5 SIMPLE WAYS TO LOSE BELLY FAT.
It’s quite normal and even beneficial to have a relatively small amount of belly fat stored. Depending on the location – visceral or subcutaneous, both of which we’ll get into next – fat plays a key role in maintaining a healthy human. But let’s talk about how to lose the excess!
Too much stored fat, however, can cause some major health problems like
- high blood pressure
- type 2 diabetes
- heart disease
- certain cancers like colon and breast cancer.
So, just like anything, moderation is key.
Those who are more likely to store too much fat in the midsection tend to
- eat more calories than they burn
- live a more sedentary life
- have smaller amounts of muscle
- get little to no cardiovascular exercise
The 2 types of Fat
This is the deeper storage of fat that’s not visible on the surface. Having small amounts is good – it provides cushioning around your organs. But too much causes serious metabolic and hormonal issues.
Because of its depth, the best ways to measure visceral fat is by MRI or CT scans. But an easier, but less reliable, is taking a tape measure around the belly button.
Women want to be less than 35 inches and men less than 40 inches.
Again, belly circumference is less reliable, but research has shown that people with bigger bellies, tend to have harmful levels of visceral fat.
This is that fat that sits right under the skin – you know, the fat you can
pinch. Whereas visceral fat is found specifically around the organs, this fat can be stored in places like the hips, waist and thighs.
But it’s not all bad. Your body actually uses this fat storage for energy, so having a small amount is normal and healthy.
A common way of measuring subcutaneous fat is with a Fat Caliper.
5 Ways To Lose Belly Fat
So what are some easy way you can lose or maintain a healthy level of stored fat?
(1) Mindful Eating
Avoiding mealtime distractions – like your smartphone or television – can be tough. But studies have shown that these distractions keep us eating more
then we should. Some say it might be out of boredom or forgetting how much we’ve already consumed.
So ditch the screens and sit around the dinner table with your friends and family. Take notice of the foods your eating and when you’ve had enough, stop. Indulging in great conversation can keep you in the moment and more aware of your eating.
Stop eating when you feel more thirsty than hungry.
(2) Consume More Fish Oil
Fish Oil contains Omega-3 fatty acids – particularly EPA & DHA – which have been shown to help your body burn fat cells. While the exact cause is still being understood, we do know that these Omega-3 fatty acids help promote oxidation of fat cells through thermogenesis and increased activity of the mitochondria in the cells.
(3) Stress Management
Often known as the “Stress Hormone”, Cortisol is produced by the adrenal grands when we experience stress. Having high levels Cortisol production leads to increased levels of fat stored in the mid-section. This is due to the surge in appetite Cortisol creates.
Stress stores fat – so keep calm and think fit.
(4) Workout Smarter
Long sessions of steady state cardio – like spending hours on a treadmill or stairmaster – have been proven to fall short compared to the fat burning benefits of resistance training. Turns out that lifting weights helps your body build more muscle fibers, which in turn helps you burn more calories throughout the day. This is because your body will use the energy stored in fat cells to help repair the damaged muscle fibers that are naturally caused by lifting weights.
Get off the treadmill and lift those weights.
(5) Avoid The Sugar
Nothing is better at trigger your body to store belly fat than artificially-sweetened beverages. This is because the fructose is used in these drinks –
and yes, alcoholic drinks count – encourage your body to store fat in the liver and add substantial amounts of fat to the abdominal area.
Foods that are high in sugar, also need to be watched. But studies show that because liquids are less filling, you’re more likely to consume more of these calories than sugary foods.
Stay away from the artificially-sweetened foods and drinks.
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