Have you ever had the experience of waking up each morning before taking your bath, you would hold the two sides of your stomach trying to bring them together to determine the quantity of belly fat? Or have you been so worried about the sudden increase in the circumference of your waist as you feel your trousers are tightened lately and not relaxed as before or better still your shirts or blouse can’t fit in as you try to button up? If you have gone through this, then there is a greater probability that you have put on more weight and abdominal fat and there is an urgent need to stop further accumulation of these fatty tissues otherwise may lead to abdominal obesity which is a potent risk factor of other health disorders like cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
This article seeks to give you an intro on belly fat and how we can quickly eradicate this metabolic health syndrome to avoid the generation of other health disorders linked to abdominal obesity.
Definition of Belly Fat.
Belly fat is the excess abdominal fat that surrounds the organs in your stomach.
There are 3 types of fat.
This is one that accumulates under the skin and you can grab due to its soft nature. It is also called looser fat and makes the majority of body fat.
It is also known as active or belly fat and it is out of reach beneath the abdominal walls surrounding the livers, pancreas, and intestines. They are called active fat due to the active visceral or fat cells that are known to secrete hormones that affect other tissues.
NB. Abdominal obesity is the excessive accumulation of abdominal fat mass around the abdomen and stomach of which at a given moment can cause harm to our healthy life. It is also known as central, visceral, or truncal obesity.
This fat is found within the skeletal muscles.
Haven realized a great amount of belly fat in our body which may lead to abdominal obesity and subsequent metabolic syndromes like cancer, diabetes type 2, and cardiovascular disease-CVD, reverse the situation or avoid belly fat if we persistently practice the following lifestyles below.
One of the best and quickest ways to shy away from belly fat is to do your best to limit the consumption of foods with high sugar. These foods include fruit juice and high carbs foods. Surgery foods when ingested in high amounts increase the blood-sugar level. This leads to the accumulation of sugar in cells in the form of fat which may lead to type 2 diabetes and CVD if care is not taken.
Fruit juices should be discouraged because they contain far more sugar than fibers and their vitamins and minerals have also been tempered during juicing. If you are a fan of juice or some sugary foods we recommend you consume them in strict moderation while watching on your weight and abdominal fat for any positive results. Other examples of high sugar liquids to be avoided are sports drinks, sweetened milk, sweetened beverages, etc.
Sugar like sucrose is a disaccharide with 50% each glucose and fructose as monomers. When highly consumed, the liver is filled with fructose which transforms into fat. Fructose increases abdominal and liver fats which cause insulin resistance and other health metabolic disorders mentioned above.
It is important to note that fructose in fruits is blended by high fiber, minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins making many fruits to be extremely healthy for consumption.
Consume more vegetables.
Munching vegetables brings about the feelings of fullness since they have a good amount of fibers. This makes you ingest little or no food that is less healthy and detrimental to your weight loss plans. Your overall calorie intake value drops as you eat more vegetables. Vegetables also have minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins that boost metabolism and later on burn down belly fat.
Practically, a person given two plates of vegetables and two plates of biscuits will probably feel more full and healthier while taking vegetables which are also known for their low-calorie value.
Vegetables also have vitamin C which suppresses cortisol (a popular stress hormone that increases appetite and cravings), limiting appetite and preventing belly fat accumulation.
Monitor your macro-nutrients.
As we have earlier mentioned to stay away from sugar and sugary juice and also eat more vegetables, other foods can be comfortably consumed since they supply us with healthy macro-nutrients like proteins and healthy fats while carbohydrates have to be munched with precautions.
Do your best to avoid or limit the consumption of simple carbs like white bread, refined-grain pasta, candy, white rice, pizza dough, sweet desserts, etc since these refined carbs have had their fibers and other important minerals shed off.
The consumption of high protein diets has been numerously studied and highly approved for people wishing to lose weight and shed off some belly fat. Protein is a very essential macro-nutrient for weight loss as it boosts metabolism, increases satiety, reduces cravings, and appetite. Moreover, the consumption of quality protein was found to be inversely proportional to abdominal fat. Quality protein is simply the ratio of essential amino acids to total dietary protein. Examples of protein foods good for weight loss and shedding off belly fat are lean meat, breast chicken, whole eggs, salmon, tuna, some dairy products, nuts, etc.
A high-fat diet with sweetened milk has been studied in mice and termed an obesogenic diet as it increases body weight and visceral fat and causes insulin resistance. Also try and avoid Trans fats which are formed when hydrogen is added to liquid vegetable oils to make it solid, since their consumption was been halted by the FDA in Nov 2013 due to their inducement of some metabolic complications like obesity and CVD.
