Packin’ the luv…handles

Posted by on Dec 22, 2008 in hot flash | 1 comment


It seems that that roll around your abdominal area might be increasing your odds of having hot flashes, according to a study published in this past May/June issue of the journal Menopause.

Currently, two competing theories have been used to explain how body fat might affect flashes:

1) Androgens (e.g. testosterone)  influence the distribution of body fat in both men and women. So, it is possible that the conversion of androgens to estrogens in body fat actually decreases hot flashes.

2) Body fat actually increases hot flash frequency regardless of hormonal balance.

To determine which of these two theories was most probable,  a study was undertaken in 461 women (ages 45 to 58) participating in an ancillary study of the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation. The results? Increased abdominal fat, in particular, fat found just below the skin in the abdominal area, increased the odds of hot flashes by 1.3 times. This association was not reduced when reproductive hormones were measured.

I’ve written previously about the role of adoposity in the metabolic syndrome. And as many of us know who are struggling with middle-aged weight gain (emphasis on “middle”), abdominal rolls become more and more difficult to attack when hormones go awry.

So, the news about abdominal fat and hot flashes is not especially welcome.

What can you do to attack the health risks and nuisance side effects of abdominal fat?

Let’s put one myth to rest immediately:

No specific food  or herb is going to influence where your body stores its fat. And abdominal exercises that claim to “target”  or spot reduce fat, e.g.,  crunches,  do not.

Fewer calories and healthy eating habits, coupled with more aerobic activity and strength training, can help. My friend Mark Salinas, over the MarkSalinasBlog, also has some wonderful tips for weight management and workouts on his site so I encourage you to peruse some of his posts.

Any other tips you’d like to share? Tell me; what do you do to attack those love handles and send em packing? Better yet, have your hot flashes gotten worse with hormonal weight gain?

One Comment

  1. 12-23-2008

    thanks for the info
    It is amazing how many still think you can spot reduce fat. I just ain’t so

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