Belly fat is the visceral fat that surrounds the liver and other organs in the abdomen, near the portal vein that carries blood to the liver. Proximity pushes free fatty acids into the liver, influences the production of lipids and increases cholesterol levels. Excessive accumulation of fat in the abdomen area can be extremely dangerous to health. It is a must to reduce abdominal fat, since excess fat can increase your risk of:
- Heart disease
- Sleep Apnea
- Colon Cancer
- Insulin Resistance and type 2 diabetes
- High blood Pressure
Causes of Belly Fat:
Contrary to popular belief, people with a normal body mass index (BMI), but with excess abdominal fat, also face an increased risk of the health problems mentioned above. Below is a list of the causes of the excessive accumulation of abdominal fat:
- Sugary Foods and Drinks: studies have shown a relationship between high sugar consumption and excess abdominal fat. This is mainly due to the addition of extra refined sugar during processing. While excess sugar in any form can be harmful, sugary drinks are especially problematic.
- Alcohol: Another possible cause for the sudden increase in belly fat is alcohol. Studies have linked excessive alcohol consumption with an increase in abdominal fat, and one study found 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 an important role in the accumulation of abdominal fat. One 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 suffered a 25-38% increase in abdominal fat.
- Stress: Cortisol, commonly called “stress hormone”, is produced by the adrenal glands in situations of stress. While stress leads to overeating, cortisol causes excess calories to be stored as fat in the belly.
- Genetics: Similar to genes that play an important role in increasing the risk of obesity, genetics may be partly responsible for the body’s tendency to store fat in the abdomen area.
Tips to Reduce Belly Fat:
The following tips can help reduce the accumulation of fat in the abdominal region
Eat a lot of soluble Fiber: Soluble fiber forms a gel with water that slows down food as it passes through your digestive system. This type of fiber promotes weight loss, since it helps you feel full longer, thus avoiding unnecessary food intake.
Avoid alcohol: While alcohol can have health benefits when consumed in limited quantities, it can be seriously harmful if consumed in excess. One way that alcohol can adversely affect your body is by increasing your risk of abdominal obesity. Reducing it can help reduce waist size. While it is not necessary to give up completely, it is essential to limit the amount of alcohol consumed regularly.
Drink Green Tea: A very healthy drink, green tea contains the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that seems to increase metabolism. The effect of antioxidants in green tea can be reinforced when its consumption is combined with exercise.
Regular Workout: Cardiovascular or aerobic exercises are an effective way to reduce abdominal fat. While this may have been proven by several studies, the results are varied with respect to the intensity of the exercise required. In addition to cardiovascular exercise, endurance training can also help with fat loss. Having said that, it is ideal to consult a personal physical trainer before starting high intensity resistance training.
Sleep Enough: Sleep affects several aspects of health, including the accumulation of abdominal fat. People who do not have enough tend to gain more weight. Sleep apnea, where breathing stops intermittently during the night, has also been linked to excess visceral fat. A minimum of 7 hours of quality sleep every night is a must to keep the increase in fat under control.
Control your Calories: Additional calories in any form are stored in the body as fat. It is ideal to track the amount of calories consumed and burned daily. This can help prevent the accumulation of fat in the body.
One can not reduce belly fat during the night. A long-term plan is the best approach to losing belly fat forever. However, following the above tips can take you one step closer to your fat loss goals. Having said that, it is ideal to talk with an expert before you start with your weight loss goals. Talk to some of the best nutritionists and fitness trainers in India and start your journey to lose fat.