All About Belly Fat — When you own it, you will read, research and also will write about it. Well, While I’m working on my belly fat, i thought i should share the info that i have collected for my studies. Here we go!!!
Belly fat is the visceral fat surrounding the liver and other organs in the abdomen, close to the portal vein that carries blood to the liver. This fat can be harmful to the body but proper measures can be taken to reduce belly fat.
Table of Contents:
- Causes of Belly Fat
- Tips to Reduce Belly Fat
- Exercises to Reduce Belly Fat
- The Dangers of Belly Fat Accumulation
Causes of Belly Fat:
Contrary to popular belief, people with a normal body mass index(BMI), but having excess belly fat, also face increased risk of the above health problems. Here are a few potential reasons for the accumulation of excessive belly fat:
- Sugary food and beverages:Research have shown that there is a huge link between high sugar intake and excess belly fat. This is mainly due to the extra refined sugar added during processing. While excess sugar in any form can be harmful, sugar-sweetened beverages are especially problematic.
- Alcohol:Another major possibility for sudden belly fat gain. Studies have linked the excessive consumption of alcohol to an increase in belly fat, with one study finding 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 a major role in the accumulation of belly fat. A 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 faced a 25-38% increase in belly fat, for obvious reasons.
- Stress:Cortisol, commonly called the ‘stress hormone’, is produced by the adrenal glands in stressful situations. While stress drives overeating, cortisol causes the excess calories to be stored as fat in the belly.
- Genetics:Similar to genes playing a major role in increased obesity risk, genetics may be partly responsible for the tendency of the body to store fat in the abdomen area.
Reducing tummy fat needs a routine effort. However, the following tips can help reduce the accumulation of fat in the abdominal region:
Eat plenty 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 for a longer time, thereby preventing unnecessary food intake.
While alcohol can have health benefits when consumed in limited amounts, it can be seriously harmful if consumed in excess. One way alcohol can negatively impact your body is by increasing the risk of abdominal obesity. Cutting back on it may help reduce one’s waist size. While there’s no need to give it up altogether, limiting the amount of alcohol consumed regularly is a must.
Drink Green Tea
A very healthy beverage, green tea contains the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that appears to boost metabolism. The effect of the antioxidants in green tea may be strengthened when its consumption is combined with exercise.
Cardio or aerobic exercises are an effective way to reduce belly fat. While that may have been proven by various studies, the results are varied regarding the intensity of exercise necessary. Apart from cardio, resistance training can further help with fat loss. That said, it is ideal to consult a personal fitness trainer before getting started on high-intensity resistance training.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is one such aspect of one’s health which is most important. People who don’t get enough of it tend to gain more weight. Sleep apnea, where breathing stops intermittently at night, has also been linked to excess visceral fat. A minimum of 7 hours of quality sleep every night is a must to keep one’s fat gain under control.
Exercises to Reduce Belly Fat
Workout is a key part of almost every weight loss journey. Try to Exercise those specifically target the abdominal area would go a long way in helping reduce belly fat. Here are 8 exercises that you can do to lose belly fat:
The best way to burn stomach fat is by doing crunches. Some fitness experts believe that these are the best fat-burning exercises out there.
- To start, lie down flat with your knees bent and feet on the ground.
- Place your head behind your head, or keep them crossed on your chest, and inhale deeply.
- Lift your upper torso off the floor. Exhale as you do this.
- Then, go back down, while inhaling.
Repeat this at least 10 times, if you are a beginner, and increase this number as you progress. Ensure that you complete 2 to 3 sets of crunches every day.
Once you become familiar with regular crunches, modify the basic crunches for higher efficiency. These twist crunches are similar to regular crunches, except you have to lift your right shoulder towards the left, while keeping the left torso on the ground.
While starting out, stick to doing 10 twist crunches per set. Improve this number gradually. Always aim to include two or three sets of these twist crunches in your daily routine.
Side crunches are extremely similar to the twist crunch routine. The difference is that you must tilt your legs to the same side as your shoulders. These crunches focus more on the muscles to the side of your stomach.
In the beginning, it is ideal to aim to complete 2 to 3 sets of 10 crunches each on a daily basis.
Reverse Crunches play a significant role in burning lower abdominal fat. These are especially effective among women.
- Lie on your back. Keep your knees together, and your legs bent at 90 degrees, with the feet planted on the floor.
- Place your palms face down on the floor.
- Lift your hips off the floor and crunch your knees towards your chest.
- Then, take your knees back down without letting your lower back lose contact with the floor.
To start with, you can do 2 or 3 sets of 10 reverse crunches each. These are considered to be among the best exercises for lower abdominal fat.
Apart from helping in reducing belly fat and strengthening abdominal muscles, bicycle exercises also help with toning thighs.
- Lie down flat on the floor. Keep your hands behind your head. You can also keep them by your side.
- Lift both legs off the ground and bend them at the knees.
- Bring the left knee close to the chest while keeping your right leg out.
- Next, reverse this by bringing the right knee near the chest and keeping the left leg out.
- Continue this almost like you would while riding a bicycle.
Doing a plank is an effective way to strengthen your abs, shoulders, biceps and glutes.
- Start off by kneeling down on a mat, or the floor.
- Then, place your elbows on the floor perpendicular to your shoulder.
- Extend your legs back completely.
- Engage your core while keeping your neck, back and hips in the same line.
- Try to maintain this pose for a minimum of 30 seconds.
If you’re a beginner, do 3 sets of 30 seconds each to begin with. The amount of time, and the number of sets can be increased as you progress in your fitness journey.
While burpees are a full body workout, they also help strengthen your abs, and reduce your belly fat.
- Stand up straight, keep your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Bend your knees, and place your palms on the floor.
- Jump, and push your legs back. Now, you should find yourself in a plank position.
- Hop, and get back up into your previous position.
- Jump up straight and extend your arms over your head. Make sure you land softly on the floor.
- Bend your knees and place your palms on the floor again. Get back to the plank position one more time.
Do 3 sets of 8 reps of these burpees.
Cross-body Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers help strengthen quads, hamstrings, glutes, and abdominal muscles. They also help reduce tummy fat.
- Start with the plank position. Keep your elbows right below your shoulders. Make sure that your neck, back, and hips are in a straight line. This is your starting position.
- Lift your right foot off the floor, and bring it close to the right part of your chest by bending your knee.
- Now, take your right foot back to its original position. Once this is done, repeat the same process with your left foot, and bring it close to the left part of your chest.
- Continue doing this, almost as if you are running.
Do 2 sets of these, with 25 reps each..
Ensure that your diet is balanced, and that you are consuming as many nutrients as possible, while also ensuring you burn more calories than your daily intake. For a better understanding of how to plan your diet out for a week, take a look at a weekly plan here.
The Dangers of Belly Fat Accumulation
In addition to the higher BMI, excessive fat accumulation in the abdomen area can potentially pose the following health risks:
- Heart disease
- Sleep apnea
- Colorectal cancer
- Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
One cannot reduce belly fat overnight. A long-term plan is the best approach to losing belly fat. However, following the above tips can take you one step closer to your fat loss goals. That said, it is ideal to speak to an expert before you get started on your weight loss goals. Speak to some of India’s best nutritionists and fitness coaches, and begin your fat loss journey.