Muffin-top, beer-gut, apple-in-the-middle? If any of these describe you, you are most likely in dire need of figuring out how to get rid of belly fat. Study after study reveals that excess fat around the middle is a predictor of pre-diabetes, type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and even some cancers. Fortunately, discarding that dangerous fat is possible, and there’s no mystery or secret behind how to do it.
Is Your Belly Fat Showing—or Hiding?
By looking in the mirror or checking your pants’ size, you can probably tell if you’re carrying a lot of weight around your mid section. One suggested way to find out is by grabbing a tape measure. If you’re a woman and your waist circumference exceeds 35 inches, you are indeed at increased risk for heart disease. The same applies to a man whose middle measurement exceeds 40 inches.
The fat right under your skin is called subcutaneous fat. The fat that is “hiding” is called visceral fat. This type of belly fat surrounds and fills up the spaces between organs like your intestines and stomach. It’s way more dangerous than just the fat you’re seeing.
Nevertheless, both subcutaneous and visceral fat significantly increase your chances of developing:
-high blood pressure,
-other degenerative diseases (including cancer)
Let’s keep in mind that our bodies need fat to function properly. But, if you fit into this category of carrying excess belly fat, it makes sense you’d want to figure out how to get rid of belly fat.
What Makes Belly Fat Dangerous?
The Journal of the American College of Cardiology published a study showing the increased risk of heart disease from hidden fat in your abdomen. The scariest part is that you don’t even have to appear grossly overweight in order to be carrying visceral fat. So, here’s the thing:
Hidden belly fat creates toxins. These inflammatory molecules are released into your bloodstream on a consistent basis. That means that toxicity is traveling throughout your body, not just your gut. This explains why disease can develop in places such as your heart, colon, pancreas, and other parts of your body.
According to the American Diabetes Association, belly fat creates chemicals called cytokines. These toxins make the body less sensitive to insulin. The body, in response to the weakening effect of insulin, actually pumps out more of it. An abundance of this hormone creates metabolic syndrome—which, in turn, may inevitably develop into type-2 diabetes.
Learning how to get rid of belly fat may be one way how to avoid getting very sick.
There’s No Secret
There’s no secret as to how you developed those extra inches around your abdominal area. Overeating, eating processed foods, lack of exercise, and lack of sleep are the main culprits. Another significantly negative factor that lends to storing unwanted fat is stress.
So, how can we successful rid ourselves of this danger in our body? There’s no secret to that either. There are four simple changes and/or additions you can make to your everyday living. Each one alone will help make you healthier. Utilizing all four practices concurrently are sure to help reduce belly fat.
How To Get Rid of Belly Fat
1) Eat a nutritional, balanced diet. We hear it time and time again, but that’s because it’s true—processed foods are your enemy. Pre-packaged foods with preservatives contain an overload of sugar and sodium. Trans fats are also terrible for your health and produce belly fat.
Balance your meals and snacks with fresh produce. Many nutritional experts suggest filling ½ your plate with veggies (green leaves, beets, green beans). The other half should be a combination of protein (lean meats, fish, nuts, legumes), whole grains (quinoa, farro, brown rice), and good fats (avocado, olive oil, coconut oil). Avoid sugar, bread, white potatoes, and corn.
2) Exercise daily. Move your body—the more the better. You don’t have to do a strenuous workout all the time. Choose activities you enjoy (cycling, jogging, Frisbee, stair climbing, bowling, brisk walking).
In the Journal of Applied Psychology, it was written that, “those people who are inactive have an increased amount of visceral fat.” On the other hand, “people who exercised vigorously reduced their visceral fat by approximately eight percent.”
3) Get some rest. Adults, on the average, should have about eight hours sleep per night. Find a way to achieve this. Instead of a cup of coffee on the weekend, try a nap. Proper rest allows your body (and mind) to function at its best. Lack of sleep tends to force your body to hold onto belly fat and also creates stress.
4) Reduce Your Stress. We all understand working, raising a family, and dealing with everyday circumstances. But your health needs to be the priority. Find a few minutes each day to meditate, stretch, deep breath, and let the worries of the world off your shoulders. Think positively. Breathe in gratitude and calm.
The above recipe is no secret to those with very little (or no) visceral fat—or to medical experts. Studies have shown that a diet-only program reaps a small improvement. Furthermore, combining healthy eating with exercise made a significant difference in the reduction of belly fat. Ultimately, however, the best practice in getting rid of the excess poundage was combining good eating habits, exercise, proper sleep, and stress reduction. Learning how to get rid of belly fat can help you lead a longer, healthier life.
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