Who doesn’t wish they had a little less abdominal fat? Maybe sometimes your favourite pair of jeans suddenly refuse to button close. Maybe your beer gut is getting out of control. Vanity reasons aside, excess visceral fat that surrounds your organs is linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and some cancers.
If you’ve already tried every kind of diet and workout, yet still haven’t seen a change, there are plenty of reasons why you may be failing to lose your belly fat. Genetics, hormones and lifestyle changes are just some of the factors that influence your gain and loss of body fat.
As we get older, it seemingly becomes easier to gain weight and harder to lose it. Over time, our metabolic rates decline due to a loss of muscle mass and oftentimes decreasing activity levels. Women, in particular, find difficulty losing weight since they have to deal with menopause. During menopause, weight gain is more likely to go to the abdominal area.
If your workout simply consists of crunches, planks and long jogs, it’s time to switch things up. According to experts, if you want to strengthen your core, you want a more comprehensive routine that works on multiple muscle groups at once. The more muscles engaged, the more calories burned. Exercises that help melt belly fat include squats, deadlifts, push-ups, pull-ups, thrusters and rows. High intensity interval training (HIIT) will also help in reducing body fat.
Yes, you can combat your belly fat by eating more fats–just as long as you’re eating the right kind and in moderation. Certain sources of healthy fats can have anti-inflammatory effects on your body, which can reduce bloating. These sources are olive oil, avocados, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and fatty fish like salmon.
Processed foods are rich in salt and in added sugar, which do no good for your body. They increase the inflammation in the body and inflammation is related to an increase in belly fat. Avoid white bread, crackers, crisps, frozen meals, and soft drinks.
Your “beer gut” is indeed related to beer or at least your preferred choice of alcoholic drink. Studies show that intake of beer is associated with abdominal obesity. You can still enjoy one glass of clear liquor or wine, but steer clear of sugary mixed drinks.
One nutrient your body might be lacking is magnesium. Among the roles of magnesium in the body are regulating blood sugar levels, keeping the heart rhythm steady and aiding in weight and belly fat loss. One study observed that magnesium supplement intake can also help with fluid retention, which will make you feel less bloated. Leafy greens, beans and nuts are great natural sources of magnesium.
An increase of cortisol in the body occurs when you’re feeling stressed. This hormone enlarges the fat cells and increases visceral fat. Not getting enough sleep due to stress can also be a problem. Too little sleep increases the presence of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite.