“…overweight, obese, big boned, thick, “healthy,” big fine, husky, chunky, baby fat, etc….no matter what you call it- whether you lie to yourself or your love ones lie to you–your heart & organs KNOW THE TRUTH. What are you willing to do to improve your health & change your life? Understand, this is a matter of life & death.” -Eric & Maleka Beal
What is Omentum?
As defined by Dr. Oz, omentum is the pouch that contains your belly fat. The extra weight you are carrying on your omentum can squeeze your kidney and cause your blood pressure to rise and your liver to fatten. The accumulation of this fat characterizes nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. This added weight leaves your liver unable to process toxins. Over time, your liver hardens and scar tissue will begin to build up to replace liver cells. This scarring is called cirrhosis, which leaves you feeling tired and groggy.
The omentum is split into two segments called the greater and lesser omentum. The greater omentum is a mass that sits in front of the stomach. The lesser omentum covers the liver. Both become easy repositories for fat storage. When the greater omentum is especially large, the abdomen may appear stiff and distended, bringing to mind the term “beer belly.”
When people lose weight, the omentum shrinks, helping to reduce risks for a number of conditions. Dr. Oz contends that the great concern with a fatty omentum is that it starts inflammatory processes, which can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, and hardening of the arteries.
Essentially the bigger the omentum, the more you are at risk for a variety of difficult illnesses.
Understanding the IMPORTANT Health Risk:
Belly fat is dangerous because of its location. It surrounds your organs in your abdomen and releases hormones that can cause increased risk of heart attack. This can be deadly. Research from the National Institutes of Health said that women with a middle that measured more than 28 inches were twice as likely to die from heart disease than their slimmer-stomached counterparts.
Additionally, abdominal fat affects your liver — it has a tougher job of filtering toxic substances from your body. Belly fat can also raise your chances of developing diabetes and being apple-shaped. It also increases your risk of certain cancers, including breast and colon cancers.
What You Can Do To Lose the Belly Fat:
Reducing belly fat could be as easy as putting one foot in front of the other. According to researchers at LSU, walking was found to be effective in as little as 2 1/2 hours total per week to shrink belly fat by one inch, in just a month! When we started our journey, we walked 2 1/2 miles every day. Researchers found walking even appears to reduce abdominal fat before it’s reduced in other areas. Wake Forest University researchers studied 45 obese women and found the ones who walked between 30 and 55 minutes three times a week cut the size of their abdominal fat cells by almost 20%.
Exercise plays a huge role in the loss of belly fat, even if the scale does not change, according to Harvard Medical School. You need to spend at least 30 minutes per day, most days of the week, engaging in moderate-intensity activity. However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends 60 to 90 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity exercise for weight loss.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet that promotes maintenance of your goal weight. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains with enough fiber to keep you feeling full while consuming fewer calories. Eat foods high in calcium; a University of Alabama study concluded that calcium intake helps with weight loss, especially around your midsection. Avoid foods with trans fats and refined sugars that seem to help develop visceral fat, says Harvard Medical School.
Get enough sleep, but not too much. “Journal Sleep” published findings that sleeping less than five hours per night results in greater accumulation of visceral fat, while sleeping more than eight hours per night had similar results. Seven to eight hours of sleep per night seems to be just right.
RELAX! Yale University published research that found higher levels of stress result in a greater number on the tape measure around your waist. Some ways to de-stress include yoga, meditation, prayer, hot baths and calling a friend.
Persevere for the long haul and forget about easy, fast fixes, such as liposuction or tummy tucks, which do not go into the abdominal wall and leave the omentum intact. Be patient and continue with your healthier lifestyle. Aim for a waist circumference of 35 inches or less if you are a women, 40 or less if you are male. Remember, this is a LIFEstyle journey; meaning, IT’S A PROCESS.
(**Some belly fat hides deep inside, and around your inner organs, it may pose a silent health threat if there’s too much of it.**)
Quick Tip: Measuring your waist sounds simple enough. But to make sure you get it right, here are instructions from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute:
1. Stand up. Exhale before you measure — do not suck in your breath.
2. Wrap the tape measure around your middle. It should go across your navel.
3. Make sure bottom of the tape measure is just above your hip bones. It does not go higher up, even if you’re narrower there.A waist circumference over 35 inches for a woman and over 40 for a man indicates that you may have unsafe levels of visceral fat.
As always, thank you for time, love & support. We hope what we have shared has helped you. Be sure to share this info with family & friends.
-Eric & Maleka Beal
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Eric and Maleka Beal are health coaches and co-founders of BetterChoices, a health & wellness company and social community focused on educating, advocating, and promoting better health and wellness through lifestyle, nutrition, and fitness education.