Is it hard for you to find a pair of pants that fit you perfectly because of your belly fat? Do you often wear loose and oversized tops to hide your midsection? Have you tried wearing ab-slimming belts and drinking ab-slimming tea but did not get the results that you wanted? Then listen up!
What is belly fat?
Belly fat refers to the excess fat in the abdominal region. It is a type of visceral fat that is found underneath the muscles in your stomach, surrounding some of your important vital organs, and can be quite dangerous to your health if there is an excessive amount of it.
If you have too much belly fat, the organs in your stomach region may have difficulty carrying out their functions properly, and you may suffer from various health problems, including colorectal cancer, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Do you have too much belly fat?
The easiest way to know if you have too much belly fat is by measuring yourself at home. You will need just a tape measure to be able to do this.
Take the tape measure and place the beginning marker near your belly button. Then, wrap the tape around your abdomen, just above your hips.
If you are a woman, getting a measurement of 34 inches or less should be okay, and if you are a man, a measurement of 39 inches or less is fine. However, if your measurement is 35 inches or higher if you are a woman, or 40 inches or higher if you are a man, this means that you have an unhealthy amount of belly fat and need to start working to reduce it.
What can you do to get rid of your belly fat?
Living a healthy lifestyle is an effective way of getting rid of belly fat. Below are highly recommended changes that you should do to eliminate belly fat:
Reduce your alcohol intake
Many research studies have found that excessive alcohol consumption can increase belly fat. In one study, findings show that heavy alcohol intake can significantly raise fat storage in the waist and abdomen area, thus increasing the risk of obesity.
In another study, test subjects who drank less than one drink of alcohol per day daily had less belly fat than test subjects who consumed much more amounts of alcohol even if they drank less frequently.
Avoid foods that are high in sugar and trans fats
If your diet consists of a lot of foods that are sugary and fatty, you are at great risk of having too much belly fat. Many studies have found that sugary foods can contribute to fatty liver disease, obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes if consumed in excess, while foods that contain trans fats have been linked to insulin resistance, heart disease, and inflammation.
Learn to manage your stress
Being under too much stress can affect various aspects of your health, including your body fat storage. If you are always stressed, your adrenal glands will produce more cortisol, resulting in an increase in your appetite and cravings. This causes you to eat a lot more than usual, which can eventually lead to weight gain, an increase in the amount of fat in your body, and a rise in your risk of obesity. Examples of methods that can help in stress management are meditation, yoga, and tai chi.
Use coconut oil for cooking
Fried foods are very tasty but eating too much of them can lead to too much belly fat. If you like to fry your chicken, veggies, and other foods, you should use coconut oil instead of other types of cooking oil. In case you did not know, coconut oil is loaded with healthy saturated fats that can help facilitate fat burning, give you energy, and increase your HDL or good cholesterol levels. It also contains 12-carbon lauric acid, which can annihilate fungi, viruses, bacteria, and other harmful pathogens; and are good for your skin, hair, and teeth.
Do cardio exercises regularly
Exercise offers a ton of health benefits. It can enhance your strength, stamina, endurance, and flexibility, and also help you burn more calories and lose weight faster. According to various studies, among all types of exercises, cardio exercise has shown the most impressive results when it comes to reducing belly fat. In one study, test subjects who did 300 minutes of cardio a week lost more belly fat than test subjects who only did 150 minutes of cardio a week.
Get enough sleep
Getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night is good for the body. It gives your brain and other bodily organs and parts sufficient time to rest, repair, and recover after each long and busy day. So, if you have trouble sleeping and get fewer than the recommended number of hours of sleep, you are likely to develop health issues including weight gain and belly fat.
In one study, test subjects who got 7 or more hours of sleep per night were found to be much less likely to gain weight and belly fat than test subjects who got only 5 or fewer hours of sleep per night.
Eat more fatty fish
Fatty fish are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which is a type of polyunsaturated fat that is essential for good health and long life.
If you eat enough omega-3 fatty acids, you can lower your risk of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues; have healthier eyes and lower risk of blindness and eye damage; improve your memory and brain function; prevent high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, and other heart problems; fight off inflammation, insulin resistance, obesity, and other metabolic syndrome; protect against rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, ulcerative colitis, and other autoimmune disease; and prevent colon cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and other types of cancer.
Examples of healthy fatty fish that you should include in your regular diet are mackerel, herring, sardines, and salmon.