Belly fat is one of the most common problems many have had to deal with in their weight loss journey. Aside from making you feel insecure and causing your clothes to fit poorly, belly fat is not just a cosmetic problem. It has been linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other health conditions. Getting to know how belly fat reduce is important to achieving a trimmer abdomen.
The science behind belly fat
Belly fat is the most dangerous kind of fat in the body. It is also known as visceral fat.
Unlike subcutaneous fat, which lies just underneath the skin, it is stored in the abdominal cavity, surrounding vital organs.
Belly fat is a common problem for both men and women. However, women are more likely to develop belly fat than men because women have a higher percentage of body fat compared to men. Women also tend to store fat in the hips, buttocks, and thighs, which can contribute to the development of belly fat over time. As women age, they tend to store more fat in their bellies.
In men, it often presents as an “apple shape,” where excess weight is concentrated in the belly. In women, it often presents as a “pear shape,” where excess weight is distributed throughout the hips, butt, and thighs.
The Dangers of Belly Fat
Researchers have associated belly fat with diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, and other serious health issues.
Belly fat is more dangerous than the fat that accumulates around the hips and thighs. Fat stored deep inside your abdomen wraps around vital organs, including your liver and pancreas. This type of fat also appears to increase the production of proteins that can cause chronic low-level inflammation, which has been linked to conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
This kind of fat affects the central nervous system, which controls vital functions such as hormone production and metabolism. Therefore it’s important to reduce your level of body fat, especially around your midsection.
However, even if you carry your excess weight away from your midsection—around your hips or thighs—you could still be at risk of heart disease and other obesity-related issues such as premature death, hypertension (high blood pressure), abnormal cholesterol levels, stroke, and osteoarthritis. Also, health risks can still exist for people who carry their weight in the upper body (upper body obesity) rather than in the lower body.
The causes of belly fat and how to reduce it
There are indeed many reasons why you might have excess belly fat, including:
- Hormonal changes
- Lack of sleep
- Eating too much-processed food
Stress (both physical and emotional) is a major contributory factor to belly fat. When your body perceives stress, it releases a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol can stimulate appetite, craving, and by extension over consumption of comfort foods like sugar and salt, which tend to be stored as fat in your midsection.
Hormones such as estrogen and progesterone affect the distribution of fat in the body. In women, hormonal changes due to pregnancy or menopause can cause a shift in your body composition, which may include more fat around the midsection.
During menopause, for example, estrogen production decreases while progesterone levels stay the same or increase slightly. This imbalance can cause weight gain around the hips and thighs—and even belly fat (called “menopot”).
Lack of sleep
If you don’t get enough sleep, your body may produce more cortisol, which may contribute to increased appetite and belly fat.
Some medications may cause water retention, which leads to bloating and weight gain around the waist.
Eating too much processed food and not enough fruits and veggies leads to inflammation throughout the body, including around organs like the liver and kidneys—which may also cause water retention that contributes to abdominal fat.
Other factors that can contribute to excess belly include smoking cigarettes.
Reducing Belly Fat
The best way to reduce belly fat is through a combination of diet changes and increased exercise. To lose weight, you need to reduce the number of calories you take in and increase the number of calories you burn through exercise.
1. Lifestyle Changes
There are simple ways to fight belly fat, like exercise and drinking water, which can help you look more toned and reduce your risk of health problems.
These simple changes in your lifestyle can help you lose weight and keep it off for good.
- Drink more water: Water helps prevent the buildup of visceral fat, which is most likely to occur in the abdomen area. Drinking plenty of water can also help your body flush out toxins, helping you achieve a flatter stomach in less time.
- Exercise regularly: The importance of exercise cannot be overemphasized for improving your overall health as well as helping you lose weight in your abdomen area. Exercising doesn’t have to be too complicated: even walking for 30 minutes per day can lead to significant results over time. If you want to take things up a notch, consider adding some weight training or cardiovascular exercises (like swimming) into your routine for added benefits!
- Get enough sleep each night: Studies show that people who get enough sleep tend not to suffer from obesity or diabetes because their bodies can regulate insulin better than those who don’t get enough restful slumber time every day; plus they’re usually less stressed out than others too! So if you have trouble hitting the hay at night or just feel like there aren’t enough hours in every 24 hours for everything on your plate right now, then these three tips might be exactly what you need! Give them a try today so that tomorrow morning when you wake up feeling refreshed after getting eight solid hours of shut-eye thanks to these three tips’ help!”
Other Positive Lifestyle Changes Include;
Instead of sleeping on the couch all day and eating chips, have a snack before you head to work and walk during lunch. These small changes will help you achieve your goals faster and with less effort.
“The average person usually eats around 2,000 to 3,000 calories per day. That’s enough to create a large number of fat cells, but not enough to burn them off. The good news is that you can train your body to burn more fat than it would normally.”
