Are you tired of looking at the fat accumulated around your tummy? The problems with belly fat run deeper than just looks and put your health at risk. Do you want to know how to reduce belly fat? Don’t worry, we are here to help you out! Stay till the end of this blog to know the best ways to lose belly fat. And remember, commitment and consistency is the key.Contents:
Belly fat refers to the fat accumulated around your abdomen. It can be classified into two types, subcutaneous (fat that sits right under your skin, between the skin and muscles) and visceral (that surrounds your organs such as the liver, kidney, and pancreas).
Subcutaneous fat is generally considered harmless in comparison to visceral fat. In this blog, we are going to talk about visceral fat, which is harmful to your well-being and health.
Coming back to the main question - What causes belly fat? The answer to this question comes with a vast list of causes! These include:
You are what you eat! And there is no running away from this truth. Some of the foods you consume on a daily basis could be high in sugars, trans fats, and calories. These foods include candies, soft drinks, juices, sodas and baked goods such as bread and cakes. These foods promote weight gain and lead to an increase in belly fat.
A low-protein, low-fibre diet that is only high in calories adversely affects your weight loss efforts. An imbalanced diet can make you feel hungry more often, promote unnecessary snacking and overeating, and lead to an increase in your overall calorie intake. All the extra calories convert to excess weight and belly fat.
The consumption of excess calories is directly proportional to the weight you gain, if you do not burn off those calories. If you do not perform regular physical activity, it becomes harder to lose excess body fat. A sedentary lifestyle, lack of regular physical activity, and prolonged sitting promote weight gain and an increase in belly fat.
Your body needs movement and regular physical activity, with at least 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous workout daily, depending on your weight loss goals.
This one is a complex issue. Weight gain causes stress or stress causes weight gain? Your body’s adrenal glands produce a hormone called cortisol, which responds to all the triggers related to physical or psychological stress. Therefore, it is also known as the “stress hormone”.
When your cortisol levels are too high, your hunger and cravings for high calorie foods increases rapidly. You might end up overeating, leading to further weight gain and an increase in abdominal fat.
Overconsumption of any alcohol can contribute to weight gain and storage of body fat around the abdominal area, i.e., visceral fat.
This is because alcohol is high in calories and sugar, may increase your appetite and cortisol levels, and may lead to poor judgement. All of these factors can lead to increased belly fat. Alcohol can also increase the risk of multiple health issues such as liver diseases and increased inflammation.
Other than the above mentioned four major causes, an imbalance in the gut microbiome, menopause in women, lack of sleep, and genetics may lead to excessive weight gain and accumulated belly fat in individuals.
There are no easy ways to lose belly fat. Losing weight and belly fat and keeping it away requires you to show up consistently in healthy ways. Some of the most crucial ways to lose your belly fat and not compromise on your health include:
Following a healthy and balanced diet is always the first step towards a healthy body. Fixing your diet is also the best way to lose belly fat. You have to avoid sugary, fried, and processed foods and foods which have trans fats and refined carbohydrates as these types of food are low in nutritional content.
Instead, adding enough fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, protein and fibre to your daily diet can aid your weight loss and belly fat loss efforts.
Stress shows up every day and thus its management efforts have to show up every day too. You can involve yourself in several stress-relieving activities such as yoga, meditation, journalling, and exercise. You can also take long walks in nature, spend time with your family or friends, and foster a pet if you enjoy such things.
All these activities can help relax your mind and relieve stress. Once your stress and cortisol hormone levels are under control, your hunger and overall calorie intake can be managed, thus helping with weight loss.
If you are on a weight loss journey or trying to lose belly fat, exercise is one of the most crucial steps towards achieving your goals. Incorporating aerobic exercises and strength training into your workout routine can help you lose weight and manage your belly fat.
You can find the best exercises to reduce belly fat here. Exercising at least 30 to 60 minutes per day is recommended.
Reducing alcohol consumption is yet another step towards a healthy body and mind. Limiting your consumption to not more than 1 drink per day or even better, avoiding any consumption of alcohol, can help you lead a healthy life.
Limited alcohol intake, when clubbed with other healthy lifestyle habits such as a balanced diet and exercise can help you lose weight and belly fat, and keep both off for good.
Apart from these steps, ensure that you quit smoking, get enough sleep, and track your food intake and exercise. Remember, weight loss and belly fat reduction will not happen in a day and with one step. You need to practise each healthy habit consistently for it to show results.
If not taken care of at the right time, your belly fat can cause serious health issues for your body. Risks associated with excess belly fat include:
If you are looking for a diet plan to lose weight or to reduce your stubborn belly fat, some of the important foods that must be included at all times are soluble fibre and protein. Meanwhile, you should cut back on refined carbs, trans fats, and sugary foods, and beverages.
Here is a one-day meal plan to help you set up a healthy eating routine for weight loss and belly fat reduction.
1 Day Meal Plan
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