In my family the girls gain in the abdomen. I have tried to maintain a healthy life style, eating right and with exercise. But even by doing this I have added fat to my abdomen. What can I do to eliminate this?

As women age it is common to gain weight around the abdominal and hip region, typically referred to as a “pear shape”. Conversely, many men will gain weight in the chest and abdomen, typically referred to as an “apple” shape. Our genetic makeup will determine the type of body that we have, but we have control over how that shape takes form. As you mentioned, lifestyle, eating right and exercise play a huge roll in the amount of body fat we have. However, there are other factors that can contribute to increased body fat. Women’s hormone levels and our metabolic rate will affect the amount of fat our body’s carry. To combat this, it is important to understand your overall health profile and get a complete physical from your doctor.

However, it is possible to do things right now to increase your metabolism.

The first thing is to begin a strength training program. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn “at rest”. This is one of the reasons men burn more calories at rest than women and have a better chance at losing weight at a faster rate.

Secondly, increase your cardiovascular endurance by incorporating more intense aerobic sessions in to your exercise program. Exercising at mild to moderate levels will not produce the same increase in metabolism as higher intensity workouts.

And, lastly, keep your body fully hydrated by drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water daily. Dehydration will decrease your metabolism. So, drink up!

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