What You Can Do About Belly Fat Rolls

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woman with stomach rolls sitting down

Do you notice belly fat rolls when you sit down? Perhaps you feel rolls of fat right beneath your breasts. Even if you are losing weight successfully, these stomach rolls might bother you. Are they normal? And how long will they take to go away? There’s both good news and bad news about the fat rolls you feel when seated.

Why Do I Get Fat Rolls When Seated?

Believe it or not, seated fat rolls on your belly or under your breasts are a common complaint among dieters. Why? Because it’s frustrating to follow a weight loss plan properly and feel lean and thin when standing, only to be disappointed when you grab a chair.

But there’s a simple reason for that excess flesh. When you stand up tall, your torso is elongated. Your spine is lengthened, and the excess skin and flesh in your midsection are spread out over a long, tall, torso. In fact, practicing good posture is one of the best ways to look thinner right away. There are even posture exercises you can do to make yourself look and feel leaner immediately.

But when you sit down, your torso shortens. All of the skin and flesh that was “stretched out” is now compacted into a smaller space. The result is that you develop a few temporary, fleshy folds. But here’s the good news. Everyone experiences fat rolls when sitting down. Even thin people can get excess fat under their breasts or around the belly button when the spine curves and your midsection is compressed.

Should I Worry About Belly Fat Rolls?

Just because a seated belly roll is common, doesn’t mean that belly fat is good. Some belly fat is necessary to protect your organs, but too much is not healthy. Abdominal obesity carries several significant health risks. People who carry excess fat in the waist area—also called visceral obesity—are at higher risk for

  • insulin resistance
  • glucose intolerance
  • high cholesterol
  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease

So are you doomed to have health problems if you have belly rolls? No. But it’s smart to check your midsection to see if losing weight might improve your health.

How to Measure Fat Rolls

So how do you know how much belly fat is too much belly fat? There are two different measurement methods that are easy to perform in the privacy of your own home. Both tests should be performed while standing.

Waist Circumference

This is a measurement taken around the abdomen at the level of the umbilicus (belly button). You’ll need a flexible tape measure to perform this test. Once you take the measurements, compare your numbers to see if your measurement falls in the normal range.

Hip-Waist Ratio

You can compare your waist measurement to your hip measurement to get an estimate of your health risks. You’ll need a flexible tape measure for this test, and you may want to use a calculator as well.

How to Get Rid of Belly Fat Rolls

If your home tests revealed that you carry too much belly fat, you should still get it checked by your doctor. Your doctor can confirm your result and also talk to you about how your health history affects your risk for disease.

If you decide to slim down and reduce your belly rolls, there are several things you can do. A consistent, calorie-controlled, balanced diet for weight loss is the smartest way to reduce your waistline. Unfortunately, you can’t control where you will lose weight. But if you slim down significantly, you are likely to see positive changes in your belly when you sit down.

You can also start an exercise program to slim down. If you put together a balanced program of cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and even stretching, you are likely to see improvement in the way your body looks and feels.

Keep in mind, however, that exercise alone is not likely to make a big difference in your belly fat. Exercise helps your body to burn more calories all day long. The extra calories you burn might help you to reach the calorie deficit needed for weight loss. But you can’t spot reduce.

You can’t do sit-ups and hope that your only waistline will get smaller.

A program of core training (including abdominal exercises to tone the entire torso region) will help to improve your posture and burn calories. But by itself is not enough to create noticeable weight loss. A combined and sustained program of diet and exercise is the best program to whittle away fat rolls.

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