A healthy lifestyle is what everyone dreams about but couldn’t work through. Odd job timings, bad eating habits and a number of choices for everything have gradually led us into being unhealthy.
It affects our body in a way one cannot imagine, lowering our immune system and leading our body towards the risk of many heart diseases. One such problem is that of belly fat.
Before talking about the tips to remove belly fat, let’s first understand what belly fat actually is, what causes it and what are its harmful effects on our body?
What Is Belly Fat?
In our body, there are three types of fats namely triglycerides, subcutaneous and visceral fat.
Triglycerides are those fats which circulate in our blood, subcutaneous fat is the layer directly below our skin surface and the most dangerous one is visceral fat which is present in our abdomen area, beneath our stomach muscles.
It can be measured by putting an inch tape to your bare stomach.
If it is measured 35 inches or more in women and 40 inches or more in men, it is time to include working out in your daily schedule.
What Causes Belly Fat?
There are various researched out reasons for how we grow our belly fat without having any knowledge about it. A few major reasons are stated below:
1. Age Factor: As men and women grow old, their body undergoes a major change. Be it the wrinkly skin or the fat in the bodies.
Their metabolic rate declines and with that the number calories they have to intake on a daily basis.
In women, their body faces menopause. In case they gain weight during menopause, it is likely to show at their belly area.
2. Wrong workout: Working out is considered good but not always. The workout should be designed as per the body requirements.
If a person is doing only cardio, it won’t do any gooPlank using BOSU ball:d to his/her waistline.
3. Stress Level: Study tells that if a person is in stress, they tend to eat more sugar.
But it is not just the high-calorie food that they crave for; it is most importantly due to a stress hormone cortisol which fattens the fat cells, particularly in the middle section.
4. Wrong food: If you are mostly eating processed food like bread, chips, sweetened drinks, packed juices etc, it will hinder your ability to lose belly fat. It makes the belly fat stubborn.
More organic natural foods must be preferred over-processed foods.
5. PCOS: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is an illness where testosterone level is high, which makes the body really difficult to lose weight.
Harmful Effects Of Belly Fat
We tend to store visceral fats in our bellies. This fat doesn’t just sit there and do nothing.
It is as active as any other organ in the body, releasing substances to weaken other body organs.
The fatty acids that it releases disable our body to breakdown the insulin resulting in a risk to diabetes.
It also releases a few other substances which provoke stroke or other heart diseases.
Belly fat resides at the approachable distance to our liver, lungs, heart, and kidneys, pressing on them and feeding them poisonous substances, leading to a number of health issues including cancer.
According to a new NCBI research, the visceral fat in our body helps in growing the cancerous cells by releasing a protein called fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGB2), if its receptors are present in the body.
It can lead to bowel cancer, liver cancel and breast cancer as well.
How Can We Reduce Belly Fat By Exercising?
1. Strength training: Strength training also known as resistance training helps strengthen your muscles and burn fat.
Heavy squats combined with Deadlift work best to strengthen your lower abs and straighten your back and narrow down your waist size.
2. Run-on an incline: According to one Los Angeles based trainer, running on inclined surface results 50% more than running on a flat surface.
The process is to walk first for 5-10 minutes, then jog and then run for 5 minutes, then again drop the speed to jog and go on like this for a minimum of half an hour.
It must elevate your heart rate for best results.
3. Use row machine: No matter you have access to open water or not, you can still do this work out at the gym.
It not only gets your heart rate up but also strengthens your core, shoulders, back, and legs, surprisingly resulting in loss of fat much earlier than you had thought of.
4. High- intensity interval training (HIIT): High-intensity training is the topmost priority for anyone who would want to reduce belly fat for a very simple reason.
It burns calories at a very high speed and in comparatively less time.
And the plus point is that even after you leave the gym, your body remains active and you burn calories off work through a phenomenon called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).
5. Plank using BOSU ball: Plank in itself is a wholesome exercise which helps in maintaining the abs by focusing on the whole of the body.
But by using a BOSU ball, you concentrate on balancing, activating your core and abdomen muscles.
Which Food Products Help In Reducing Belly Fat?
1. Soluble fibre: Soluble fibre helps slow down the food digestion as they absorb with water, tricking the stomach being full even when you had a small portion.
In a study on over 1100 adults, it was seen that if they increase 10 gm of soluble fat in their diet, they tended to reduce 3.7% of visceral fat from their body in 5 years.
Soluble fiber food includes avocados, Brussels sprouts, blackberries, flaxseeds, etc.
2. High protein diet: High in protein and fibre diet helps releasing another gut hormone Peptide YY (PYY).
It helps in reducing food intake and reduces obesity in the process. PYY levels can be increased by removing packed carbohydrates from the food that you intake and include a good amount of protein and fiber from either plant or animal source.
3. Coconut oil instead of other cooking oils: Replace coconut oil in place of other fats you intake in a day.
Coconut oil is one of the best sources of good fats that our body requires. Two tablespoons of coconut oil in a day is recommended for best and fast results.
