Can you pinch an inch? Women, Lose your Body Fat

The number of overweight and obese women are steadily rising. Dr. Beverley Balkau, director of research at INSERM in Villejuif, France led a 2007 global study showing that 30 percent of women are overweight and another 27 percent are obese.

If you ask 10 women: "What is your least favorite body part?"- most would say their belly. Loosing belly fat is hard, but understanding what causes belly fat will help you know what to do. Here are some common causes:

Depression & Stress (emotional eating)
We all deal with depression, stress, anxiety, and anger differently. Many people associate food with comfort and happiness. Therefore, we use it as an emotional anesthetic for unwanted feelings.

Today's woman is often career oriented and success driven. Double standards in the workplace cause many to be workaholics. Furthermore, some of these women are trying to balance a career with a family.

Nutritional & Awareness Ignorance
Food labels are often misleading. Most people think if something says "low fat," it is okay to eat, but this is wrong. Manufactures use ticks like: decreasing the calories based on smaller portions, claiming fat free based on food weight vs. content, claiming 0 grams of trans fat per serving vs. 0 grams of trans fat, etc.. If you are not aware of what is making you have belly fat, loosing belly fat is hopeless.

The fast food grab and go is convenience for time, but not so convenient to loosing belly fat. High energy foods provide a one stop meal, but are loaded with sugar and carbohydrates.

Fad Diets
It is a proven fact that fad diets actually cause you to gain more weight. A fad diet either starves you or totally eliminates a food source. Then, when you inevitably do not live up to the diet, you overindulge. Thus, you regain twice the weight that you lost.

Of course, there are other factors like: disease, genetics, life sustaining medication side effects, etc.. that can not be changed. However, all of the listed causes can be eliminated with lifestyle changes. There is not a magical solution loosing belly fat, but here are some suggestions to get you started:

Exercise Five Days/Wk.
Incorporate 30 minutes of aerobic exercise.

Adopt A Healthy & Sustainable Diet.
Ask your doctor to weigh you and give you a guide for caloric intake. Your height, age, and current weight will determine how many calories you need per day. Buy a basic nutrition book that will guide you to know what food sources are saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, etc..

Replace Emotional Eating With Constructive Outlets.
A psychologist, stress management program, or behavior specialist may be needed to help you explore how to do this. Anything from gardening to acupuncture can serve the purpose.

Keep A Diet Diary.
This will help you find your dietary problems and reinforce the changes you make.

Ask About Weight Loss Pills.
These should only be tried after diet and exercise alone does not work. Do not take any OTC weight loss drugs. They are not FDA approved. Talk to your doctor about prescription Orlistat.

Most of us know that we have that extra inch or two, and think about loosing that belly fat all the time. We often claim to lack the motivation or time. But, think about the decreased time when obesity causes diabetes or heart disease!

This article was written by Marc Hill. As always, I am looking for the whole mind/ body approach when it comes to solving life's problems. My review of weight loss programs can be found at: