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Tips on losing your belly fat

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Tips on losing your belly fat

Figuring out how to lose belly fat is often the most challenging part of a weight loss journey for most people.

Belly or abdominal fat is not just unattractive but a strong predictor of several ailments as well.

Lawrence Cheskin, MD, director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center acclaims the same and refers the abdominal area to the most dangerous location to store fat.

In fact, the accumulated fat around the midsection is often linked with type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, hypertension, sleep apnea, depression, and even some types of cancer.

Plus, it lowers self-esteem and makes one uncomfortable in their own skin.

What is belly fat?

The most common types of belly fat are the:

Subcutaneous fat

The subcutaneous fat is the visible and pinchable fat that ‘sits under the skin.’ Most people have some amount of subcutaneous fat but lifestyle factors such as diet, physical activity, and even genetics determine how much each person develops.

In most cases, the subcutaneous fat is harmless and usually not associated with any medical condition. However, losing belly of the subcutaneous category is often the goal of those who wish to look smarter, more attractive, and fit into smaller sized clothing.

Visceral fat

On the other hand, there is the visceral fat that is stored within the abdominal cavity. Since it is close to many vital organs such as intestines and pancreas, having an excessive amount of visceral fat can spell trouble for health and result in several complications including diabetes and heart diseases.

The belly fat can be easily estimated at home by measuring the circumference around the waist. Anything above 40 inches for men and 35 for women is referred to as ‘abdominal obesity’ and would require immediate lifestyle and diet changes.

Similarly, a study in Great Britain reveals a direct relationship between waist circumference and heart diseases. Further evidence of the dangers of belly fat was revealed in a report that shows an increase in the biomarkers of cancer for women with excess belly fat while the same biomarkers significantly decreased once weight loss was achieved.

Luckily, it is possible to get rid of the unwanted fat – for those who are willing to make an effort.

What causes the ‘too much’ fat around the waistline?

There are several causes of belly fat. These include:

Diet

Predominantly, the diet plays a huge role in ‘weight gain’ around the midsection. Some examples of belly fat gaining food items include:

  • Sugary drinks and fruit juices
  • processed food items of the bakery such as pies, pastries, cakes, and biscuits
  • Fried items
  • Refined carbohydrates including bread, rice, pasta
  • Alcohol
  • Sugar substitutes

Tips to bust the belly:

As they say, ‘abs are built in kitchen.’

It may be difficult to lose belly fat with just exercise if the quality of food does not improve alongside.

Besides limiting the food items mentioned above, here are some belly fat burning food that should be incorporated into the daily diet.

  • Proteins: Eggs, poultry, meat, cottage cheese, and fish are significant sources of protein. Adding them makes a person feel full for longer while providing them with the necessary nutrients.
  • Vegetables: Leafy green vegetables, avocados, broccoli, and cabbage increase metabolism that eventually enables the body to lose the excess fat.
  • Fruits: Citrus fruits are high on Vitamin C and increase metabolism. Freshly squeezed orange juices and lemonades also work great as substitutes of sugary drinks.
  • Beans and lentils: The different variety of beans and lentils not only curb the appetite but also provides iron, fiber, and folate to the body.

Apart from food, it is important to consider alcohol consumption. An occasional drink or two is ok but having one daily can cause the men to specifically gain weight around their midsection.

Lack of physical exercise

A person who consumes more calories than they burn off will undoubtedly gain weight.

The health benefits of exercise are beyond the scope of this article but it is safe to say that an inactive lifestyle will not only increase belly fat but also make the way for several diseases.

In fact, a study found that those who exercise regularly did not regain any abdominal fat after successful weight loss.

Tips to bust the belly:

It is not necessary to start with a full-on training program to initiate an exercise program. Those interested in incorporating a physical protocol to their lifestyle can start simply by walking.

This particularly goes for people who have been out of the gym for long and wish to ease back into the exercise routine.

Aerobic exercises, swimming, and running have also been known to assist in reducing body fat.

Strength training and cardio are also beneficial ways to build muscles that ultimately works to replace the excess fat in the body.

Stress

Stress does not only mess with the brain but also the physical attributes of a person.

The body also produces a visceral fat increasing hormone in the body called the cortisol when a person is suffering. When a person stresses, they impulsively start eating more that results in weight gain.

Tips to bust the belly:

Applying de-stressing techniques to daily life is the best way to get rid of the ‘unwanted’ worries alongside the fat.

  • Consider talking to a friend regarding the ‘stressors’ of life
  • Do meditation, yoga, and other stress relieving techniques
  • Seek assistance from a therapist 

Sleep

Interestingly, too little or too much of sleep can cause fluctuations in the weight.

A 2017 report from the UK indicates that people who slept 5.5 hours or less per night ate an extra 385 calories during the day when compared to those who managed to get sleep for at least 7 to 12 hours. They also preferred to binge on fatty foods such as chips and other junk items.

Tips to bust the belly:

The ideal number of hours for sleep is 7 to 8. However, the actual amount varies from person to person.

In the end…

Always remember, success only comes with consistency and discipline. Take action and lose the belly fat.

 

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