There are many factors that play a part in why you would gain weight in the upper and lower abdomen. This belly fat can be a result of not eating right, a lack of physical activity, and high levels of stress. Belly fat is the accumulation of fat cells around your abdomen, and it is broken down into two forms.
- Subcutaneous is the fat that sits right under your skin.
- Visceral is the fat that surrounds your organs.
The visceral fat can be more harmful to your health than the subcutaneous. To reduce these fats, you can make dietary changes as well as lifestyle changes to lose it.
Why Fat in Your Upper and Lower Abdomen is Dangerous
A person who is overweight is at risk for many major diseases. Having too much fat in your upper and lower abdomen puts you at risk for:
- Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease
- Heart disease
- Colon cancer
- Heart attacks
- Breast cancer
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
Excess fat in your upper and lower abdomen is not the same as that which settles on your thighs and hips. Belly fat puts you at a much higher health risk than the fat settled in other areas of your body. When it comes to having excess fat, the location of this fat makes a difference to your health.
When you poke your abdomen, the fat you can feel is called subcutaneous. The other ten percent that makes up the fat in your belly is visceral. The visceral fat is only a small proportion of the fat in your abdomen, but it plays a larger part in your health.
When a woman goes through her middle years, the proportion of fat to body weight seems to increase more so than it does in men. This fat storage also appears to favor the upper and lower abdomen, over the hips and thighs. Your waistline can grow even if you don’t increase your weight gain as the visceral fat begins to push against your abdominal wall.
Body fat was once thought of as little more than a storage depot for fat cells waiting to be used for energy. Today, research has shown that fat cells are biologically alive. One of the most important discoveries is that the fat cell is an endocrine organ that secretes hormones and other molecules. These hormones and molecules have far-reaching effects on your other tissues.
It is now realized that the main risk of visceral fat is its influence on the production of cholesterol. Cholesterol releases free fatty acids into your bloodstream and liver. There are also many chemicals that connect the visceral fat to a host of diseases.
Subcutaneous fat, the fat you can pinch or grab in your upper and lower abdomen, also produces a proportion of molecules as well as the hormone leptin. Leptin plays a role in your brain to suppress appetite and burn stored fat. When you are trying to control the excess of these fats because your upper and lower abdomen have increased in size, you can use a tape measure to keep tabs on how much is excessive.
To determine how much excess fat you have on your upper and lower abdomen measure your waistline at the level of the belly button. When doing your measurements, you should always measure in the same place. The bottom of the tape measure should be set at the top of the right hip bone in line with your armpit. Without sucking in your belly, pull the tape tight enough to compress the area around your belly. For women, it is considered excess fat if your circumference in thirty-five inches or more. Another indication, because not all women are average in bone structure is the fit of your clothing. If your pants are beginning to get too tight, you know you have added extra weight around your abdomen.
What Causes Fat to Settle in the Upper and Lower Abdomen?
There are lots of names for someone who has too much fat in their upper and lower abdomen. Some of those names include muffin top, tummy pooch, and potbelly. None of these are attractive, and neither is the extra pounds of flesh around your middle. Wanting a flatter stomach is not only an appearance issue; it has also been proven to be a health issue.
Your eating habits play a significant role in why you are gaining too much fat in your upper and lower abdomen, or any other area of your body. Sugary foods like candy and pastries play a large role as well as what you drink, such as sodas or fruit juice. These drinks and foods lead to:
- Weight gain
- A reduction in your ability to burn fat
- A slow down of your metabolism
Other factors that contribute to weight gain are low protein diets as well as high-carb diets. Protein will help you feel fuller for a more extended period of time, and when you do not have enough lean protein in your diet, you will tend to eat more.
Foods with too much trans fat are responsible for causing inflammation and can lead to obesity. There are many foods on the market that contain trans fat, including fast food and pastries such as muffins and crackers. The AHA (American Heart Association) recommends that you replace your trans-fat foods with healthy whole-grain foods, polyunsaturated fats, and monounsaturated fats. Check the labels of the food products you buy to find these alternatives.
Another factor that plays a role in excess fat of your upper and lower abdomen is consuming too much alcohol. Alcohol not only causes you to put on the extra weight and increase your fat levels, but it can also cause liver damage and inflammation. Recreational alcohol consumption is a global activity, and it plays a significant role in weight gain. Light to moderate alcohol intake has been linked to adiposity gain, and heavy drinking is linked to weight gain. Some studies have shown that too much alcohol consumption can lead to obesity.
Exercise, or lack of it, will cause you to put on weight. Exercise is how your body burns calories, and if you consume more calories than you burn off through exercise or physical activity, you will gain weight.
Where your extra pounds settle on your body is related to your genetics as well as the factors listed above. Some of us are prone to having an apple shape figure; others may have a more pear-like shape. Body trends will follow family trends, and you may see your body shape in your relatives.
