Chances are that if you live in America, either you or someone you know battles with the age-old struggle of trying to figure out how to get rid of belly fat. In fact, a recent study shows that up to 32 percent of Americans want to permanently lose belly fat. However, in the age of almost weekly fad diets, it's becoming increasingly difficult to find a method that is actually effective. After all, who wants to dedicate themselves to a diet and/or exercise plan, only to achieve minimal results? That's why we're taking a look at proven methods of reducing belly fat.
Although most people admittedly want to lose their belly fat just for the sake of improving their appearance, there are actually a number of medical reasons for us to keep belly fat to a minimum. For instance, excessive belly fat has been linked to increased risk of Type 2 diabetes and even heart disease. Therefore, not only can losing belly fat make you look and feel better, but it can also grant you a longer and healthier life. However, before you can understand how to get rid of belly fat, you must first understand the basic science behind it. What exactly is belly fat? Why is it so hard to get rid of? Can certain foods increase or reduce belly fat? Have certain exercises been proven to be effective? The answers to these questions and more will help you understand not only how to reduce belly fat, but how to keep it off for good.
What Is Belly Fat?
As stated above, it's important to understand what exactly belly fat is before you can figure out which method of reducing it is best for you. Belly fat is also known as abdominal or visceral fat and, as inconvenient as it may be when it gets excessive, it's vital to a healthy body. Not only does belly fat insulate your body and provide a cushion for your organs, but it also stores lipids from the foods you eat, which can be used to produce energy. Therefore, belly fat can be a bit of a necessary evil: the trick is to keep it from getting excessive.
When someone acquires an excessive amount of belly fat, they may come to be considered obese. This means that a person’s weight is actually causing negative effects on their overall health. An obese person may have so much excessive abdominal fat that they develop a panniculus: a dense and loose layer of fat which may often be called a “pouch.” This may cause considerable difficulties in weight loss surgeries and may even remain after an obese person loses a large amount of weight quickly.
Where Does Belly Fat Come From?
One of the biggest deciding factors in how much abdominal weight you are born with and will develop throughout your life is your DNA. Not only can your genetics determine your general body type, but they can also affect how your metabolism changes throughout your lifetime. Medical issues, which may also be inherited, such as metabolic syndrome, can cause an unexpected increase in belly fat as well.
Why Is It So Hard to Get Rid Of?
Getting rid of belly fat can often be one of the most frustrating and difficult things a person can set out to do. However, it's important to consider that oftentimes, belly fat might so difficult to lose because we simply don't know the right way to go about it. In fact, did you know that a recent study proved that focused abdominal workouts have very little to no success at reducing belly fat? Many people only do target area workouts for a few weeks, don't see results, get discouraged, and give up. This cycle of trying, failing, and feeling hopeless as a result prevents people from losing weight by finding better methods. If you take the time to really learn how to get rid of belly fat, you'll have a much higher chance at successfully doing so. Here are a few things that make belly fat more difficult to get rid of than it already is:
Eating the Wrong Food
Whether it be a fad diet or exercise without a change in diet, eating the wrong types of food can seriously hinder your efforts at reducing abdominal fat. Processed foods such as potato chips, white bread, and soda are high in saturated fats and can cause inflammation, which is connected to increased belly fat. A wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins are the foundation of a healthier diet.
Not Getting Enough Sleep
Unfortunately, in our contemporary world, we have many responsibilities which take priority over making sure we get enough sleep. However, it's important not only for losing belly fat, but also for just maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you only sleep for four or five hours a night, your body will eventually start to gain weight. All adults should have about seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
Another byproduct of our modern world is stress. Whether we're rushing to get to work on time or worrying about our kid's grades, chances are that we experience a little bit of stress every day. While certain amounts of stress are normal, excessive stress can also cause abdominal weight gain.
We're Not Getting Any Younger
We all eventually notice that it gets more and more difficult to lose weight as we get older. This is because the average metabolic rate lowers drastically with age. Shifting hormone levels in both men and women also cause weight gain, especially in the abdominal area.
How to Get Rid of Belly Fat Effectively
So you're probably wondering if we're going to ever tell you how to get rid of belly fat. Here it goes: eat better and exercise more. There's a reason why we've all heard that a thousand times: it works. Of course, some health issues and preexisting conditions may prevent you from scaling Mt. Everest and eating kale for every meal, but we can all make an effort to incorporate a little more exercise and healthy eating in our daily lives. Here are some tips for how you can do that:
Do Cardio & Lift Weights
Instead of only focusing on the area of your body that you want to slim down, you should consider a workout that involves your entire body. Some classic cardio workouts are the most effective exercises for reducing belly fat. They include jogging, bicycling, and swimming, just to name a few. However, it's imperative that you also involve some weights if you want to see a change in your waistline. A regular combination workout routine is the most effective way to slim down.
Many people who are wondering how to get rid of belly fat already eat relatively well and exercise regularly. However, they may not consider the amount of calories that are involved in alcohol consumption. Whether it be beer or a sugary cocktail, if you drink excessively, you may very well be consuming more calories than you burn. To optimize your weight loss routine, you should cut any drinking down to a minimum.
Eat More Vegetables
Almost everyone in America can use some more vegetables in their diet; even vegetarians! A good rule of thumb is to try and eat as many different naturally colored foods as possible. For instance, kale, tomatoes, squash, and some fruits and berries are always great additions to any salad. Eating too much of one vegetable won't do much, but eating a wide variety can do wonders for your waistline. Avocados have also been proven to assist with weight loss.
Protein for the Long Run
Eating more protein is a great way to keep your belly fat reduced in the long run. Eggs, meat, and nuts are just some examples of protein which is filling and can provide you with a lot of energy. Not only can it reduce cravings that may occur throughout the day, but it can also boost your metabolism. Try to substitute some of your daily carbs with protein and see if you notice the difference.
There is no easy way to answer the timeless question about how to get rid of belly fat. Everyone's body is different, everyone has access to different diets, and everyone has different workout capabilities. Because of that diversity, there is no secret to losing weight. However, we do have a basic idea of what a healthy lifestyle should be like and we know that there's no harm in striving for that. Even if you take baby steps in the right direction, there's no doubt that you will eventually get there. Try to incorporate some new vegetables in your diet. Go for a walk and try to get your heart pumping a little bit more than it usually does. Hopefully, you'll be able to use some of the information in this article to move towards a healthier lifestyle. Eventually, you may not have to wonder how to get rid of belly fat ever again.