Pear-shaped pretties rejoice! This Yahoo! News article claims that having big hips, large thighs, and a well-padded behind is beneficial to your health. Researchers from Oxford University have discovered that carrying fat around your lower body area, rather than your midsection, actively defends your system against diabetes and heart disease.
According to the research, the fat around your waist tends to discharge comparatively more harmful fatty acids than the fat on your bum. Additionally, belly fat releases “cytokines”—molecules that set off inflammation and make your body susceptible to heart and blood sugar problems. However, if you have a thick pair of thighs, the fat they contain traps these unwanted molecules and prevents them from attacking the liver and muscles, helping you avoid a host of troublesome health conditions such as insulin resistance. As a counteractive measure, the fat in your thighs and bottom also produces “friendly” hormones that safeguard your arteries and manage your blood sugar level.
"Fat around the hips and thighs is good for you but around the tummy is bad," says Dr. Konstantinos Manolopoulos, one of the three researchers from Oxford. Manolopoulos shares that while the benefits of body fat distribution have been acknowledged for some time, the breakthrough that “lower body fat is protective by itself” only came about very recently.
Can’t wait to put this newfound information to good use? What better way than to tone your tummy (and relegate any bulges to your bottom half)? Here are three steps to take in the direction of zero percent belly fat.
Choose your food wisely. Do away with your deep-fried dishes and be aware of what you should be eating in their stead. This list of Nine Powerful Foods by Ezinearticles.com should make for a great start to your new-and-improved diet and an overall healthy lifestyle. Fruits, vegetables, fish, eggs, whole grains, nuts, olives, and particularly green tea are cited as tummy-flattening foods—this Buzzle.com guide suggests you drink three cups of the tea a day, as it is renowned for speeding up metabolism.
Work on your abs. It’s crunch-time! The most assertive way you can pare down your paunch is to adopt a regular abdominal work-out, which can include these exercises listed in About.com’s Sports Medicine section. It’s important that you start your regime immediately, and stick to it consistently, in order for each sit-up, squat, and crunch to take effect. Once you’ve made it a top priority, regular exercise won’t seem like such a chore—you’ll find that you actually appreciate all the sweat and ache when you see your tummy transform.
Cut your calorie intake. Binge equals bulge—if you’re lugging around a big belly, then you’ve got to stop gorging yourself! The basic rule for weight loss? Burn more calories than you are eating. This doesn’t mean you have to go hungry—starving yourself will only lead to an unproductive pig-out. Rather, you should watch the foods you eat (as mentioned in the first tip) and get sufficient exercise (as mentioned in the second) while patrolling the amount and frequency of your meal intake (everything in moderation). Cutting your calories, in other words, will help you burn belly fat—and fat all over your body, for that matter—at a faster rate, securing you from the heart disease and diabetes that a large midsection puts you at risk of.