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The truth about belly fat

What's the best way to trim your tummy?

Is your middle too big?

A simple way to determine if you are carrying too much weight around your middle is by measuring your waist, says Dr Clarke.

To assess your risk use a soft tape measure. First, make sure to measure your ‘real’ waist size - which isn’t the thinnest part of your abdomen. Your ‘true’ waist is found mid-way between your hip bone and your lowest rib. Take the measurement around this part of your bare abdomen without holding your breath, or holding your stomach in.

If your waist is larger than 102 cm (40 in) for men or 88 cm (35 in) for women, you have too much belly fat and are at risk of heart disease and other conditions. One of the best things you can do for your health is to lose weight.

The bottom line about belly fat

So what's the bottom line about belly fat?

Most scientific evidence suggests that a calorie-controlled diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, beans, nuts, seeds, lean meat, fish, eggs and poultry is the foundation of a diet that provides all the nutrients you need while helping to whittle your waistline.

The real secret to losing belly fat is to lose weight on a balanced, calorie-controlled diet and exercise at least an hour a day.

Dietitian reviewed by Catherine Collins RD

Reviewed on March 20, 2017

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