Belly fat is one of the most irritating and persistent obstacles to losing weight. Almost everyone has belly fat. Even the most physically fit people have small portions of fat in their stomachs. This type of fat is also known as visceral fat and is located deep within the stomach cavity, in between the organs and abdominal wall. It is different from subcutaneous fat, which is found right beneath the skin and is easily burned. All types of stomachs have belly fat deep within their cavities, and it is more difficult to burn them than the regular fat under the skin. Losing this fat requires taking extra care of the body. There are a few key techniques that can improve health and fitness to have that nasty belly fat gone in no time.
1. Eat more protein and fiber
Protein and fiber are the best nutrients to add to any diet to cut down on fat. Protein plays a key role in metabolism and activates the liver, which is one of the body’s main centers for fat burning. Fiber helps get rid of fat by absorbing the toxins found in fat stores. It also regulates the body’s blood sugar levels after each meal. Some foods that are both high in protein and fiber and low in fat are oatmeal, beans, whole-grain bread, quinoa, and fruits and vegetables.
2. Avoid eating too much sugar
Sugars are an essential part of any diet. Unfortunately, they can also lead to excessive weight gain. Sugar is also known to be very addictive, making it difficult for some people to stop eating it. When too much is consumed, the liver converts this extra sugar to fat and sends it into the bloodstream where it is stored in different parts of the body. It is not good to stop eating sugar completely, thus the key is to control consumption. Eating small servings a few days of the week will reduce the impact it has on body fat while providing the body with the energy it needs. It is also recommended to find sugary sweetness in fruits instead of artificial sweets.
3. Get enough sleep
Lacking the right amount of sleep each night can cause serious problems for metabolism. It disrupts the body’s natural hormone regulation, leading to a bigger appetite and inevitable weight gain. The body releases higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone found in the gastrointestinal tract. Ghrelin is a regulatory hormone that increases hunger. The less sleep acquired, the more ghrelin is found in the bloodstream. Sleep deprivation also increases insulin resistance, also leading to increased hunger and high blood sugar levels. Getting at least seven hours of sleep each night assures proper metabolic functions throughout the day and prevents over-eating. Proper sleep results in less chances of gaining excessive body fat.
4. Proper stress management
Stress has similar effects on hormone regulation as sleep deprivation. It releases several hormones into the bloodstream that increase appetite and eventually lead to higher body fat. Cortisol is a notorious stress hormone known for increasing blood sugar and leading to abnormal weight gain in the stomach. Stress leads to uncontrollable eating and unbalanced sleeping habits and is a regular culprit behind an unmitigated gain in flab. Common stress management techniques include practicing meditation or breathing exercises for immediate relief. Regular exercise can also help calm both the body and mind, especially relaxing practices such as yoga or tai chi. Time must be allotted for proper rest and relaxation to avoid overloading on too many stressful activities.
5. Eat good fats and keep away from bad ones
Not all types of fats will actually make the body bloat. Some dietary fats are essential for the body and can help promote better physical shape. There are two types of dietary fats – saturated and unsaturated fats. Saturated fats are the real offender behind weight gain. They clog up arteries and increase cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. Unsaturated fats, on the other hand, lower cholesterol levels and can reduce the risk of heart disease. Preventing weight gain from dietary fats involves staying away from too much butter, lard, dairy products, and fatty meat and poultry and eating more of the good fats – such as nuts, seeds, avocados, peanut butter, and olive oil.
6. Endurance fitness training
The perfect exercise to reduce belly fat is cardio. Cardio training is the best type of fitness training for losing weight. High intensity low weight repetitions are ideal for burning fat. Jogging, jumping rope, swimming, and aerobics training are all good forms of exercise that keep the body perspiring and burning for longer periods than other types of training. Cardio training for at least one and a half hours each week will result in a considerable decrease in belly fat in a few weeks.
7. Eating based on metabolic type
The same kinds of low-fat diets do not always work for everyone. People have different kinds of metabolisms that require different types of diets to prevent weight gain. Type A metabolisms burn fat easily and results in strong appetites. These diets call for a lot of meat and protein and less sugar. People with type B have weak appetites and often crave sweets. A healthy diet for them would consist mostly of carbs and low-protein meat. Type C metabolisms eat both sweet and salty foods and need equal amounts of protein, carbs, and fats in their diet.
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