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Belly Fat causes serious health problems along with bigger pants size

An expanding waistline is sometimes considered the price of getting older.
But belly fat does more than make it hard to zip up your jeans.
It also carries serious health risks.

Dr. Vaishali Bhalani /Ob-Gyn: "There is a known additive weight gain that can occur and it's almost like a central weight gain as well.   The ones that women don't necessarily want ."
That central weight gain -- is often a common question for Doctor Vaishali Bhalani -- in this busy women's health office.
She often tells her patients when hormones change during menopause --
"It is harder because your metabolism is decreased so it is harder to fight off that weight."
But she says since so many people struggle with waist weight -- new studies do show if that's where you tend to store your body fat --

There are three things that can help you intervene
You can't spot reduce -- but aerobic exercise that gets your heart rate up --also helps boost metabolism -- the National Weight Control Registry shows -- keeping weight off requires 60 to 90 minutes most days of the week.

"I think the biggest goal in menopause is to maintain and so that's harder to do -lose or maintain because the metabolism is slowed down."

"In addition to that however you might want to swap a few foods in your diet, it appears that certain fats seem to work against waist weight."
Those fats are the kind found in olive oil, avocados and in nuts.
Those who ate this fat instead of butter fat have been shown to have less waist weight.
Finally -- don't underestimate the power of massage. Study in the archives of dermatology found it may reduce a stress hormone in the body called Cortisol.
It too has been linked -- to waist weight -- especially the type that seems to come on -- when you go through life changing events.
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