Some people think getting older comes with a price: a growing girth. This may be particularly true for women following menopause, when abdominal fat tends to go there.
But more belly fat has other effects in addition to making it difficult to button up your clothes. According to research, having a large belly poses major health hazards. what is good news? The dangers belly obesity poses may be lessened.
Your chance of developing some chronic illnesses may be increased by excess abdominal fat. You can reduce belly fat by cutting down on alcohol consumption, eating more protein, and doing weights. It’s not only a bother when your clothing feels snug because of belly fat.
It’s quite hazardous. Visceral fat, a particular form of abdominal fat, is a significant contributor to the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other illnesses.
Body mass index (BMI) is a popular tool used by health organizations to categorize weight and determine the likelihood of developing the metabolic illness.
This is false, however, since even those who seem slender have a higher chance of developing extra abdominal fat.
There are a few ways to eliminate extra abdominal fat, even though reducing fat from this region might be challenging.
WHAT BRINGS BELLY FAT
Your age, the amount of calories you consume each day, and the number of calories you expend via daily exercise are the three main factors that substantially impact your weight. If you eat excessively and don’t exercise enough, you’re more likely to put on weight, especially belly fat.
As you become older, your muscle mass may also somewhat decrease as your fat mass grows. It may be harder to maintain a healthy weight if you lose muscle mass since it slows down how quickly your body burns calories.
Even if they aren’t gaining weight, many women detect an increase in belly fat as they age. This most likely results from estrogen levels dropping, which are thought to affect how fat is distributed throughout the body. Additionally, there may be a hereditary component to the propensity to put on weight around the midsection or to have a “apple” form as opposed to a “pear.”
WHAT MAKES BELLY FAT BIGGER
The issue with belly fat is that it extends beyond the little layer of additional cushioning under the skin (subcutaneous fat). Visceral fat, which is located deep within your belly and surrounds your internal organs, is also a part of it.
Visceral fat is connected to considerably more serious health issues than subcutaneous fat, such as:
• Heart disease
• Type 2 diabetes
• High blood pressure
• Abnormal cholesterol
• Breathing issues
Regardless of total weight, research has linked belly fat to a higher risk of dying young. In fact, according to several research, women with a big waistline still had an increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease even if their body mass index (BMI) readings indicated that they were a normal weight.
So how can you tell if your tummy fat is too much? Your waist size:
• While standing, just above your hipbone, wrap a measuring tape over your naked stomach.
• Adjust the tape measure so that it is tight around you without pressing against your skin. Ensure that the tape measure is level from top to bottom.
• Sit back, breathe out, and measure your waist while avoiding the impulse to tuck your stomach in. Women who have a waist measurement of more than 35 inches (89 cm) are at an increased risk for health issues due to an unhealthy concentration of belly fat.
CUTTING DOWN YOUR BELLY FAT
With crunches or other specific abdominal workouts, you won’t lose belly fat by practicing these exercises alone. Visceral fat, however, responds to the same diet and activity regimens that support weight loss and reduce your body fat percentage.
To combat belly fat:
Consume a good amount of soluble fiber
By allowing food to travel more slowly through the digestive tract, the gel formed when soluble fiber absorbs water helps with digestion. Studies show that this kind of fiber helps you feel fuller for longer, which naturally makes you consume less food, and this helps you lose weight. Your body may take in fewer calories from meals as a result. Soluble fiber may also aid in the battle against abdominal obesity.
According to a study involving more than 1,000 people, belly fat accumulation fell by about 4% for every 10 grams more of soluble fiber consumed over the course of five years. Regularly include high-fiber foods in your diet. Blackberries, avocados, lentils, flax seeds, and almonds are all excellent sources of fiber.
Eliminate trans fats from your diet.
In order to make trans fats, unsaturated fats like soybean oil are given a hydrogen injection. Although certain margarine and spreads include them, many food makers no longer do. They are also often added to packaged meals. In observational and animal research, this kind of fat has been connected to inflammatory diseases, heart disease, insulin resistance, and belly fat growth.
Monkeys fed a diet rich in trans fat accumulated 33% more belly fat over a 6-year period than those fed a diet high in monounsaturated fat, according to research. Read ingredient labels carefully and avoid trans-fat-containing goods if you want to help decrease belly fat and safeguard your health. Partially hydrogenated fats are how they are often listed.
Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
In moderation, alcohol may be good for your health, but excessive use can be quite dangerous. Alcohol abuse, according to research, may also contribute to belly fat accumulation. Observational studies have shown a direct correlation between excessive alcohol use and a much higher risk of central obesity, or extra fat accumulation around the waist.
Your waistline could shrink if you cut less on booze. While cutting down on how much you consume each day might be beneficial, you’re not required to stop entirely.
Consume a diet high in protein
Protein is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight. PYY, a hormone that promotes fullness and suppresses hunger, is released more often when a person consumes a lot of protein. Furthermore, protein increases metabolism and aids in maintaining muscle mass when you are losing weight.
Numerous observational studies demonstrate that individuals who consume more protein have lower rates of belly fat than those who consume less protein.
Don’t forget to add a good source of protein at every meal, such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy, whey protein, or beans.
Reduce your level of stress.
By causing the adrenal glands to generate cortisol, often known as the stress hormone, stress might cause you to put on belly fat. According to research, excessive cortisol levels cause the accumulation of belly fat and increase hunger. Additionally, women with big waists tend to respond to stress by producing more cortisol.
Increased cortisol contributes further to belly fat growth. Participate in enjoyable stress-relieving hobbies to aid in abdominal fat reduction. Yoga and meditation are both useful techniques.
