Abdominal fat is one of the things most commonly cited when people are asked what they would change about themselves. More technically known as central obesity, abdominal fat is mostly made up of visceral fat. This is the type of fat that exists between organs, as opposed to subcutaneous fat, which is fat that lies just below the surface of the skin. When accumulated in sufficient amounts, abdominal fat creates what is commonly known as a beer belly or pot belly, and is representative of the apple body shape.
Many people believe that fat in general can be reduced or removed by exercising the muscle groups in the region affected. In this case, spot exercises focusing on the abdomen would be thought to remove abdominal fat. The most common exercises people try to do to remove this fat are sit-ups, hoping to burn away the fat. In fact, while abdominal exercises such as sit-ups are excellent for building muscle tissue in the region, they have essentially no effect on the fat content in the area. Actually, since increased muscle mass will increase the bulk in the abdomen, building substantial mass without losing fat at the same time can make the abdomen appear even fatter.
As with most types of fat unrelated to a chronic health condition, abdominal fat can best be eliminated with a simple combination of improved diet and increased aerobic activity. These two things, in conjunction, are the most sure fire ways to reduce abdominal fat to minor levels. At its most basic, you have to expend more energy each day than you consume. It’s important to do this intelligently, however, continuing to consume a healthy amount of calories, and making sure you get all of the vital building blocks of life, including fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. It’s also important not to overdo it, as this can cause your body to think you are actually starving, in which case it will immediately begin to stockpile fat stores to get you through the starvation period.
Although some people believe that certain diets or certain aerobic activities target abdominal fat first, this seems to be largely untrue. Fat is distributed accordingly primarily to genetics, and it is removed in much the same way. For some people, eliminating abdominal fat can be a long process. Trying to take shortcuts to reducing fat anywhere on the body is a recipe for disaster, often resulting in a cost to health and even an increase in fat in the long run.
For a little bit of a helping hand, some people also recommend some sort of human growth hormone (HGH) or multi-functional steroid like dehydroepiandrosterone. Many diet pills aimed at reducing abdominal fat contain these ingredients, and by changing the body’s chemistry they can help to some extent. They cannot help in-and-of themselves, however, and are intended to be a supplement to exercise and diet, not a replacement. Even then, the potential health costs for most people outweigh the benefits, and most health professionals would caution against their use.