Belly fat. Nobody wants to carry a big belly around. Especially now that the beach season is approaching. Despite all this, it seems to be hard for people to either get rid of their belly fat or not to gain it, which would be the best option.
In this article we will explain everything about this nasty belly fat. This is important because belly fat does not only cause an aesthetic problem but can also lead to health issues. We will also explain why we gain more and more and how you can lose it though.
What is belly fat?
Fat tissue isn’t just ugly and annoying. No, it basically has an important job in the body. Fat, all above subcutaneous fat has protective roles as well as it serves as an energy storage. The fat stored can be used by the muscles, the brain and the liver to create energy in case it is needed.
But there are different types of fat tissue in our body:
- Subcutaneous fat, which is located under the skin and make about 80% of our body fat.
- Intra abdominal fat (intra = inside, abdominal = belly) or also called visceral fat: This includes the visceral adipose tissue located around the digestive organs and the kidney, which together account for approx. 20% of the total body fat. The role of visceral fat is to protect the organs it surrounds.
This type of fat is able to produce different hormones, like sex hormones and glucocorticoids (stress hormones) and proteins like leptin (the hunger Messenger). relate to our metabolism. It is metabolically active and thus can cause disequilibrium and disease in our body.
A scientific work has shown, that adipose tissue excess or obesity, particularly in the visceral compartment, is associated with insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and prothrombotic and proinflammatory states. So this is serious stuff. Lets see, what we can do about it.
Why do we get a belly?
Maybe you also noticed that passing your 40st birthday, your body composition changes. This is a natural process. The average adult loses 3–8% of muscle during each decade after 30.
You don't eat anything different, you exercise as always (nothing or a lot), but suddenly your belly grows. This is mainly due to the fact, that metabolism slows down as we get older. So if we don't adapt our habits to a slower metabolism we accumulate more and more body fat.
How to avoid gaining belly fat?
The simple fact of gaining weight, and we are talking about gaining fat, is that we eat consume more calories than we burn. As our metabolism slows down, this means that we either have to consume less calories or burn more through physical activity.
Another interesting fact is, that weight gain does not tend to be continually. It is more about the holidays, the days when we overeat big way because we think it doesn't matter. One review showed that the holiday season seems to increase body weight in adults, even in participants seeking to lose weight and in motivated self-monitoring people.
How to lose belly fat?
- Eat less calories than you burn
- Every excessive energy consumed will be stored as fat.
- Eat a lot of protein
- Increases your metabolic rate
- Keeps you full longer
- May help to avoid sugar cravings by keeping your blood glucose stable
- Protects you from losing muscle mass when being on a diet
- Avoid sugar and processed carbs
- High sugar foods and drinks are linked to the accumulation of fat, especially visceral fat
- Those types of food have shown to have an addictive compound - it is harder to stop or quit them from your diet.
- High sugar foods lead to insulin pikes, which promotes fat storage if there are excessive carbs in your bloodstream. apart from that it is linked to the development of metabolic diseases
- Perform High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
- Burns more calories than other types of workout, which is better for fat loss
- Creates an "After burn effect" - The body continues burning calories for a longer time after finishing the workout.
- Has shown to be highly effective in gaining power & strength
- Increase your Non-Exercise-Activity-Thermogenesis (neat):
- Increase your metabolic rate by implementing activity in your daily routines:
- Take the stairs
- Go off the underground one station earlier
- Walk instead of taking the bus/car
- Don’t sit for long time (stand up, walk around, do 10 squats...)
- Fidget Spinner
- Sleep well:
- Sleep has shown to affect our body composition
- Bad sleep promotes fat storage as short sleepers tend to eat more
- Bad or less sleep promotes cravings
- Stress increases cortisol levels
- High cortisol = increasing fat storage , especially around the waist
Belly fat isn’t just an esthetic problem. It can be really harmful to your health. There are effective ways to lose belly fat.