Why is my weight settling around my stomach?

Science has not yet provided all of the answers to this question. However, what is clear is that abdominal obesity (fat around the stomach) plays an important role in our health. The fat tissue that builds up around your waistline releases chemicals in the blood that may cause your body to become resistant to insulin. This can make your blood sugar go up and may contribute in diabetes. It also changes how your body handles different types of cholesterol, causing more fats to build up while depleting your levels of good cholesterol (HDL). Your blood pressure also may go up. All this sets the stage for a higher risk of heart disease.

What can you do about it?

Avoiding fat build-up around your waistline is very important so it's important to your health to take measurable steps to decrease it. Here are a few basic things you can do:

Watch your calorie consumption. Stay within your calorie recommendations and to help you stay full during the day, focus on foods with high fiber and water content such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Limit the amount of high fat and processed foods, which tend to be calorie dense.

Exercise! Getting moving can also help you get rid of your belly fat. Discuss your exercise plan with your doctor and start a slow and steady program that includes cardio, strengthening and flexibility exercises.

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