Abdominal fat is an invitation to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and even some cancers. Belly fat stubbornly sticks around, and most difficult to shed.
Getting rid of fat around mid-line is critical far more than just aesthetics’ sake. Excess abdominal fat-especially visceral fat, the type which encircles your organs and bulges your stomach into a “beer gut”- is a passport to heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and some cancers. If diet and exercise haven’t done much to shed your pooch, then your hormones, your age and other genetic factors may be the reason why you are not losing fat. Read on for the possible reasons why your belly fat won’t dislodge.
1. You’re Getting Older: As you age, your body metamorphoses the process how it gains and loses weight. Both men and women go through a waning metabolic rate, and the amount of calories the body requires to function normally. In addition to that, women have to deal with menopause. To quote Michael Jensen, M.D., professor of medicine in the Mayo Clinic’s endocrinology division: “If women gain weight after menopause, it’s more likely to be in their bellies”. In menopause, making of the hormones estrogen and progesterone slackens. Meanwhile, testosterone levels also start to drop, but at a slower rate. These changes in hormones cause women hang on the weight around their waist. But, you don’t need to worry: you can beat this process. Read on.
2. Check Whether You’re Doing The Wrong Workout? A daily jogging or Spin class do good to your heart, but cardio workouts alone don’t do much for your mid line. To quote Sangeeta Kashyap, M.D., an endocrinologist at Cleveland Clinic: “You need to do a combination of weights and cardiovascular training”. Strength training adds to muscle mass, which sets off your body to burn more fat.
To quote Kate Patton, a registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic: “Muscle burns more calories than fat, and therefore you naturally burn more calories throughout the day by having more muscle”. Patton further recommends at least 250 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 125 minutes of high-intensity exercise per week.
3. Check Whether You’re Eating Too Much Processed Foods? Patton warns: “Refined grains like white bread, crackers and chips, as well as refined sugars in sweetened drinks and desserts increase inflammation in our bodies. ” He further cautions: “Belly fat is associated with inflammation, so eating too many processed foods will hinder your ability to lose belly fat Patton”.
Patton advises: “Natural foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains are full of antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory properties and may therefore actually prevent belly fat.”
4. Check Whether You’re Eating The Wrong Fats? Your body doesn’t respond to all fats in the same manner. According to Patton, research shows sufficient relationship between high intake of saturated fat (the type in meat and dairy) and increased visceral fat. On the contrary, monounsaturated fats (the type in olive oil and avocados) and specific types of polyunsaturated fats (mainly omega-3s, found in walnuts, sunflower seeds, and fatty fish like salmon) have anti-inflammatory impacts in the body, and if eaten in proper portions will do your body good. However, Patton cautions that eating too much fat of any kind of enhances your calorie intake and leads in turn to weight gain, so be free to enjoy healthy fats in moderation.
5. Check Whether Your Workout is Challenging Enough? To get rid of stubborn stomach fat, you need to beef up your workouts. As per a study published in the journalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, people who followed a high-intensity workout routine lost more belly fat than those who pursued a low-intensity plan. As a matter of fact, the low-intensity exercises underwent no significant changes at all.
To quote Natalie Jill, a San Diego–based certified personal trainer: “You need to exercise at full intensity because the end goal is to burn more calories, and high intensity exercise does just that.” High intensity workouts connote you’re going all out for as long as you can. And, if this sounds daunting, just imagine what you will achieve is burning more calories in less time.
6. Check Whether You’re Doing The Wrong Exercises? Doing crunches until you exhaust? Stop all this crap! The daunting crunches are not the kind of exercises that finally uncovers six-pack. As per the San Diego–based certified personal trainer – Jill: “You can’t spot reduce. Instead, what can help you is doing functional exercises, which use the muscles in your core — abdominals, back, pelvic, obliques — as well as other body parts.” Jill further points out: “These exercises use more muscles, so there is a higher rate of calorie burn while you are doing them”. For example, planks can help you shed pounds from your waist. They are right kind of functional exercises, which will not only activate your core muscles but also your arm, leg and butt muscles.
7. Check Whether You’re Stressed? You tend to reach for high-fat, high-calorie fare when you’re stressed, which is just a part of it. Disturbed family life, office deadlines, finances, your kids — whatever may be cause of your stress, carrying too much of it on your head makes tougher for you to shed uncalled for pounds, particularly from your waist. It’s because of the stress hormone cortisol that may surge the amount of fat your body can hold to and thus amplify your fat cells. Also the raised levels of cortisol have been correlated with more visceral fat.
8. Check Whether You’re Skimping On Sleep? It has been found that about 30% of Americans sleep less than 6 hours a night. And if you happen to be one of them, here’s one simple way to carve your waistline: just catch more Zs. One 16-year study of about 70,000 women revealed that those who slept five hours or less per night were thirty percent more likely to put on 30 or more pounds than the ones who slept seven hours. According to the National Institutes of Health, an adult should sleep 7-8 hours per night.
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9. Check Whether You’re Apple-Shaped? Do you have tendency to pack on pounds around your waist in comparison to your hips and thighs? If that is the case, then you’re apple shaped. This genetic disposition means getting rid yourself of belly fat will be rather harder, but not unattainable.
10. Check Whether You’re Sick? In case your testosterone levels are elevated, which can happen due to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) — it will become harder for you to lose weight and shedding pounds from your middle. To quote Dr. Kashyap: “If you’re an apple shape and overweight, it’s a good idea to see your doctor, since there may also be a chance that you are prediabetic or diabetic”.
If you are not losing weight despite your hard efforts, don’t get disheartened. Be determined to reach your goal, and you can move past even genetics and lose weight. To shed belly fat, take a combination approach of a low-calorie diet that is high in fiber and low in carbohydrates and sugar along with cardiovascular and weight training.
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