Foods like nuts, whole grains, avocados, salmon, tuna, olive oil, coconut oil, etc contain healthy fats and are pretty safe for consumption, some of which have been marked to reduce belly fat due to their monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA). Good examples are coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado.
The frequent consumption of yogurt is also good in lowering belly fat, This is probably due to the calcium present in this dairy product which slows down adipogenesis, the process of making fats, as investigated by Michael Zemel.
Go for Physical Activities.
It is very evident that exercise sheds off unwanted calories thereby lowering our overweight and belly fat but most individuals are adamant to this routine probably due to laziness, no time, or lack of purpose. But we will like to emphasize that if you truly wish to burn down belly fat, the number one thing you must do is go some physical activities. Running and walking are the two most important exercises to fight belly fat; however, running does it more efficiently.
During physical activities, calories are burned and the quantity of body fats drops. Other physical activities that drive body calories down are bicycling, bicycle exercise, ball crunch exercise, vertical leg exercise, etc.
Have you tried NEAT?
NEAT, which stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, is the burning of calories by the movement we make during our day to day activities. It embodies the unplanned physical movements like sleeping, breathing, eating, fidgeting, etc. It is also known as Non –Exercise Physical Activity, NEPA.
Activities like cooking, shopping, small movements like fidgeting, or playing musical instruments have been acknowledged to play an impact on our metabolism and energy expenditure.
Avoid sitting for too long and even if your job requires more sitting, find time to stand up or go for the standing desk.
Fidgeting like shaking your legs, tapping your foot, unconsciously swinging your pen with your fingers, and other signs of restlessness have been proven to help in weight loss and belly fat reduction.
How to Rest.
Most people rest by sitting on a coffee table, seating room watching TV, or barely listening to music while lying on their seats or bed. This form of passive rest may slow your metabolism and cause you to gain weight and accumulate fat in your internal abdominal cavities. If individuals can use their resting time into some physical activities like sports, engaging in some active hobbies like gulf, dancing, fun, and laughing sessions that cause minute movements, making the rest active this will eventually help them lose body calories.
Moreover, this resting period can also be used on sleep since sleep is known to improve weight loss and reduce belly fat. Having a good sleep for 6-7 hours will avoid you from accumulating pounds since lesser time spent on sleep reduces leptin production which suppresses appetite. So if leptin is lowered due to little or no sleep, you will have more appetite and the zeal to eat more thereby ingesting more calories.
Don’t be a fan to weight loss supplements.
Although some of these pills have helped many people in their weight loss/belly fat program, most of these weight loss drugs’ scientific backgrounds are still questionable. Some are not FDA approved and others come with side effects. We suggest you try the natural ways (dieting and physical activities) of losing weight first before introducing yourself to pills, and of course with the help of your nutritionist. Some pills will work efficiently and others won’t. And as some work, they do so with side effects while others cause no side effects as they render a just and healthy service. But whatever the case, we suggest you do a thorough review of any weight loss supplements before consumption.
You may wish to check a few excellent reviews on some wonderful and popular weight loss supplements here.
Pay more attention to your muscles.
If you are developing fat, you may try lifting weights to develop your muscles. Muscles are more metabolically active than fat and having more muscles help you burn more calories. Spot exercising like sit-ups tighten abdominal muscles but do not target your visceral fat.
Drink Green Tea.
Drinking green tea alongside moderate exercise will help you lose weight and some belly fat. The caffeine and antioxidant-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in green tea increases the rate of metabolism and initiates abdominal fat loss in obese and overweight people. This compound enhances the burning of fat during aerobic exercise.
Be careful with Alcohol.
This colorless and volatile liquid present in beer and wine and manufactured by the fermentation of sugar with the help of microbes like yeasts has been applauded because of its health benefits when consumed in a limited amount. However, overconsumption of alcohol is detrimental to health leading to abdominal obesity commonly known as beer belly-a belly that extends beyond your pants. Alcohol consumed in large quantities is also known to increase appetite which increases cravings and calorie intake leading to weight gain and accumulation of visceral fat.
To recapitulate, there are many ways you can lose belly fat rapidly and one of the best methods is to exercise as we consciously control our diet. As we strive to shy away from foods and activities that may surprise us with abdominal obesity, a combination of some of the ways listed above can be blended to attain the maximum results.
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Thanks and stay safe.