If you have stubborn belly fat, your health is compromised and your risk for heart disease is increased. Get rid of it now.
Thanks to public figures like Oprah and Dr. Mehmet Oz admonishing the dangers of belly fat; many of us are enlightened more than ever how imperative it is to lose that gosh-darned belly fat if we wish to increase differential between the two numbers on either side of the dash that will one day grace our headstones.
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The Best Things in Life Create Belly Fat
Most people don’t willingly elect to engage in a lifestyle that shortens their lifespan. But let’s face it, for many; drinking alcohol, enjoying burgers and fries, and indulging in cheesecake is unarguably one of life’s most guilty pleasures. And yes, it would be fantastic if those pleasures didn’t compromise our health. But the bottom line is….they do.
Subcutaneous Versus Visceral Belly Fat
The subcutaneous fat is the pooch in front of you that you can clutch with your fists and shake up and down while you declare in your deepest Santa voice, “Ho Ho Ho!” (even though it isn’t funny.) On a bad day, it keeps you from reading the numbers on the scale which I suppose some might consider to be the proverbial silver lining.
The visceral stuff is the belly fat which gloms onto your tissues and abdominal organs deep inside your belly and is the more dangerous of the two. According to MayoClinic.com, an unhealthy percentage of visceral belly fat increases the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, breast cancer, colorectal cancer and metabolic syndrome.
Subcutaneous belly fat is directly related to crabbiness mostly amongst women due to the correlation between too many cookies and the size of excess muffin-toppage. Oddly enough, some people who appear average in size or even bordering on thin may in fact have excess visceral fat, making its inherent danger alarmingly latent. People who are naturally thin but refrain from regular exercise may belong to this high-risk group.
Belly Fat for Dummies
Some fat cells just loaf around and are lazy as their name might indicate. They come and they go, based on what kind of year their landlord is having and how much stress he or she is under. While other fat cells aren’t just fat; they’re mean. They are the bully fat cells that rule our bodies’ visceral school halls. They surround our vital organs, taunting our livers and putting our hearts in a headlock. They don’t just ruin the annual family photo like their somewhat less harmful subcutaneous counterparts; they silently and often unknowingly to us, wreak havoc on our bodies. For example, some fat cells release hormones that can increase our resistance to insulin which in turn can lead us down the path to developing type 2 diabetes.
Tips to Help You Lose Belly Fat
Though we continue to hope against logic that one day a magic pill will easily cure our belly fat woes, at the moment there is no easy remedy. The good news is however, that belly fat, both visceral and subcutaneous respond well to proper nutrition and regular exercise. Here are some tips that can help you reduce your belly fat:
- Drink green tea: Though concrete evidence is scarce, limited human studies have shown that drinking a couple cups of green tea a day may result in health benefits such as lowering cholesterol, helping to fight diabetes and reducing the occurrence of certain types of cancer. According to WebMD, a Japanese study concluded that drinking four cups of green tea everyday reduced the severity of coronary heart disease amongst men and a Dutch study indicated that the amount of green tea consumed was directly proportionate to a reduction in clogged heart vessels, particularly in women. The results were optimum when combined with healthy nutrition. Both studies noted that participants lost weight and attributed the weight loss in part to the green tea and its extract.
- Eat Nutritious Meals: Follow the USDA’s food guidelines. In a nutshell, fill up on fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains, lean meats and nuts. Stay away from foods high in fat, salt or sugar.
- Plan Meals in Advance: Allowing yourself to get hungry when dieting can cause you to make poor food selections and creates a tendency to reach for pre-packaged convenience foods which are often high in fat and low in nutrition.
- Exercise Regularly: Get off the sofa and get outside. Start by simply going around the block four times a week. Very soon, you will be increasing your distance and speed. Activity is key to physical health and is one of belly fat’s fiercest foes.
- Drink water: Water keeps us hydrated, helps to maintain proper body temperature and aids in flushing toxins.
- Clean your pantry: Remove trigger foods like cheese curls and corn chips that make it impossible to stop after just a few.
Lose Belly Fat Forever
Sorry if the title of this article was misleading but you see…lose belly fat forever isn’t a quick fix or an easy how-to. It’s stern advice for those who have belly fat. As Nike puts it….just do it! Your “omentum momentum” might be due to your draw in the genetic lottery or as a result of your unconditional love for potato chips and chocolate.
Either way, it’s important to quit blaming the body-type you inherited from your parents and make the decision to get healthier. By doing so, you will very likely increase the differential between the digits that envelop your dash when your day comes; and reducing your belly fat will help to make that day later rather than sooner.
How to lose belly fat
Traditional dieting methods typically do little to provide sustained loss of abdominal fat, as the rapid weight loss seen in most dieting methods results in a yo-yo effect where the weight is easily regained the moment the diet stops. Therefore, losing fat off of your abdominal section and keeping it off is best accomplished not with a simple diet, but with a total revision of your eating and exercise habits. Through consistent and gradual reprogramming of your eating habits, you can slowly reshape your body back to low levels of body fat, saying goodbye to stubborn abdominal fat for good.
On this plan, your goal is to lose between one and two pounds per week. Losing weight at a slow pace will give your body time to adjust to your new “target” weight, making it easier to remain slim over a long term basis.
In stage one of the plan, your goal is to completely remove all calorie-containing drinks from your diet. This also includes low or no-calorie drinks that use artificial sweeteners such as diet colas. While on the plan, you should limit your consumption of beverages to water (preferably filtered or bottled), tea, and black coffee. Remain in stage one of the plan for as long as it takes for this to become second nature. In other words, until your craving for calorie-containing beverages and artificial sweeteners vanishes. This will typically take anywhere from 14 days to a month. After you no longer crave these things, move to stage two.
Also in stage one of the plan, you should add in light exercise. Either brisk walking, light jogging, or light training on an exercise machine. Perform this for 45 to 60 minutes each morning as soon as you wake up and before you eat breakfast. After you finish, perform three sets of 20 of your favorite abdominal exercise to help bloodflow to your abdominal region, helping to mobilize fat in the area.
In stage two of the plan, your goal is to begin eating four to six small meals a day. Every meal you eat should contain the following: four to six ounces of lean meat, fish, eggs, chicken, or turkey. Along with that, every meal should contain two cups of green vegetables like broccoli and spinach. Meals consumed before 2pm in the afternoon should also add in one piece or serving or fruit. Instead of fruit, meals consumed after 2pm should also add in a healthy source of unsaturated fat such as natural peanut butter, olive oil, peanuts, almonds, or coconut.
Keep a food journal during this stage and attempt to eat the same number of calories per day. Weigh yourself at the end of every week to monitor your weight loss. If you are losing weight faster than one to two pounds a week, increase your total calories per day by roughly 300. If you are losing weight slower than one to two pounds a week, decrease calories per day by roughly 300. If your weight plateaus–if, after cutting calories, you do not lose weight on the following week, do not drop calories any further. Move to stage three.
In stage three, add in another 30 minutes of light exercise at night before going to bed. Use the same types of exercise as in stage one. Increase the duration of exercise to 60 minutes per night once your weight plateaus for two weeks in a row. After you finish, perform three sets of 20 of your favorite abdominal exercise to help bloodflow to your abdominal region, helping to mobilize fat in the area.