So, your stomach area is looking awkward these days, you are not fitting in your favorite LBD anymore, and the thought ‘how to achieve the dream figure by getting rid of that stubborn belly fat is stealing your good night’s sleep. Are these true? We got you! But the elimination of excess belly fat should not be as complicated as it sounds. No matter how aesthetically annoying belly fat is, it can be curbed to a great extent by making necessary lifestyle changes. This article is all about how to reduce belly fat naturally. Keep reading.
What Does Belly Fat Mean?
Belly fat, or abdominal fat, is nothing but excess layers of fat surrounding the organs in your abdomen. According to experts, the fat in our body can be categorized into ‘triglycerides’ (circulates in the bloodstream), ‘subcutaneous fat’ (sits beneath the surface of the skin), and ‘visceral fat’ (underneath abdominal muscles) among which the ‘visceral fat’ is considered as ‘potentially dangerous. Belly fat, being a kind of visceral fat, is also known to pose risks to human health when present in an excess amount in the body.
If you want to reduce belly fat, you have to start with measuring it to know how much fat you actually need to eliminate. Three most important parameters needed for belly fat measurement include ‘Body Mass Index’ (BMI), ‘Waist To Hip Ratio’, and ‘Waist Circumference’.
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What Causes Excess Belly Fat?
Those washboard abs you see on the covers of your favorite magazines are not at all-natural. It takes a lot of effort and time to achieve something like a fully flat belly. In fact, some amount of belly fat is perfectly normal as it provides a ‘cushioning effect’ to our organs and bones, thereby protecting them from injuries. But certain factors can contribute to excess belly fat. Check them out below:
It is mostly your genes that determine how many fat cells your body will develop and how they will get distributed.
If you have poor metabolism, you will probably develop more belly fat than others having very high metabolic rates. Age, diabetes, thyroid, and a few other medical conditions can slow down your metabolism notably.
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Our hormones play a key role in regulating the concentration of fat in our bodies. Hence, hormonal changes can result in excess belly fat. In fact, that is the reason why premenopausal and menopausal women tend to accumulate more fat around their waists.
Bad Food Habits
Your food habits can be the culprit behind your excess belly fat. From overeating to indulging in junk and processed food items, everything can have major consequences on your body in terms of weight gain.
If your lifestyle does not include regular exercise or any physical activity, you may end up developing fat around your belly area.
High Levels Of Stress
Too much stress and anxiety raise the levels of cortisol hormone in our blood, which leads to the accumulation of fat in the body, especially the stomach area.
Certain medical conditions like hypertension, cardiovascular issues, stroke, diabetes, cancer (breast cancer, colorectal cancer), metabolic syndrome, sleep apnea, etc. can lead to the occurrence of excess belly fat.
Why Should You Reduce Excess Belly Fat?
Slimming down the midsection is not all about getting an attractive figure. Those extra pounds around the belly can actually have tons of negative impacts on our health. It has been found that excess belly fat increases the production of extra hormones and chemicals in the body, which triggers several health problems including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
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How To Reduce Belly Fat?
The secret to reducing stubborn belly fat lies in providing the body with a combination of the right diet, impactful exercise, enough hydration, and good rest.
1. You Are What You Eat
1. Eat 5 small meals a day rather than 3 large ones. Snack in between meals on fruits, raw veggies, or nuts.
2. Your breakfast should be rich in carbs (sandwiches, poha, idlis, eggs, or upma with any type of fruit juice) while your lunch should be a balance between carbs and proteins (rice, roti, vegetables, some lean meat, and dal).
4. Include plenty of complex carbohydrates in your diet like wheat bran and oats, which get digested over time and provide the body with small shots of energy until the next meal is consumed.
5. Incorporate enough proteins, such as legumes, lean meat, soya, and milk in your diet as your body spends a lot of energy digesting them and they also help you build lean muscles.
6. Have fiber-rich fruits and vegetables like watermelon and cucumber that are filling yet low in calories.
7. Look for healthier alternatives to processed foods and white sugar as they attack your fat cells directly.
Cut down on your salt intake to avoid a bloated look caused by water retention.
Drink lots of water and green tea. Stay away from alcohol as much as possible.
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2. Exercise Right
1. Make sure that you are exercising at least 4-5 days a week.
2. You don’t have to do the same set of exercises day after day. Mix in your regular workout with some fast walking, a fun exercise like Zumba, some yoga, and cardio.
3. Lift weights for an athletic look. Strength training converts your body fat into muscle mass, thereby giving you a lean and toned body.
4. Indulge in exercises like lunges and push-ups that work your full body.
5. Work the muscles in your abdomen with crunches and leg raises.
3. Rest and Rejuvenate
1. Sitting idle throughout the day and stressing over your weight will never be going to help you. So, follow a robust regime and stay active.
2. Remember to get adequate rest every day since you don’t want your sore muscles to stop you from exercising.
3. Warm-up and indulge in body massages to relieve your muscles.
4. Get a good night’s sleep to rejuvenate your body and calm your mind.
Did You Know?
If the measurement around your waist indicates 35 inches or more, you are having unhealthy belly fat. So, just follow the right path and shed off those extra pounds.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What exercise burns the most belly fat?
You can start doing some fat-burning exercises at home. Start with side crunch, reverse crunch, vertical leg crunch, and bicycle exercises. Alternatively walking, running and jogging can also help you get rid of extra pounds.
What causes a big stomach in females?
One of the most common causes of belly fat is a high intake of calorie-rich diet and little or no exercise. Our body metabolism slows down after we reach 40 hence accumulation of fat can happen easily if we we don’t do exercises regularly.
What foods help burn belly fat?
Try some of these belly-fat burning foods – Avocados, Green Tea, Bananas, Berries & Yoghurt.
Do bananas give you belly fat?
Although there are no studies to prove a correlation between weight loss and intake of bananas, bananas are considered as weight loss-friendly food. Bananas typically don’t cause any spike in blood sugar level.