reduce belly fat. Although controversial, selective muscle toning can increase overall metabolism and breakdown of belly fat stores.