Many people struggle with belly fat, also known as visceral fat. This visceral fat is found in the deep in the abdominal cavity and is particularly dangerous since it’s located near several vital organs-liver, pancreas, stomach, and intestines. It’s also close to the heart and has a direct effect on its function. It’s sometimes referred to as “active fat” because it can actively increase the risk of serious health problems. This type of fat is tricky because it can hide inside a thin person. Once you have belly fat or a potbelly, you are at risk for much worse side effects such as insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease, and inflammation.
Below are some ways to reduce belly fat:
Eat lots of fiber.
Fiber helps slow down food as it passes through your digestive system. It promotes weight loss by helping you feel full, so you don’t overeat. It also reduces the number of calories your body absorbs, by creating more waste. Eating as many fresh vegetables and fruits as you can daily help guarantee you get enough natural fiber. Whole grains in moderation, and adding a fiber supplement will help as well.
Stay away from foods that have trans fats.
Trans fats are made from pumping hydrogen into unsaturated fats. These trans fats can be found in margarines and spreads, and in pre-packaged foods. They are linked to inflammation, heart disease, insulin resistance, and abdominal fat gain. Read product labels and avoid buying foods with trans fats. Instead, buy fresh meats and produce and prep your own meals. We live in a fast-paced world, but store-bought convenience isn’t always the answer. Take some extra time and invest in your health.
Drink alcohol in moderation (or not at all).
Alcohol in moderation is acceptable, but drinking too much can be harmful and dangerous to your health. Abuse over time can affect your liver and brain function, not to mention your skin’s complexion. Weight tends to increase around the belly area, particularly in men. This is especially dangerous since it is close to the heart. Alcohol adds calories, often in the form of sugar, most people aren’t taking into consideration when they are indulging, and this also contributes to additional pounds on the scale.
Eat a high-protein diet.
Protein is an extremely important nutrient for weight control. Having a high protein diet helps increase a hormone that makes you feel fuller, therefore decreases your appetite. Protein also increases your metabolic rate and helps you retain lean muscle mass during weight loss.
Reduce your stress.
Stress can make you gain belly fat due to the stress hormone, cortisol, that is released by the adrenal glands. If this hormone is in overdrive, other side effects occur too. Cortisol can be the culprit in digestive problems, poor sleep, anxiety, chronic headaches, and more. All of these can lead to weight gain, and also unseen visceral fat gain.
Try to engage in activities that will relieve stress such as yoga or meditation.
Cut waaaay back on sugar.
Stay away from foods that contain a lot of sugar. It’s “empty calories”, meaning no nutritional value. Sugar masks itself under many other names on a product’s ingredient label. Look for sucrose, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, saccharin, maltose, corn syrup, honey, molasses, aspartame, glycerin, just to name a few. The health risks, in addition to excessive weight gain, include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and fatty liver disease.
Take part in cardio exercises.
Cardio is one of the most effective exercises to improve your health and help burn calories. There is no definite answer if cardio has to be moderate-intensity or high intensity to be more beneficial. It has been said that it is more important to focus on frequency and duration rather than intensity.
Get a lot of sleep.
Sleeping is one of the most important aspects of your health. Those who do not get enough sleep will tend to gain more weight, therefore, results in belly fat. Sleeping conditions such as sleep apnea results in an excess amount of visceral fat. It is said that an average adult should sleep at least seven hours per night.
Track your calories and exercise.
By reducing the number of calories consumed, you will lose weight, especially belly fat.
There are many apps that are available for tracking food and exercise. When tracking food, it helps you monitor your calorie intake along with the amount of protein, carbs, fiber, and micronutrients. You can also track workouts and changes in body composition. Power 3 has its own app. Ask the front desk how you can sign up today!
Eat probiotic foods or take supplements.
Probiotics are “good” bacteria that is found in supplements and some foods. There are many benefits to these bacteria, including improving health and immune function. Taking a probiotic supplement can help with digestion and promote weight loss.
Can't burn that pesky fat?
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