Looking at yourself in the mirror to find “love handles” or fat around your abdomen, is definitely not good news! Of course, you know that already.
Your clothes don’t fit and your figure doesn’t look good but the implications of stubborn belly fat are far worse! Visceral fat as it is called lurks under the skin as padding in the abdomen, thighs, buttocks or the upper arms. Yes, they do make you look out of shape and cause wardrobe problems but the health issues that come with it are far more alarming. Read on to learn more.
Visceral fat is metabolically active and it leads to the release of stress hormones namely cortisol and moreover, it affects the production of insulin as it churns out inflammatory substances called cytokines that affect the liver. So basically, you aren’t just overweight! The deep running belly fat can lead to problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, stroke, types of cancers, heart diseases and even dementia!
So get your tape measure out and check your waistline. If your waist measures anything over 40 inches (for men) and over 35 inches (for women), you have what is called abdominal obesity. But the good news is, this can be treated!
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Here are 7 simple tips that can help you deal with stubborn belly fat-
- Cut down on your sugar consumption. If you want to lose those love handles, you have got to avoid sugar. Sugar is basically made up of glucose and fructose which is broken down and metabolized by the liver. But when we consume foods that are rich in sugar we put our liver in overdrive. Sugar gets accumulated in the liver over time. Thus, forcing it to convert all the sugar into fat. This fat gets accumulated around your waistline and also leads to a ‘fatty liver’. Moreover, this leads to insulin resistance and metabolic problems among others.
- No saturated fats! Saturated fats will only cause more visceral fat to accumulate in your liver. We don’t want that, do we? Instead, opt for food that is rich in polyunsaturated fats. Nuts, seeds, and fish are a few options you could include in your diet. Meanwhile, don’t forget to watch out for trans fats!
- Eat more protein. Protein is said to reduce sugar cravings by almost 60% and it also enhances metabolism rates. So make sure you consume high protein foods such as fish, eggs, legumes, nuts, dairy products and lean meats. In case you are lactose intolerant or allergic to nuts or are simply finding it hard to consume the adequate amount of proteins required for the day, try a good protein supplement. I use a pure bone broth protein powder which works well with my breakfast smoothies!
- You need fiber-rich food. Not all fibers have the same effect though. We are talking about soluble and viscous fibers that are said to slow down the movement of food through the digestive tract and keep you feeling full for a long time and slows down the absorption of nutrients as well.
What better way to get more fiber that plant food? Vegetables, fruits, and legumes are a great source of dietary fiber that prevents the accumulation of belly fat. So eat your veggies!
- Physical activity is vital. This is a no-brainer. You can walk, run, swim, jog, exercise, play a sport, dance or do whatever it takes to get your heart rate up. This gets your calories burning and belly fat… What belly fat? Although high-intensity cardio has earned the reputation of the ultimate fat burning routine, a good strength training workout will help you grow stronger and boost your metabolism rates. This eventually burns calories leading to a flatter belly and healthy body.
- Sleep is essential. As an adult, you need 8 solid hours of sleep and these 8 hours are crucial for the belly fat too. When you are sleep deprived your body becomes tired and hungry which leads to food cravings and unhealthy ‘midnight snacking’. If you find it difficult to fall asleep at night, try yoga. Yoga helps calm your mind and body which in turn helps you sleep better. Another way to improve the quality of sleep is with pure organic ashwagandha supplements. Just get 8 hours of sleep! Ok?
- Try green tea. Switch your coffee, tea and sweetened beverages with green tea. This herbal concoction is loaded with antioxidants called catechins which helps burn belly fat. Besides, people who exercise every day and drink green tea regularly are said to shed their belly fat faster than those who don’t. Go green!
Make sure you keep track of what and how much you eat, take note of your physical activities and of course, your progress!