Aging plays a significant role in the changes your body will go through. If you know these changes are coming, you can have more control over how they will affect your body. When your muscle mass drops due to your age, it will make burning calories more difficult and shedding those extra pounds becomes harder.
Why Fat in the Upper and Lower Abdomen is More Than Skin Deep
The fat in your upper and lower abdomen or belly is not just the extra layer of padding, preventing you from fitting into your clothes comfortably. It also includes visceral fat, which is deep inside your abdomen and surrounds your organs.
The subcutaneous fat is the fat, which is causing you cosmetic issues. This fat is what you feel, and others can see around your upper and lower abdomen. Visceral fat is the one responsible for the dangerous health problems you could face. Research is linking belly fat with an increased risk of dying early, regardless of how much you weigh overall.
Calories and How to Keep Them From Settling in Your Upper and Lower Abdomen
Most of the time, a person thinks of calories in terms of fattening foods. The dietary world defines calories as the amount of energy a food provides. If you are consistently taking in more energy than your body needs, it will turn to fat, and you gain weight. Taking in too little energy will decrease your weight, but without exercise, you lose muscle mass.
The amount and type of food you eat are what determines the amount of calories you will consume. When people are on a weight-loss program, the number of calories in a food is their deciding factor on whether or not they will eat it. But how and when you eat also makes a difference. Your body uses energy differently at different times of the day. Other factors in the calorie burn depends on how active you are, how efficiently your body will use the energy, and your age.
- Facts on your calorie intake and their use
- A recommended calorie intake will depend on your height, sex, lifestyle overall health, and age
- A recommended calorie intake for women in the United States is generally around 2,000, and for men, it is 2,500
- When you eat a big breakfast, you help with weight maintenance and reduction
- Your brain uses approximately twenty percent of the energy used in your body
- Other factors that will play a role in appropriate calorie intake depending on your bone density, muscle-fat ratio, and age
- A meal consisting of 500 calories from vegetables and fruits will provide you more health benefits and keep you feeling fuller for a more extended period of time than a 500 calorie snack or pop
Although all this information on fat, calories and how they affect your body may sound daunting, there are things you can do to control the excess fat from appearing on your upper and lower abdomen as well as other areas of your body:
- Exercise is an essential part of keeping fat from forming around your upper and lower abdomen. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends you perform a moderate aerobic activity such as taking a brisk walk for about 150 minutes or more every week. It takes about 10,000 steps a day for you to prevent weight gain, so if you want to keep that waistline trimmed down, you need to get out and walk.
Lifting weights is another workout that will help flatten the belly. When you build muscles, you increase your metabolism as your body is spending more calories maintaining those muscles. You will also strengthen your bones to keep you more active and healthy as your age. A study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which reported lifting weights twice a week was sufficient to prevent fat gain in the upper and lower abdomen area.
- Check your food portions at mealtime. Even if you are eating healthier foods, calories can still add up if you are overeating. Slim down your servings if you want to slim down your belly.
- Drink more water. Replace your beverages that contain sugar with water or switch to drinks that have artificial sweeteners.
- Eat healthier foods. Choose foods that are plant-based such as vegetables, fruits, and whole-grains. Limit your intake of saturated fats and sugars and choose lean sources of protein and low-fat dairy products.
- Reduce your stress levels. Facing strict timelines, getting stuck in traffic, or other factors that cause you to stress during the day can cause excess belly fat. You need to find a way to reduce the amount of stress you deal with in your life.
- Get more sleep. A lack of sleep can cause the fat in your upper and lower abdomen to become excessive. If you are getting less than six hours of sleep a night, you can reduce your waistline by increasing your sleep time to eight hours a night. Studies have proven those who sleep less than six hours a night are more prone to gaining weight. Those who sleep at least seven hours, but preferably eight hours, gain less weight. Getting enough sleep affects your energy levels, and by getting enough rest, your body is ready to use more energy.
Alternative to Losing Fat in Your Upper and Lower Abdomen
Diets and exercise are essential to maintaining a healthy body. For some; though, no matter how much you improve your eating habits or how many times you climb on that treadmill, you still can’t lose that fat in your upper and lower abdomen. For those of you, who are struggling with excess belly fat, Coolsculpting is your solution to a slimmer waistline.
Coolsculpting can freeze your fat cells in a non-invasive procedure, also known as cryolipolysis. CoolSculpting can get rid of the fat in your upper and lower abdomen without sit-ups and with no downtime after the treatment. The process freezes the fat cells in your upper and lower abdomen. Once frozen, the cells die, and your body eliminates the dead cells through a natural elimination process.
