A great body is essential to attract others and improve confidence. Are you having fat belly issues? Here’s why!
Belly Fat and Its Main Culprits
Belly or abdominal fat is not just fat or an extra layer under the skin (subcutaneous fat). It can include fats deep inside the abdomen and surrounding the abdominal organs (visceral fat). Too much visceral fat is more dangerous than subcutaneous fat as it poses more risks.
What Is Visceral Fat or Visceral Abdominal Fat?
Visceral fat, sometimes called hidden or deeper fat, is stored deep inside the abdominal cavities. It surrounds organs such as the stomach, intestines, and liver. Visceral fat makes up about one-tenth of the total body fat and is more common in men than women.
How Do I Know If I Have Excess Visceral Fat?
To know if you have visceral fat, you’ll need to know how much belly fat you have by measuring your weight using a tape measure. The risk of chronic diseases is high for men if the waist circumference is 94 centimeters or more.
Therefore, losing excess belly fat doesn’t just make you more attractive. It also aids in avoiding dangerous health complications. It can be challenging, but the first step to dealing with this issue is to know the causes of abdominal fat.
Some causative factors of abdominal fat include:
We are what we eat, and to keep our bodies healthy means consuming healthy foods. A common contributor to poor diet involves sugar.
- Foods containing added sugar: pastries, baked foods, processed foods, cereals, and protein bars.
- Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) or sugary drinks: Soda, energy drinks, coffee, and fruit juices are associated with increased visceral fat.
- Consumption of foods high in trans fat can also contribute to gaining weight. Typical food that uses trans fats is baked goods.
- Foods low in protein and high in carbohydrates can also increase overall body fat, including belly fat.
Physical inactivity brought by work, such as sitting in an office cubicle multiple hours a day, increase the risk factors for obesity and other medical illness such as cardiovascular disease. Continuous idleness will make it harder for the body to eliminate excess belly fat, especially if one consumes high-calorie foods.
Alcohol can be beneficial when taken in the proper dosage. However, too much can be harmful. Alcohol, especially red wine, can lower the risk of heart disease when consumed in moderation. However, too much alcohol can lead to excess weight gain, liver disease, inflammation, etc.
Stress Hormone Cortisol
Stressed people tend to eat more. Cortisol which helps the body fight stress, can affect metabolism and cause excess calories to be deposited in the belly and other body parts.
Lack of Sleep
Sleep deprivation can lead to unhealthy eating behaviors, such as increased food intake.
Causes of belly fat
Losing body fat and body weight is a personal choice. However, societal pressures make it hard to be comfortable in our bodies. You’ll need patience and consistency if you want to lose body and belly fat. Is there a secret to losing weight fast and keeping your body that way? There isn’t. You’ll need to stick to healthy weight loss strategies until you achieve your goal weight and body structure.
To trim those body and belly fat, you must look beyond the crunch and the plank and follow an effective program. Additionally, you can’t just target one body part. So, before you see the result on your belly, you must get rid of your excess body fat by getting rid of its causes. Some causes are:
As we age, we lose muscle mass, especially if we are not physically active. The decline in muscle mass decreases our body’s ability to use calories, making it more challenging to maintain a healthy weight.
Some studies found that our genes can contribute to obesity. Genetics can play a role in metabolism and our behavior, such as how we deal with stress.
As stated earlier, high sugar intake, low protein diet, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, lack of sleep, and stress can contribute to your excess belly fat.
Reducing belly fat requires the following:
How to Lose Belly Fat for Good
Do Cardiovascular and Strength Training
The main component of weight loss and belly fat reduction is exercise. You can combine aerobic exercise with resistance training to have the best benefits.
In addition to weight loss and losing more abdominal fat, strength training can increase lean muscle mass. People who lift weights with a high protein and low carb diet have better body structures.
As a starting point, you can follow the recommendation of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention:
- 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or activity (such as bike rides and fast walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise or activity (such as running) per week.
