Health News Wed, 20 Jan 2016

Face to face with the truth about abdominal fat

Stand still for a few minutes in a busy area and observe the midsection of those who walk by. It is a sight to behold and an indication that we are sitting on a health bomb. It gets even scarier when you consider the fact that many of those riding in cars are also very well endowed with “pot-bellies”.

You may even find a great picture closer than you think; stand sideways in front of a mirror and make a candid assessment of what you see. The truth is quite often painful

Abdominal fat is a health hazard and may cause many problems including:

• Increasing our risk for cardiac disease

• Drawing us closer to diabetes

• Affecting our posture and causing back pain

• Reducing our self confidence

• Essentially shortening the time to meet our maker

Truth is most of you like me will never achieve a six-pack (you probably had one years ago) but we can tame the bulge around our midsection. It is important that we learn the facts instead of spending a life-time doing sit-ups/crunches and many fancy exercises to “work our abs”

Truth #1

We have this pouch (one-pack) because we do not EAT RIGHT.

• We need to eat well balanced meals but with an eye on the carbohydrates and fat. Three to five small meals a day is great

• Late night dinners such as fufu, kenkey etc can be disastrous and a sweet tooth will keep the six-pack hidden.

Yes, I know supper is often the only family meal of the day, but lets watch what we eat and the time we have our dinner and part of the battle will already be won. The earlier and the “lighter” the meal the better.

Truth #2

Abdominal (stomach) exercises alone will get you NO WHERE!! Yes you can have a six or eight-pack covered by layers of fat. You can feel it (hopefully) but NOBODY ELSE WILL KNOW. Doing all those sit-ups will reward you with a big hard belly.

Truth #3

Cardiovascular/Aerobic exercise is king!

That pouch overhanging your belly is fat and it can’t be a good thing. It is aerobic exercise that will “burn the fat” and we need to keep it off by eating right. So dear reader, lace your boots and start taking 45 minutes brisk walks, cycling, jogging, treadmill, elliptical, swimming, skipping, dancing and many more. The important point is to have a large group of muscles moving repeatedly and having your heart rate elevated for a long period.

You definitely should do strength training as well since the muscle you build will help burn energy hence reducing fat.

Spot-reduction is a myth. You will not succeed trying to lose fat around your midsection while maintaining fat around your hips or arms or face. Fat loss occurs in the whole body when we do the right thing.

So the simple truth is; Eat the right food at the right time, cut down the alcohol, do a lot more aerobic/cardiovascular exercises and only then will it be worth your time to do sit ups/crunches etc to strengthen and define your “stomach” muscles. You can’t forget the plank, can you?

Do spread the TRUTH!!


Dr. Kojo Cobba Essel

Moms’ Health Club/Health Essentials


Dr. Essel is a medical doctor, holds an MBA and is ISSA certified in exercise therapy and fitness nutrition.

Thought for the week – “No matter how healthy you may feel, no matter how much of a healthy lifestyle you think you lead, having a thorough medical examination may be life-saving.”

Source: Essel, Kojo Cobba