CoolSculpting is Fat Reduction Without Invasive Surgery
Coolsculpting is an FDA approved treatment to help you achieve a sculpted look to your body by removing excess fat from your upper and lower abdomen. With the use of an approved device that precisely targets fat cells in your body, the device is able to freeze the fat cells, which then die. The procedure permanently eliminates fat cells from your body, as once they are frozen and die, they get eliminated by your body and do not return.
Coolsculpting is a great alternative to other procedures such as liposuction, laser lipo, or smart lipo. You suffer no downtime, it is non-invasive, and treatment typically takes approximately an hour.
- Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure done to remove fat. It is a surgical procedure done on the hips, thighs, back, arms, face, buttocks, and belly to improve a person’s shape. Anesthesia is used during this surgery, which does come with some potential risks.
- Laser Lipo is a minimally invasive cosmetic treatment, which uses a laser to melt fat found under the skin. After a laser lipo treatment, patients typically require a few days of downtime to recover.
- Smart Lipo is a new procedure being used to remove excess body fat and firming loose skin. This treatment uses a single laser fiber put into the patient’s body through a cannula. The fat is literally melted away, and stubborn fat deposits are removed to tone the body.
How Does CoolSculpting Remove Fat From Upper and Lower Abdomen?
CoolSculpting uses cryolipolysis method to freeze fat cells in your upper and lower abdomen. When fat cells are frozen, they will die and disintegrate. Once the cells have died and broken down, your body is able to flush them out naturally. This process will give you a natural-looking fat loss in the area you have had treated.
Patients who have difficulty getting rid of unsightly excess bulges such as those that settle in your upper and lower abdomen, choose CoolSculpting to get rid of those excess fat deposits and attain an ideal body shape. This procedure allows you to shrink stubborn areas of your body that have gone flabby or bulged due to the extra weight gain. These areas are often hard to target with diet and exercise, so having the fat cells removed through this freezing process helps you to reach that thinner, more sculpted look you have always wanted.
Questions About CoolSculpting and How You Can Benefit
Q: When should I have a CoolSculpting treatment?
A: Coolsculpting is not a weight loss program, and it is not used for persons who are obese. This treatment works for individuals who are within twenty to thirty pounds of their ideal weight. It works well on these individuals to get rid of stubborn fat deposits they have not been able to shed through exercise or diet.
Q: How do I know CoolSculpting will work for me?
A: If you have stubborn fat deposits on your upper and lower abdomen, or other areas of your body that you have not been able to shed through diet and exercise, this treatment may be your answer. If you can pinch or grab the fat around your belly, then you are likely a good candidate to have CoolSculpting done on your upper and lower abdomen.
Q: What areas of the body can I have CoolSculpting done?
A: Coolsculpting works well on several areas of the body, and these are the areas most men and women consider problem spots. The areas CoolSculpting will work well on include the upper arms, flanks, back fat, upper and lower abdomen, chin, thighs, buttocks.
Q: How do I prepare for a CoolSculpting treatment?
A: If you have been approved and gotten scheduled for a CoolSculpting treatment, you should avoid anti-inflammatories at least one week before the procedure. These medications can increase your risk of bruising in the area where you received treatment. Dress comfortably to your appointment as you will be sitting or lying in one place for the duration of the procedure, which is normally one hour. Your clothing should also be loose fitting to allow the doctor access to the area being treated.
Q: What are the risks or side effects of CoolSculpting?
A: CoolSculpting is a preferred procedure because it is non-invasive, which makes it a relatively low-risk treatment. There has been no record of any long term or serious side effects from having this treatment performed. There are some mild and temporary side effects associated with CoolSculpting, which generally disappear within a week of the procedure which includes:
- Itchiness in the treated area
- Mild discomfort in the area that was treated
- Mild bruising
- Tingling sensations
Some patients have experienced a higher level of discomfort. Should you have more pain than you are comfortable with, your doctor at Fat Freeze Sculpting can offer pain medication to make you feel better.
Q: What can I expect after a CoolSculpting procedure?
A: You may experience some tenderness and swelling in your upper and lower abdomen or wherever you received the treatment. These symptoms will not prevent you from performing your daily routine, and they will typically go away within a week. You will be able to look forward to watching your results appear and begin to see a natural-looking, gradual loss of the fat on your upper and lower abdomen. This gradual loss will allow for your skin to adjust so that you don’t have any loose or sagging skin on your belly.
Find a Los Angeles CoolSculpting Practice to Remove Upper and Lower Abdomen Fat
If you are ready to get rid of the bulge on your upper and lower abdomen or anywhere else on your body, call Fat Freeze Sculpting at 310-919-5296. Call and talk with one of our knowledgeable staff members to schedule an appointment and find out if you qualify for having fat deposits removed from your body. We are ready to help you sculpt your body into the shape you have always wanted.