The typical American diet is ladden wth food choices that promote belly fat. Photo by Keoh.
There is no good way to be fat, but there is a worst way. Fat around the midsection, or ** belly fat, can be especially dangerous**. It increases the risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.
Abdominal, or visceral fat, is formed deep in the body and surrounds the internal organs. Visceral fat is difficult to lose, but the right type of exercise combined with changes in diet can work.
Abdominal fat can build for a number of reasons, including eating food that is high in fat and sugar and leading a sedentary lifestyle. Not exercising for extended periods can cause people to put on belly fat faster over time as well. Feeling overstressed or suffering from a lack of sleep also contribute, and some studies have shown that people who frequently experience discrimination or harassment are susceptible to putting on belly fat.
The Right Exercise for Belly Fae can reduce visceral fat with a combination of aerobic/cardio exercises. Researchers recommend at least 30 minutes of aerobic/cardio activity at least four times a week, such as brisk walking, or if your fitness-level permits ** interval sprinting**. Core exercises such as crunches build muscle in the abdominal area, but won’t reduce visceral fat. Likewise, resistance training using exercise machines can help reduce subcutaneous fat but not visceral fat. Any type of aerobic/cardio exercise can have a significant impact on visceral fat, which may last for up to a year after any weight loss occurs.
Read my article: ** Sprinting-Walking Intervals Provide Fitness and Fun**
Avoiding the problem is the best solution, and eating well and exercising are key factors for doing just that.
Belly Fat: What Not to Eaome foods are a fast track for putting on belly fat, so a good place to begin the push back is to get these foods out of your life. If you are struggling with the problem of an overgrown waistline, I suspect that you eat at least some of them.
I have posted prior articles as to why diet soda is a poor idea, and here is one more reason. A study in the Journal of Obesity found that those who drink diet soda have more belly fat** than those who don’t indulge.** It is suspected that diet soda drinkers overestimate the number of calories they think they are saving and wind up drinking too much of it.
White tea is a more healthy option. It blocks the formation of new fat cells and helps the body break down stored fat. Even if you do overindulge, it is harder for you to store the excess calories.
French fries are another food that should be avoided. A twenty year Harvard study found that those who eat fries on a regular basis gain over three pounds every four years. In the course of a lifetime, that’s a lot of belly weight. Baked sweet potato fries, baked turnip fries, and baked parsnip fries are better choices. They are easy to make and taste great.
Beware of fruit juice. All-natural fruit juice contains 36 grams of sugar per cup. Most of the sweetness is courtesy of fructose, a type of sugar associated with belly fat.
Adding fresh sliced fruit like oranges and grapefruit to spring water makes a tasty fruit drink itself. Keep the peels on because the antioxidant in them flush toxins from the body and release stored visceral fat.
Finally, potato chips are considered one of the worst foods for your belly. Potato chips are filled with saturated fat and cause abdominal fat gain. They are also heavy with salt and also cause mid-level bloating. If you are a daily chip eater, cutting them out of your diet will result in losing half a pound of fat directly from your belly.
Belly Fat: What To Eat
A meal plan that’s heavy on fruits and vegetables, high fiber foods, and lean meats can help with losing visceral fat. It’s best to avoid sugary drinks and products that are heavy in saturated fat, like butter or fatty cheeses. Use natural cooking oils that are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Appropriate portion sizing is also important. As individual diet requirements vary, it’s best to consult a nutritionist when trying to lose abdominal fat.
Healthy Habits Reduce Belly FatLifestyle changes can help reduce belly fat. Bad health habits such as smoking and excessive drinking can increase visceral fat. It’s best to break these habits for many health reasons; getting rid of belly fat is one of them! Also, getting enough sleep is very important for losing fat. And some studies show that ** meditating or praying can help with belly fat weight loss**, as these modalities can lower our stress levels.
Read My Article: ** I Meditate to Maintain Weight Loss**
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Cheryl Ann Borne, writing as My Bariatric Life, is a contributing writer and Paleo recipe developer for HealthCentral’s Obesity Community. Cheryl is an award-winning healthcare communications professional and obesity health advocate who has overcome super obesity and it’s related diseases. She publishes the website MyBariatricLife.org and microblogs on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Cheryl also is writing her first book and working on a second website. Watch her transformational video on Vimeo.