There are many difficult things in this life but of the lot, losing excess belly fat is arguably tops.
Also known as abdominal obesity, excess belly fat is one of the most prevalent — and fastest growing —body problems in the Western world. Over the first decade of the 21st century, the rates have gone up from 46 to 55 per cent.
Although it is generally believed to be a problem that swells with age, abdominal obesity isn’t really uncommon amongst young people with 24 per cent of men and 41 per cent of women in their 20s having excess belly fat.
In Nigeria, excess belly fat is seen as a symbol of affluence especially among the middle class. To accurately depict an oil-rich politician in a cartoon would be to bestow on that cartoon a potbelly. For this reason, these kinds of men are unsurprisingly highly sought-after by women — but only as a second choice; a Sugar Daddy.
Even with this wealth-induced glorification, excess belly fat is a time bomb waiting to rupture. The thing about belly fat is that it is more than just the padding below the skin. Excess belly fat also includes the visceral fats that camp inside the abdomen and surround the internal organs.
Apart from the fact that it isn’t exactly flattering, belly fat also releases adipokines. Adipokines are harmful compounds that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Belly fat affects the regulation of glucose and appetite control — this results in the person succumbing to gluttony. Add that to the person’s poor metabolism and you have weight gains as the result. A recent survey revealed that 84 percent of people with excess belly fat were metabolically unhealthy.
What causes the belly fat?
The idea behind belly fat being a wealth or status symbol in Nigeria is hinged on the fact that the affluent are those that have — and eat — good food. Although the Sugar Daddy title is merely a humorous metaphor, it is as close to the truth as can be. Except for the “good” food part.
As previously stated, one of the most common causes of excess abdominal fat is overeating. Especially if the foods are sugary or high on calories. Age is the next big factor. With age, muscles are lost and this loss messes up the body’s usage of calories.
Regardless of its metaphoric relevance, not many people like excess belly fat. In a study, a whooping 84 per cent of men and women said they want to lose belly fat.
But losing belly fat isn’t easy at all. In fact, losing excess belly weight is as hard as losing money is easy.
Many try and give up. But you shouldn’t. The hard truth is: losing belly fat requires a lot of discipline — and patience. It takes time. And it takes more than just working out. Some of your favorite models like Dwayne Johnson and Cristiano Ronaldo have not only spent hours at the gym but have also made significant changes to their dietary habits. And you should, too.
So, cut alcohol off. Cut late night snacks off. Eat more veggies. Hit the damn gym and make sure Timaya’s “I Can’t Kill Myself” isn’t playing on the speakers as you sweat it out.