One goal often found on people’s fitness goals is to lose belly fat and losing it fast would be just icing on the cake. What is belly fat? It’s called visceral fat and the most dangerous type of fat for your health. It wraps around organs and causes pressure, is linked to serious diseases like diabetes and hypertension and is harder to lose than normal fat. That fat around the middle make getting a flat stomach impossible. You can do it, but you have to make several lifestyle changes.
Start with a program of healthy eating.
Spot reducing isn’t real. You can tighten muscles with exercise and lose weight all over your body, but you can’t pick the spots where you lose that weight or fat. You have to start with a healthy diet that eliminates foods with added sugar and have food that contains both types of fiber. Just eating healthy isn’t enough, you have to focus on what you drink. Even if you think you’re cutting calories with diet drinks, a recent study shows diet soft drinks may actually cause increased abdominal fat.
Stress may be one of the culprits.
Stress causes the body to start the fight or flight response. It’s a rush of hormones that make changes to the body to prepare it for either. One of those hormones is cortisol, which is linked to the accumulation of belly fat. It’s also linked to increased appetite. Learning techniques to mentally decompress, such as meditation or controlled breathing, can help bring down the level of stress before it gets out of hand. Exercise can also help burn off the hormones of stress, including the cortisol and will tone your muscles to make your belly look smaller.
Maybe the problem comes from what you’re not eating!
Take another look at your diet for this aid. It’s all about the amount of fiber in your diet. There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fiber can’t be digested and provides bulk for your stools to help prevent constipation. Constipation can cause bloating and make your belly look even bigger. The second type of fiber is soluble fiber. It turns to a gel and feeds the friendly bacteria, which can also help reduce belly fat. Fiber also slows the absorption of sugar, which stabilizes blood glucose levels and helps prevent insulin resistance, which also can cause the accumulation of belly fat.
- The beneficial bacteria in the gut fed by soluble fiber that affects how your food is digested. They produce short-chain fatty acids during the process of digestion that helps lower the risk of belly fat and can reduce it.
- Drink plenty of water. Not only will the water help fill you up and boost your energy, it can also aid in flushing your system. If you make the water cold, it actually causes the body to burn more calories.
- Get a good night’s sleep. Lack of sleep can be responsible for belly fat in two ways. It can cause stress, which leads to the production of cortisol and possibly more belly fat. It also causes an imbalance in the hunger/satiety hormones that makes you hungrier.
- Start your day with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in an 8-oz glass of water. In animal studies, the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar helped reduce belly fat. Human studies showed it helps lose weight.
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