Limit your intake of sugary foods.
Sugar such as fructose, which when ingested in excess has been associated with a number of chronic disorders. These include fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Observational studies demonstrate a link between increasing belly fat and excessive sugar consumption. Realize that other factors than refined sugar might cause belly fat accumulation. Even healthy sweets like actual honey should only be used in moderation.
Exercise aerobically (cardio)
Cardiovascular exercise (cardio) is a great strategy to burn calories and enhance your health. It’s also one of the best exercises for decreasing abdominal fat, according to studies. Results on whether moderate or high-intensity exercise is better for you, nevertheless, are conflicting. In any case, the frequency and length of your workout regimen are more crucial than the level of difficulty.
According to one research, postmenopausal women who engaged in aerobic activity for 300 minutes per week shed more fat from all parts of the body than those who exercised for 150 minutes per week.
Reduce your intake of carbohydrates (refined carbs)
You may lose a lot of fat, particularly belly fat, by cutting down on your carb consumption. Overweight individuals, those at risk for type 2 diabetes, and those with polycystic ovary syndrome who follow diets with less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day have a reduction in belly fat. You do not need to adhere to a rigorous low-carb diet.
According to several studies, merely substituting unprocessed starchy carbohydrates for refined ones may help improve metabolic health and decrease belly fat.
Exercise with resistance (lift weights)
For the purpose of maintaining and growing muscular mass, resistance training—also referred to as weightlifting or strength training—is crucial. Research on individuals with prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, and fatty liver disease suggests that resistance exercise may also help people lose belly fat.
In fact, research involving overweight teens revealed that the most effective way to reduce visceral fat was to combine strength training with aerobic activity. Asking for assistance from a licensed personal trainer is a smart move if you decide to start weightlifting.
Avoid drinks with added sugar.
Liquid fructose, which is abundant in sugar-sweetened drinks and might cause you to build belly fat, according to studies, drinking sugary beverages causes the liver to store more fat. One 10-week research indicated that participants who drank high-fructose drinks significantly increased their belly fat. Drinks with added sugar seem to be worse than meals with added sugar.
You’re more likely to overeat later and store extra calories as fat because your brain doesn’t handle liquid calories the same way it processes solid ones. Avoid sugar-sweetened drinks like soda, punch, sweet tea, and alcoholic mixers entirely if you want to reduce belly fat.
Sleep well and often.
Your health, including your weight, depends on getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep has been linked to an increased tendency to acquire weight, which may include belly fat.
According to a 16-year research involving more than 65,000 women, those who slept for fewer than 5 hours each night had a much higher risk of gaining weight than those who slept for 7 hours or more each night.
Excess visceral fat has also been connected to the disease known as sleep apnea when breathing pauses periodically during the night.
Make sure you are receiving enough high-quality sleep in addition to sleeping for at least 7-8 hours per night.
Consult a doctor and get treatment if you believe you may have sleep apnea or another sleep issue.
Monitor your calorie intake.
The secret to losing weight and belly fat is to consume fewer calories than your body requires to maintain your weight.
You may track your calorie consumption by keeping a food diary, using an app, or going online. It has been shown that using this method would help you lose weight.
Your consumption of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and micronutrients may also be seen with the use of food-tracking programs. You may record your physical activity and exercise on several of them as well.
Consume more fatty fish.
Fish that are high in fat are very healthful. They are a good source of disease-preventing omega-3 fatty acids and high-quality protein. These omega-3 fats may also aid in the reduction of visceral fat, according to some research. Fish oil supplements may dramatically decrease liver and abdominal fat in adults and kids with fatty liver disease, according to studies. Each week, try to eat two to three portions of fatty fish. A few good options include salmon, herring, sardines, mackerel, and anchovies.
Avoid consumption of fruit juice
Despite having vitamins and minerals, fruit juice has the same amount of sugar as soda and other sweetened beverages.
The risk of accumulating belly fat while drinking excessively is the same. To aid in the reduction of additional belly fat, swap out fruit juice with water, unsweetened iced tea, or sparkling water with a slice of lemon or lime.
Consume probiotic-rich meals or probiotic supplements.
Bacteria known as probiotics are present in several meals and supplements. They aid to strengthen the immune system and enhance digestive health, among other health advantages.
Researchers have discovered that several bacterial species play a part in controlling weight and that achieving the appropriate balance may aid in weight loss, including the reduction of belly fat. Members of the Lactobacillus family, particularly Lactobacillus gasseri, Lactobacillus fermentum, and Lactobacillus amylovorus, have been found to decrease belly fat.
Make sure the probiotic supplement you choose has one or more of these bacterial strains since probiotic supplements generally include many different kinds of bacteria.
Attempt intermittent fasting.
As a weight reduction strategy, intermittent fasting has lately gained a lot of popularity. It is a schedule of eating that alternates between eating and fasting times. One well-liked technique is once or twice weekly 24-hour fasts. Another involves consuming all of your meals in eight hours after a 16-hour fast each day.
According to a review of research on alternate-day and intermittent fasting, patients saw a 4-7% reduction in abdominal fat over the course of 6–24 weeks.
There is some evidence to suggest that fasting in general, including intermittent fasting, may not be as helpful for women as it is for males.
Even while certain modified forms of intermittent fasting seem to be preferable, you should quit fasting right once if you encounter any side effects.
Consume green tea
An especially healthful beverage is green tea. Both the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and the caffeine in it seem to speed up metabolism.
Catechins like EGCG, which may aid in belly fat loss, have been the subject of several research. When green tea drinking is paired with exercise, the benefit can be increased.