- Combine it with at least two days of strength training or muscle-strengthening activities.
- Abdominal exercises can also help you to lose belly fat.
Have a Healthy Diet
You can choose foods high in fiber and a low-carb diet to reduce belly fat, achieve sustainable weight loss, and prevent weight gain. A high-protein diet is also vital in keeping you full and can help repair tiny muscle tears from strength training.
You can also take a moderate amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. You can find these in nuts, fish, and olive oil. You’ll also want certain vegetable oils containing omega-3 fatty acids. Lean protein includes fish and low-fat dairy products. Whole grains and oat are excellent sources of fiber and have fewer calories.
You must limit sugary foods, liquid sugar, other sugary drinks, processed foods and meats, and refined carbs. Fatty foods or foods high in trans fats and saturated fats in meat and high-fat dairy products such as butter and cheese should also be limited.
Remember, a balanced diet provides many health benefits, and dietary fat is also vital to our health because it gives us energy and helps the body to absorb vitamins.
Aside from the effect of the cortisol hormone that can increase belly fat, stressed people tend to eat more to feel better. If you find yourself stress-eating, try to identify the cause and what you can do about it.
Have Enough Quality Sleep
Quality sleep has a significant impact on weight loss success. Some studies found that people who lack sleep and sleep less than five hours a day tend to munch on more calories. Aside from that, they have more time to eat snacks.
Limit Alcohol Intake
To lose belly fat, you’ll need to drink less alcohol. Aside from decreasing inhibition which can lead to eating more, it is also often mixed with sugary beverages.
Don’t Rely on Weight Loss Supplements Claiming Fast Results
Many drugs or supplements claiming fast results are not research-based and are not strictly regulated by the Federal Drug Administration. To lose weight, you should focus on a healthy lifestyle.
Try to Develop More Muscles
If you have more muscles, you’ll burn more calories while at rest. This is because muscles are more metabolically active than fat.
Have an Active Hobby
If your rest or leisure time is sitting and watching television for long hours, it’s time to change it to a fun physical activity. Try to engage in sports, biking, or walking your dog.
I Exercise and Eat Well; Why Do I Still Have Belly Fat?
You may have a hormonal belly. What is a hormonal belly in men? A hormonal belly is just that — a belly caused by hormones. It can be because of chemicals, stress, drugs, and other hormone-related issues that are out of your control. They usually affect your metabolism, energy, and hunger pangs.
Signs You Have a Hormonal Belly
One of the main signs of belly fat caused by hormones is unexplained weight gain. You might have made your weight loss journey by getting rid of all the causes and having a healthy diet and exercise, but you seem to not see results.
Other signs that you have a hormonal belly include:
- Being hungry all the time
- Being not satiated after eating
- Craving sugar
- Always getting stressed
- Having weight gain in the abdomen part only
- Suffering hair loss
Some Hormonal Issues Leading To Belly Fat in Men
In men, a low testosterone level can lead to weight gain. Testosterone is the most important sex hormone in the male because it helps in determining typical male characteristics like facial and body hair. It also promotes muscle growth. Decreased muscle growth can increase fat storage and lead to weight gain.
High stress can increase the cortisol hormone. Cortisol triggers the body to store fat.
How To Remove Hormonal Belly Fat
Tracing any underlying causes of hormonal belly fat is critical to treat it. To do this, it’s essential to talk with a professional, plus a combination of a healthy diet and exercise.
Is Belly Fat Dangerous?
Belly fat can be dangerous as it accumulates. Abdominal obesity can pose several health problems and is associated with increased risk of the following:
- High blood glucose levels or Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
Will My Belly Fat Vanish if I Lose Weight?
Losing belly fat is difficult to achieve with diet alone. Losing weight can decrease your waistline and reduce visceral fat, but the belly fat will not completely vanish. Also, you still need enough fat as an energy source.
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