Omega-3 helps keep many diseases away and a good fat to reduce belly fat. You can also replace fish with fish supplements.
5. Apple cider vinegar: The acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar is shown to reduce abdominal fat by an inch or so in approximately 12 weeks if taken 1-2 spoons daily.
It also helps to keep in check the blood sugar levels.
6. Probiotic foods/supplements: Probiotics are important to improve gut functioning and build a strong immune system.
These are the bacteria found in various food supplements.
7. Green Tea: Make green tea your best friend if you want to reduce your waist size. High in antioxidants, green tea fastens the metabolism rate and helps meltdown the fat around your belly area just as quickly as you put it up.
8. Polyunsaturated Seeds: Seeds like chia, flax, pumpkin and hemp are the powerhouse of nutrition.
They have the qualities or vitamins, minerals and all essential nutrients our body is always in need of. We just have to include these in our daily system and let them remodel our body.
9. Dark chocolate: Dark chocolates are low in sugar levels and high on zinc.
Zinc help circulating leptin, which is a hormone controlling our energy levels and appetite. Nucific BIO X4 is also one of the appetite suppressant that leads to healthy weight loss.
10. Quinoa: Quinoa is in itself a whole meal. It includes amino acids, proteins and good carbohydrates.
It is full of nutrients and can be combined with any good fats or more carbs for a fuller meal.
11. Greek yogurt: Full of proteins and Vitamin-D, it is one of the essentials for building the bones and keeping away those love handles.
Add any berries or nuts to have that taste and nutrition both at the same time.
12. Blueberries: Full of antioxidants and low in calories, blueberries can be added in shakes or smoothies to substitute the need of sugar. Antioxidants help melt stubborn fat cells.
Which Food Products Should Be Avoided And Why?
1. Avoid food containing trans fat: Trans fats or Hydrogenated fats can lead to inflammation, insulin resistance, abdominal fat gain and heart diseases. These are found in packaged food especially spreads and soybean oil.
2. Reduce intake of alcohol: In a study on 2000 people, the people who had their drinks on an average of less than 1 drink per day compared to who take a multiple numbers of drinks occasionally were more likely to have high visceral fat.
Alcohol consumed in body works as sugar and sugar ultimately turns into fat. Imagine a bottle of wine and a stack of cookies doing the same thing to your body.
4. Cut on carbs, especially refined carbs: There is no need to follow a strict carb-free diet.
You just have to replace the refined or processed carbs with unprocessed carbs. Processed crabs are one of the major reasons for female undergoing PCOS.
5. Sugar sweetened beverages: Sugary drinks leads to increase in fat in liver.
It is even worse than solid sugar foods. The liquid solid cannot be processed by the brain leading to storage of more fat.
Tips To Maintain The Reduced Belly
1. Reduce stress level: High stress release the stress hormone, cortisol in the body. It increases the appetite.
Reduce stress levels by indulging in pleasurable activities that can relieve your stress.
2. Plenty of restful sleep: Sleeping for a minimum time of 7-8 hours is necessary but sleeping a restful sleep is altogether a different scenario.
If you do not get a good night’s sleep, you must immediately talk with your doctor because it directly influences your attitude towards food and ultimately belly fat.
3. Track food intake and exercises performed: Keep a track on what you eat and how much do you burn.
You must be able to fulfill a minimum calories requirement of your body to reduce and maintain weight.
4. Intermittent fasting: Intermittent fasting is the process of giving your body a rest for a day or a few hours.
It is basically a cleansing process. Either you can go off the food for 24 hours once or twice a week or eat in 8 hours and go off food for the next 16 hours.
It’s a practice that brings positive changes to the body. A study on intermittent fasting has shown the results of decreasing the belly fat from 4%-7% in a period of 6-24 weeks — as well as the mind and soul.
A good intermittent fasting book can get you started down the road to positive change.
5. Yoga: In 2012, a study reviewed that females after menopause who started doing yoga showed a significant results in lowering visceral fats.
Only the breathing exercise has so much power as it relaxes the body and mind.
6. Walk: If our body is in constant movement, it is bliss for it.
Walk everyday to shed those extra pounds. 40-60 minutes of brisk walking everyday has proven to be a great way to increase metabolism rate.
7. Keep hydrated: Water is more essential element in your daily routine. It increases metabolism and helps giving out excessive waste from body.
It melts fat and pushes it out. Minimum intake of 8 glasses of water per day will do wonders to your body.
8. Eat every three hours: Skipping meals has never done anyone right. It does not help in reducing calories.
In fact, the next time you eat, you tend to eat more. Never starve your body is the basic rule as it starts storing everything like a fat while on starvation mode.
In fact, eat every 2-3 hours as it keeps your body fueled and energized.
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It is important to know the requirements of our body. Best solution is to combine the foods and exercises in your daily routine.
One thing done individually won’t show greater results but number of activities combined will show the results in no time.
In the end if you are eating healthy food and leading a healthy lifestyle, fat will just be an episode of past!
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