Belly fat problems
HEALTH

What causes belly fat?

The dreaded bulge of the belly better known as belly fat can be a detriment to our physical health and well-being. For years, medical experts have been warning us that too much weight around the middle places us at high-risk health conditions and even early death. As we age, many of us will experience an expansion around our mid-section that seems out of control. What can we do about our growing middle? There is hope for all of us. You have the power to control reverse belly fat and squash the potential effects of an illness that may accompany having excess weight around the middle.
Let’s take a closer look at the effects of belly fat and how to burn it off.

What causes belly fat?

There are multiple causes of belly fat. The primary contributor has everything to do with the calories you consume and the energy you burn. When we eat foods or drink beverages that contain a significant number of calories and fail to exercise or engage in other forms of physical activity, those calories store themselves away in the form of excess fat throughout your body, but especially around your belly. This padding of fat, however, does not stop at the subcutaneous level where it is just below the skin. Instead, there is an additional layer of fat known as visceral fat, deep within our belly that surrounds our internal organs.

Risk factors for belly fat

There are a few risk factors that may contribute to certain individuals gaining belly fat over others.
Poor diet
Diet plays a critical role in belly fat as weight gain will inevitably wind up in the mid-area of the body.
Alcohol
If you drink alcohol like its water or merely as a way to relax in the evenings, it may be causing your belly fat. Alcohol carries a fair number of calories which can have a direct impact on your waistline.
Gender
Women are particularly at risk for belly fat due to the loss of estrogen as they age which unfortunately contributes to the accumulation of fat around their middle.
Age
As we age, unless we are physically active, we generally lose muscle as a rule. That loss of muscle contributes to a change in our metabolism, limiting our ability to burn fat effectively.
Genetics
Family genetics can also play a role in belly fat which means you are particularly susceptible to experiencing difficulty with burning calories.

Strategies to burn fat

It is highly possible to burn away that dangerous belly fat, but it will require a deep level of commitment. Keep in mind that while it is impossible to specifically target belly fat, these methods do work in burning body fat, which inevitably will target that belly fat too.

Work On Your Abs

There is no one way to shed the fat, but the keyword for this journey will be consistency. Your goal should be to improve your core. Improving your core means building abdominal muscles so that those muscles work on your behalf to dump the fat.

Change Your Diet

If you have not already done so, it is time to take a long, hard look at what it is you are putting into your body. There are multiple ways you can change the way you eat. There are several dietary lifestyles out there that can produce results.

Keto Diet

Say bye-bye to excessive carbohydrate intake with the ketogenic diet. Your focus instead involves increasing your vegetable intake, protein, and healthy fats. This diet tricks your body into using its fat stores for energy. Keto followers typically adhere to managing their daily caloric intake as follows five to ten percent calories come from carbs, fifteen to thirty percent of calories come from protein, and sixty to seventy-five percent calories come from fat. After starting this diet, within two to seven days, your body enters a condition known as ketosis, triggering your body to make and release ketones. These ketones are used in place of carbs, and this triggers the much-desired fat burn for energy. Followers report an increase in energy once they move past the initial stages of ketogenesis. Keto dieters may initially experience something known as “keto flu” which can trigger symptoms such as nausea, exhaustion, lightheadedness, and diarrhea. However, these symptoms generally only last one week. Once you enter week two, energy levels creep up, and the scale shifts down.
Here are some examples of foods you can eat on the ketogenic diet.
∙ Beef, pork, poultry ∙ Fish ∙ Green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, collards, spinach, kale ∙ Other vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, and Brussel sprouts are okay ∙ Avocado ∙ Cheese ∙ Coconut oil ∙ Sour Cream ∙ Plain Greek Yogurt ∙ Olive oil ∙ Nuts and seeds (in moderation)
You should avoid the following foods when following the ketogenic diet:
Starchy vegetables like potatoes, or corn ∙ Table sugar and foods made from it ∙ Fruit∙ Liquor ∙ Rice, pasta and other starches ∙ Candy ∙ Pasta ∙ Soda or sugary drinks
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Skip Processed Food

All processed food has some level of detriment to your health, especially that of weight gain. Choose whole real clean food and your waist will thank you.

