HOW TO REDUCE BELLY FAT ?
Getting rid of belly fat isn’t just a cosmetic desire, it’s necessary for better health. Belly fat is one of the most dangerous areas to store fat. Belly fat increases the risks of premature death even for those at a healthy weight.
Belly fat is the visceral fat surrounding the liver and other organs in the abdomen, close to the portal vein that carries blood to the liver. This fat can be harmful to the body but proper measures can be taken to reduce belly fat.
Causes of Belly Fat:
Contrary to popular belief, people with a normal body mass index(BMI), but having excess belly fat, also face increased risk of the above health problems. Here are a few potential reasons for the accumulation of excessive belly fat:
Sugary food and beverages: Studies have shown a link between high sugar intake and excess belly fat. This is mainly due to the extra refined sugar added during processing. While excess sugar in any form can be harmful, sugar-sweetened beverages are especially problematic.
Alcohol: Another possible cause for sudden belly fat gain is alcohol. Studies have linked the excessive consumption of alcohol to an increase in belly fat, with one study finding that men who consumed more than 3 drinks a day were 80% more likely to have excess body fat.
Sedentary lifestyle: One’s activity levels also play a major role in the accumulation of belly fat. A study showed that people who performed resistance training or aerobic exercise for a year after losing weight were able to prevent abdominal fat gain, while those who did not exercise faced a 25-38% increase in belly fat.
Stress: Cortisol, commonly called the ‘stress hormone’, is produced by the adrenal glands in stressful situations. While stress drives overeating, cortisol causes the excess calories to be stored as fat in the belly.
Genetics: Similar to genes playing a major role in increased obesity risk, genetics may be partly responsible for the tendency of the body to store fat in the abdomen area.
If you’re trying to eliminate that extra padding around your waist, try out these seven foods.
“Becoming a bean lover can help you lose weight and whittle your middle,” registered dietitian Cynthia Sass told Today. Beans are loaded with soluble fiber, which eliminates inflammation in your digestive system. Having chronic inflammation can increase your weight gain.
2. Swap your beef for salmon
It’s a common mistake to try to lose your fat by cutting fats completely out of your diet. It’s not just ineffective—it’s unhealthy. The trick is getting the right fats. Saturated fats, which are found in meat and dairy, aren’t going to do any favors for your weight loss goals, but swapping those fats for some types of polyunsaturated fats, like salmon, is a better choice.
Salmon won’t necessarily make you lose weight, but according to San Francisco Gate, swapping your regular meat for fish is a step in the right direction.
A study showed that obese adults who ate three servings of fat-free yogurt a day (as well as being on a reduced-calorie diet) lost significantly more fat and weight than those who were also on a decreased-calorie diet but didn’t have yogurt. The yogurt eaters lost 22% more weight and 61% more body fat than the others in the research group, according to WebMD.
4. Red bell peppers
Did you know a cup of bell peppers will give you three times the amount of vitamin C recommended for your daily intake? The great news is vitamin C is fantastic at fighting belly fat, according to Eat This, Not That. So load up on these delicious veggies.
Similar to bell peppers, broccoli is high in vitamin C. Pair it with some hummus and you’ve got a power meal.
Exercises to Reduce Belly Fat
The workout is a key part of almost every weight loss journey. Exercises that specifically target the abdominal area would go a long way in helping reduce belly fat. Here are 4 exercises that you can do to lose belly fat:
1. Vertical Leg Crunch
Lie flat on the floor with legs extended upwards and then one knee that is crossed over the other.
Breathe in and then lift the upper body towards the pelvis. Breathe out slowly.
Do 12-16 crunches in two or three sets.
2. Bicycle exercise
Lie on the mat, or the floor and keep your hands either behind your head or by your side just like you would for crunches.
Lift both your legs off the ground and bend them at the knees.
Bring the right knee close to the chest while keeping the left leg down.
Take the right leg down and bring the left leg towards the chest.
Alternate bending the knees as if you are using a bicycle.
Start by lying down flat with your knees bent and your feet on the ground.
Lift your hands and then place them behind the head or keep them crossed on the chest. Inhale deeply.
As you lift the upper torso off the floor, you should exhale. Again inhale when you get back down and then exhale as you come up.
If you are a beginner, start by doing 10 crunches in every set. Each day, aim to complete two to three sets of crunches.
Put your weight on your hands and toes while bending your knees to take a tabletop position. Squeeze your core to keep your spine straight.
Raise your left arm to reach straight forward, while simultaneously raising your right leg and stretching it out.
Hold for a count, squeezing your core, before returning to the original position.
Repeat the movement with your right arm and left leg to complete 1 rep.
Let HealthifyMe Sr. Fitness Coach, Ashutosh, demonstrate how you can do some of these exercises to help you lose belly fat.
These exercises, combined with a good diet routine, can play an important role in an individual’s weight loss journey.