2. Stop stress eating
Stress eating is a serious problem because it can lead to health problems including obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. Stress eating can also cause an unhealthy relationship with food. If you are a stress eater, try to find other healthy ways to cope with stress like listening to music while taking a walk, taking a quick nap, running, etc.
3. Eat more protein
Eating protein at every meal is one of the most effective ways to reduce belly fat. This is because protein has a higher thermic effect than other foods: your body burns more energy digesting protein than it does fat or carbs. This increased calorie burn aids weight loss and reduces unhealthy cravings, as well as regulates your hunger levels so that you feel full for longer. Studies show that people who eat high-protein diets have less belly fat than those who eat a lower-protein diet.
4. Cut back on sugar
Cutting back on sugar is a simple way to reduce belly fat, so it’s important to know how much sugar you’re consuming. Sugar is bad for you, even in small amounts. It can be addictive, it increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and it could lead to weight gain.
If you typically consume about 2,500 calories each day and eat 200 grams of sugar per day (that’s about 50 teaspoons), your body will have enough glucose from the sugar alone to meet its energy needs—and keep in mind that glucose promotes fat storage in the body. It’s not just table sugar or sugary sweeteners that contain a lot of added sugars; ingredients like fruit juice concentrate and high fructose corn syrup are also forms of added sugars. Even foods that don’t seem especially sugary like rice, fufu, spaghetti, yam, etc. can still cause a spike in blood glucose levels when consumed because they convert easily into glucose once digested.
5. Eat more fruits and vegetables
Eating fruits and vegetables is an easy way to gain a leaner physique. These foods are typically low in calories and packed with nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Make sure you eat at least 3-5 servings of fruit each day. Fruits contain various amounts of fructose (fruit sugar), which may have harmful effects on your waistline if consumed in excess. The best fruits for weight loss include berries, grapefruit, lemons, limes, oranges, melons, apples, and pears.
Vegetables also provide many benefits when it comes to losing weight. They’re nutrient-dense but low in calories. They’re high in water content and are often low in carbs as well. Remember that one serving is equal to 1 cup of raw or cooked veggies or 2 cups of leafy ones like spinach or cabbage.
Enjoying a salad before each meal can help you lose more weight than skipping it altogether because salads fill you up faster with fewer calories per gram than any other food group (veggies excluded). Pair this simple fat burning trick with the following tips for increased belly fat reduction:
- Eat at least 5 servings of vegetables daily
- Drink 8 ounces of water before every meal
- Consume protein at every meal (beef, chicken breast, or legumes)
- Limit your intake of processed foods like frozen dinners and fast food
6. Do crunches but don’t give up your cardio routine
Now, you may be asking yourself: What’s so good about doing crunches? Here’s the deal: Exercises performed in this manner will help to increase core muscle strength. This generates more power while helping to sculpt a strong and healthy midsection by decreasing the appearance of accentuated lower abdominal muscle definition, eliminating jiggle, and creating a more firm set of abs.
However, there’s another benefit to being fit—it also helps with other areas of your life. If you’re struggling with belly fat but are otherwise healthy and fit, chances are that your metabolism is very high (which means that it burns calories very efficiently). There is a strong correlation between abdominal muscles and metabolism—therefore if you want to burn off fat around your waistline, doing crunches isn’t enough–if anything it might be counterproductive.
That means that to get rid of belly fat effectively while staying healthy and being fit, you’ll have to work out just as much as if you wanted to lose weight for other reasons. It’s important not to think of your workout routine only as an effective way to develop muscular endurance; think of it as an overall fitness routine that will make all areas of your life healthier—and consequently burn away belly fat faster!
7. Avoid late-night and high carb meals
Eating after dinner is a surefire way to gain weight. Ideally, you shouldn’t eat past 8:00 pm and not before bed. It’s also important to avoid late-night snacks. Eating at night can cause your body to store more fat, so try not to eat anything after dinner.
Also avoiding late-night and high-carb meals is important to reducing belly fat. This can be replaced with these low-carb meals.
8. Reduce alcohol intake
In addition to getting plenty of exercises, eating a healthy diet is another critical factor in reducing belly fat. It’s important to understand what foods will help you with this goal, and which ones should be avoided. Foods that contain a high percentage of water—such as fruits and vegetables—have been shown to help people lose weight because it makes the food more filling without adding calories.
If you’re looking for a drink to go with your meal, avoid sugary beverages like beer, wine, mixed drinks (especially those made with soda), and fruit juice; instead, opt for plain or sparkling water flavored with lemon or lime. You should also avoid soft drinks (including diet sodas) and energy drinks as these beverages are loaded with sugar and have been associated with an increase in belly fat. Even coffee and tea (even green tea) can be replaced by herbal teas that are equally delicious but less harmful to your health.
Carrying a few extra pounds in your midsection can be very risky, and losing them can have big benefits for your health. Belly fat is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke, and the practical lifestyle changes highlighted in this article can help lose belly fat as quickly and safely as possible