Drink Water

It may be time for you to bid your favorite soft drink farewell. Soda, even diet soda, can contribute to the fat surrounding your middle. Drinks that contain sugar like juice and sweet tea can wreak havoc on your best efforts in the battle against the bulge. You will need to replace those higher caloric drinks with water. Studies show that eliminating sugary drinks and alcohol may remove as much as 1800 calories per week from your diet. Imagine that! That’s almost a full pound. You know the adage; aim for seven to eight glasses of water each day. Some studies even suggest that you should drink 16 ounces of water before a meal (webmd source). This action can help you take in as much as thirteen percent fewer calories. Another suggestion is that when you are in the throes of a hunger pang episode, you should first drink water to ensure that what may appear to be a state of hunger is not merely a case of dehydration. Dehydration can cause you to eat at times that are not necessary or even consume more calories than are required. Our body is seventy percent of water. To sustain the various metabolic processes that take place, we have to replace water loss. Water can prove beneficial in adding digestion of food and burning calories.

Get Some Sleep

It may seem impossible for some and basic for others but establish a bedtime schedule. Take the necessary steps to ensure you go to bed at the same time every time. When we fail to secure a good night’s rest, our body has to find a way to sustain us. We inadvertently trigger stress within our body, and as a result, it also stimulates a shift in our metabolism. This shift in our metabolism compels the body to preserve fat –specifically around our middle. According to one study, “two groups of overweight non-smokers ate calorie-restricted diets for 14 days. One group documented an average of 8.5 hours of sleep per night, and the other logged 5.5 hours of sleep per night (which the authors point out is a “norm” for the period). Each group consumed approximately 1,450 calories a day.” “After two weeks, the people who slept more lost weight faster than the group who slept less. More than half of the weight loss during the 8.5 hours of sleep was fat versus only one-quarter of the weight loss during the 5.5 hours of sleep. The moral of the story here is that those who slept longer vs. those who were sleep-deprived burned more fat.”
Your goal should be to aim for a minimum of seven to eight hours of sleep per night.

Physical Fitness

Burning belly fat may very well require you to introduce fitness into your daily regimen but figuring out what will help you to burn belly fat may seem overwhelming. The good news is that there is no magic bullet and you have the option to find the fitness regimen that works best for your physical abilities and schedule. Here are a few exercises you can perform to trigger the burn.

Treadmill Incline

Some people loathe the idea of having to board a treadmill, but for those who are looking to keep it simple, the treadmill can be a no-brainer in the fight against the bulge. Walking 20minutes a day, five days a week at a slight incline can help you to increase your calorie burn by as much as fifty percent

Stress Management Tips

There are a few things you can do to rein in your stress levels. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Practice Meditation

Set aside five to ten minutes a day (to start) to practice meditation. Meditation is a natural way to help your mind and body relax. Mindfulness meditation will help you to garner a bit of self-awareness and release emotions that are contributing to your state of physical stress

Make Time for Fitness

Aside from using fitness to burn belly fat, fitness is a fantastic way to also burn through stress. Exercise helps to trigger the release of endorphins and serotonin which serve as positive mood-boosting agents.

Endorphins are known to:

  • Lower stress
  • Rid us of anxiety and depression
  • Improve self-esteem and
  • Improve our sleep experience

Fitness can take place in a variety of forms including:

  • Walking for 20 minutes
  • Swimming
  • Yoga
  • Working around the house
In summary, we must take efforts to gain control of belly fat. Failure to do so can leave you vulnerable to several chronic conditions that can be debilitating and even contribute to an early death. You have the ability to take control of your belly fat through exercise and diet. It is a lifestyle change that will require you to commit to it for long-term, lasting results.
Finally, don’t be afraid to seek professional help for your fitness or mental well-being. Your goal is a success. Give yourself permission to seek help if necessary.
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