Have you started to notice the accumulation of fat around your abdominal area? You may start to feel conscious about it because it doesn’t look good. You may also be already experiencing problems in fitting in your clothes. Belly fat can really be unsightly. However, you will find more reasons to get rid of the fat deposits in your abdomen, especially if you’ll look into the risks that come with it.
Belly fat extends its effects beyond your physique. If you’re concerned about your health, here’s an infographic that presents an essential guide on how to get rid of belly fat.
How to Get Rid of Belly Fat: The Facts to Know
What is Belly Fat?
Also known as abdominal fat or tummy fat. It is found under the skin or the subcutaneous region around your waist. It functions for energy storage while providing heat and protection for your organs.
- Having an above normal body mass index could increase belly fat.
- Belly fat usually comes with increase in age.
- Women are more prone to gaining belly fat than men.
- It is extremely common among women in menopausal stage.
- Genetics plays a factor in the buildup of belly fat.
2 Types of Belly Fat
- Also known as ‘jiggly fat’ or the fat that can be pinched.
- This type of belly fat can be found under the skin.
- It can be seen from the outside.
- In normal situations, it is harmless.
- Also known as ‘active fat’.
- This is the type of belly fat that can be found around the organs.
- It is not visible from the outside.
- It is potentially harmful as it is associated with a range of diseases.
Abdominal Obesity: Are You at Risk?
- Use a tape measure to measure the circumference of your waist.
- Put the tape measure just above your hip bone or above your navel.
- Make sure that it is leveled all around and fits snugly.
- Check measurement without pushing tape measure into skin.
Abdominal obesity is present among women with a waist measurement of 35 inches or more and among men with a waistline of 40 inches and above.
The Dangers of Having Belly Fat
Belly fat affects your physical look, but you should know that it is more than just skin deep. It poses problems that will leave you more than just cosmetic concerns, including :
- Cardiovascular disease
- Metabolic syndromes
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal cholesterol levels
- Breathing problems
- Impaired lung functions
Certainly, there are dangers that come with having tummy fat or central obesity. Fortunately, you can do something about it. Here are some of the proven-effective strategies to help you get rid of belly fat.
5 Simple but Effective Ways to Get Rid of Belly Fat
1. Make Healthy Food Choices
Diet plays a key role in overall health. To get rid of belly fat, you can start with a healthy diet. Eat fruits, vegetables, lean meat, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains. Keep it simple by skipping foods that won’t help trim the extra inches off your waist!
What to Avoid:
- Processed Foods: These foods may satisfy your taste buds but they actually pack loads of calories, fats, sugars, and carbohydrates–the perfect combination to getting a bigger tummy!
- Dressings: Can’t resist sauces and dressings? You should. Although they add flavour to food, you have to take note that they also come with added calories which may equate to more fat buildup.
- Simple Carbohydrates: Foods such as white bread and refined grains have high-calorie content but low nutritional value. Moreover, these are among the factors that contribute to belly fat. Make the switch to complex carbohydrates for a healthier replacement.
- Inflammatory Foods: Inflammation can trigger the body’s safety mechanism. It may send the wrong signal that the body requires an increase in fat storage for protection.
- Alcoholic Beverages: Alcohol intake increases the risk for inflammation, liver diseases, and more. Aside from that, it comes with added calories that partly become belly fat aka beer belly. This is the result of the fat burning suppression that occurs due to alcohol consumption.
- Sugar-Rich Drinks: One of the reasons linked to the formation of visceral fat in the abdomen is the consumption of sugary beverages. To avoid this, artificial sweeteners can be used as alternatives.
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2. Restrict Food Portions
It’s not enough to avoid unhealthy food choices. It should also be supported by keeping portion sizes in check. Be mindful of the amount of food you consume when eating. This will help you control your caloric intake and prevent abdominal fat from forming.
The Hand Method can serve as your guide in determining food portions:
- Use your palm to determine the right portion of protein. (1 palm for women, 2 palms for men)
- Use your fist to measure ideal portion of vegetables. (1 fist for women, 2 fists for men)
- Use your cupped hand to know the amount of carbs you need. (1 cupped hand for women, 2 cupped hands for men)
- Use your thumb to determine fat portions. (1 thumb for women, 2 thumbs for men)
DID YOU KNOW: As the size of hands differ per individual, it is actually relative to your body size making it a suitable food intake measurement tool.
You can also follow this guideline in using your hands to understand your intake better:
- The palm of your hand is equal to 1 serving of protein (100g to 150g)
- The tip of your index finger is equal to 1 serving of fat (5g or 1 teaspoon)
- A closed fist is equal to 2 servings of carbohydrates (150g to 200g or 1 cup)
This is not the first time you’ve heard about the importance of exercise for overall health. This remains of value if you want to get rid of belly fat.
- Take it Little by Little: If you can’t commit to an intensive fitness routine, start with High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This combines intense and non-intense exercise for calorie burning.
- Increase Activity Levels: Do some stretches regularly, walk, and be active to burn calories and support better heart health.
- Start Cardiovascular Exercises: While this exercise improves heart pumping, it also helps reduce belly fat as it burns calories.
- Embrace Strength Training: Lift weights or do yoga to improve body weight. Turn fat into muscles so you can burn more calories.
- Count Your Steps: On average, 10,000 steps a day can help prevent weight gain. On the other hand, 15,000 steps a day can help prevent a person from regaining lost weight.
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You may think that stress has nothing to do with the deposit of fats in the belly. However, it contributes to an increase in cortisol levels that trigger inflammatory and antilipolytic (anti-fat burning) reactions which lead to fat buildup.
5. Get Enough Sleep
Just like stress, the hours and quality of sleep affect weight gain and can contribute to the increase of fat deposits in the belly. Furthermore, poor sleeping habits can lead to emotional eating and other unhealthy eating behaviours.
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Central obesity can affect you physically and may give rise to a range of health concerns. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to get rid of belly fat. Take small steps towards positive changes that will reflect on how you look, your confidence, and overall wellness.
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