Natural Ways to Lose Belly Fat
Don’t be fooled by the claims of quick-fix diets and miracle belly weight loss products.
Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix or magical method to losing belly fat.
Instead, like most things in life that deliver real results, there’s a practical way to shed the excess weight from your midsection, which requires effort, consistency, and commitment to be successful.
Here’s what you need to know about belly fat and how to lose it…really!
About Belly Fat
If you regularly consume more calories than your body uses, you will begin to store the excess calories as fat – and in many cases as belly fat, particularly if you’re genetically predisposed to store fat in your abdominal area or if you’re growing older in years.
There are two types of fat deposited in the abdomen area: subcutaneous fat and visceral fat. Subcutaneous fat is the fat under your skin – that is the fat you can pinch. If you have too much, it’s a sign that you may have too much of the other kind of fat – visceral fat.
Visceral fat envelops your abdominal organs deep inside your body. This type of fat tends to increase in both men and women as they age – especially in women starting at menopause.
Visceral fat is biologically active, producing hormones and other substances that can negatively impact health. Higher visceral fat puts you at greater risk of developing heart health issues, elevated cholesterol, blood sugar problems, memory trouble, and a host of additional health issues – including greater risk of mortality.
While you may wish to lose belly fat for appearance reasons, the greater motivation, if you have excess visceral fat, is for health.
Research suggests that concerning levels of visceral fat are present in women with a waist circumference of 35 inches or more and for men with a waist circumference of 40 inches or more. If you fall in this category, you’re not alone. About 59% of U.S. adults have abdominal fat issues.
4 Ways to Lose Belly Fat
If you simply want to lose a few pounds in your midsection or think you may have too much visceral fat, the following actions are the best ways to lose belly fat, according to science.
Research indicates that walking as little as 30 minutes a day, six days a week can help you shed belly fat. Both moderate to high impact exercise and interval training have been shown to reduce subcutaneous and visceral fat.
Indeed, a large study analysis involving 852 participants found that aerobic training of moderate or high intensity showed the highest potential in reducing visceral fat in overweight individuals.
Strength training (exercise with weights) has also been shown to be effective in reducing abdominal fat. Surprisingly, while spot exercising (i.e., abdominal crunches) may tighten and tone muscles, it doesn’t help to reduce visceral fat.
Consume Fewer Calories and More Whole Foods
If you’re carrying extra pounds, you’ll likely need to tinker with your daily caloric intake to shed belly weight. Losing overall fat is the way to lose fat in your midsection, so finding a way to sustainably reduce calories each day so that you’re using more than you’re consuming is key. Consult a healthcare professional to find the ideal caloric intake for you.
In the meantime, there’s a lot you can do to improve the quality of your diet to optimize your brain and body health, which will naturally support healthy weight and waist circumference.
A brain healthy diet includes lots of nutrient-dense and fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, as well as lean proteins, healthy fats (fatty fish, nuts, seeds, avocados, and olive oil), and fermented foods. Also, minimize consumption of sugary drinks, desserts, and refined carbohydrates (chips, crackers, white bread, etc.).
More nutrients, protein, health fat, and fiber will all help to stabilize blood sugar levels, keep inflammation low, and promote satiety. Healthful eating also can support your brain health, which helps you to have good judgment and impulse control. Protein before and after strength training and workouts helps to repair and build lean muscle mass and burn fat.
Reduce Stress and Get Restful Sleep
Too little sleep (less than 5 hours a night) or too much sleep (more than 8 hours) has been associated with greater visceral fat in studies involving adults under age 40. Also, when adults get too little sleep, they tend to choose high-calorie and high-carbohydrate foods, which are associated with weight gain.
Staying calm and getting restful sleep support hormonal balance and help your brain and body work their best.
Quit Smoking and Drink Less Alcohol
Although not conclusive, some research indicates that smoking increases abdominal and visceral fat in smokers. Considering the numerous health risks smoking poses, this is just one more reason to kick the habit.
When you drink alcohol, your liver burns alcohol instead of fat. Additionally, alcoholic beverages are often high in calories. And when you drink, you lose your inhibitions and are more likely to make poor food choices.
In short, alcohol will undermine your efforts to reduce your midsection weight. Reduce your alcohol intake or cut it out altogether.
Aim for Health
Following the above actions will help you shed excess belly fat over time. A bright mood and good attitude matter too. Remember to keep your focus on health and love, and appreciate your body every step of the way.
If you’re feeling discouraged, don’t forget to reach out for support from professionals and trusted friends!
At BrainMD, we’re dedicated to providing the highest purity nutrients to improve your physical health and overall well-being. For more information about our full list of brain healthy supplements, please visit us at BrainMD.
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