Belly fat doesn’t have to be permanent. With proper diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes you can successfully shed unwanted pounds over time.
Belly fat can be caused by various factors, including genetics and stress. Here’s how you can overcome your stubborn fat once and for all.
Food plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of our bodies. A poor diet may contribute to chronic diseases or medical issues that negatively impact wellbeing.
Healthy diets consist of whole, unprocessed and natural foods. They offer ample vitamins and minerals while being low in calories. Furthermore, they include foods rich in fibre and protein such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and low-fat dairy products.
Opinions vary on whether processed foods can really be the answer to fat loss; some “healthy” ones contain empty calories and added sugars that cause blood sugar levels to skyrocket, leading to weight gain and belly fat accumulation.
One of the major culprits are trans fats, found in fast foods like fried chicken and fries, baked goods and processed meats. Trans fats have been linked with inflammation that contributes to excess belly fat accumulation.
Saturated and omega-6 fats found in red meat fatty cuts and full-fat dairy are another cause for alarm, linked with heart disease and other health conditions.
Many processed and fast foods contain saturated and omega-6 fats, in addition to artificial sweeteners that can wreak havoc with your gut bacteria. Unlike natural sugars that pass easily through cells, artificial sweeteners do not dissolve as easily and may clog your intestines, potentially compromising digestive health and increasing risks for diseases like celiac disease and obesity.
People may be sensitive to certain substances, triggering symptoms like gas and bloating. Such foods are known as FODMAPs and should be avoided if you suffer from IBS or digestive disorders.
White refined rice and pasta contain large amounts of carbs that could cause weight gain over time. Be mindful in how much of these carbohydrates you consume each day so as not to cause more weight gain in the long run.
Eat too many of these types of food and your chances of developing visceral fat increases significantly. A study with over 3,156 young adults concluded that those who consumed fast food three or more times per week had higher visceral fat than those who only ate them once every month or less often.
Lack of Exercise
Belly fat can result from several factors, including insufficient exercise, eating an unhealthful diet and having short or poor quality sleep. Excess belly fat also increases your risk for several health conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.
Exercise regularly is one of the best ways to shed belly fat. Additionally, regular physical activity lowers your risk for associated health conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, helping you shed unwanted pounds more easily.
Exercise routine can not only help you shed extra weight but can also improve your mood and energy levels, according to the National Institutes of Health. Exercise also builds muscle mass which reduces your risk for certain diseases.
Many people believe that exercise only burns body fat; however, exercise also improves cardiovascular health and decreases your risk of stroke. Physical activity boosts metabolism to enable you to burn calories more efficiently.
Exercise can help keep bones strong, which reduces your risk of osteoporosis and bone loss in later years. Furthermore, regular physical activity also lowers cholesterol levels which in turn lowers your risk for developing certain medical conditions, including heart disease and high blood pressure.
Exercise may play a vital role in the onset of diabetes and its risk increases with increasing body fat accumulation; especially around your waist area. Without sufficient physical activity, diabetes risk increases dramatically and this risk becomes especially elevated when combined with belly fat accumulation.
If you have diabetes, doctors usually advise increasing your daily consumption of fruits and vegetables while decreasing sugar consumption to help decrease insulin resistance, which is one of the major contributors to belly fat accumulation.
Make sure that you get plenty of rest and reduce stress levels – chronic anxiety can increase cortisol levels, leading to overeating and weight gain.
Postpartum bodies can be an intricate web, with variations depending on factors like your weight, activity level, dietary choices and genetics all having an impact on how your body changes post-pregnancy.
Pregnancy causes your stomach to expand to accommodate for the baby, causing abdominal muscles to loosen as the uterus expands – leading to diastasis recti (an abdominal separation caused by pregnancy), often seen among those who have had multiple babies or larger than expected babies.
If you suffer from postpartum belly size changes, it may take an extended period to return to pre-pregnancy stomach measurements. Core abdominal exercises that strengthen abs can sometimes help address this condition.
Eating low-cal, protein-rich foods may also be beneficial in helping you feel fuller for longer and avoid overeating. Furthermore, avoid eating excess processed food, sugary drinks and stimulating stimulants like caffeine.
Exercise regularly after giving birth is also crucial in terms of helping to return your tummy back to its pre-pregnancy size and shape. Exercising will not only burn off excess calories, but will also assist your tummy to reach its pre-pregnancy size and shape more easily.
An exercise regimen combining cardiovascular and strength training is key to effectively eliminating postpartum belly fat. To maximize results, exercise as soon as you give birth and adhere to an exercise program that not only helps you shed excess pounds but will also boost energy and decrease risk of postpartum depression.
Start doing tummy crunches, push-ups, planks and tricep dips to tighten and tone your abdomen and reduce a droopy tummy. Incorporate exercises like squats lunges and jumping jacks as part of your exercise routine as well.
Motherhood can be an amazing experience for both mother and child, yet returning to previous routines after giving birth can be challenging. Establishing positive personal habits as well as receiving appropriate nutrition and support will make motherhood much simpler and rewarding.
Under stress, your body releases hormones to help you cope. These include controlling blood sugar levels, regulating metabolism and reducing inflammation – among many other functions. Once the crisis has passed, though, everything should return to normal in terms of hormone release and production.
Stressful situations can raise hormone levels to dangerously high levels and contribute to weight gain in the midsection – commonly known as “stress belly,” although medical professionals refer to this condition as “stress obesity”.
Stress is something most of us experience at some point or another in life, whether at work, home or socially. Stressful events may arise at work, home or social settings as part of everyday living – be they work-related, domestic or social in origin.
Those experiencing stress regularly should find ways to control it and manage it effectively, which may involve changing their diet or lifestyle as well as decreasing stress levels.
Stress relief strategies that are simple yet effective include getting adequate rest, eating healthily and taking time for relaxation. Meditation, yoga or breathing exercises may also help calm nerves and provide more peace.
Stress relief may come in many forms; one way of doing this is changing how you think about things. For instance, if your job is creating strain and you need relief quickly, look for ways to alter its atmosphere such as changing jobs or working from home.
Your relationships should also benefit from this practice; if your arguments, fights or yelling escalate often between partners, perhaps now is an opportune time to sit down together and discuss matters openly – it might just ease up some pressure while making future stress easier to bear.
Exercise regularly: Not only will exercise help you keep a calorie deficit and shed excess fat, it can also boost your mood!
Cortisol levels increase with stress and can trigger your appetite for junk foods like cookies, chocolates, chips and fatty meats – which in turn leads to weight gain and an enlarged belly as cortisol encourages fat storage in that area.