Reducing weight is quite a tedious task and the most common concern among every fitness enthusiast is to reduce belly fat. This leads us to know what is belly fat and why is it talked about so much?
So fat is of three types:
a) Subcutaneous fat, It is the looser fat and can accumulate just under the skin.
b) Intramuscular fat, is found within the skeletal muscles.
c) Visceral fat, It is packed between your abdominal organs (stomach, liver, kidneys, etc.), which is what we call intra-abdominal or belly fat
No matter what your body shape is, excess fat isn’t good for one’s health. In most people, about 90% of body fat is subcutaneous, whereas visceral fat makes up only a small proportion of body fat but it plays a key role in a variety of health problems. Visceral fat or belly fat is a potentially harmful type as it releases hormones that can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart conditions, and other health problems. It is sometimes called “active fat” due to its active role in producing various hormones.
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Reducing the number of such types of fat can have significant health benefits for some people. Visceral fat is thus more readily metabolized into fatty acids, and it responds very well to diet and exercise than fat on the hips and thighs.
Here are some effective tips that may help reduce belly fat:
- Include soluble fiber in your diet: Soluble fiber helps you to lose weight by increasing fullness and reducing calorie absorption. Thus, try to include plenty of high fiber foods like legumes, oats, barley, flaxseeds, avocados, etc.
- Include high protein foods: Proteins decrease appetite and promote fullness. It also raises metabolic rate and helps you to retain muscle mass during weight loss so protein-rich foods such as fish, lean meat, and beans, should be included to shed some fat around your waist.
- Include healthy fats and avoid foods that contain trans fats: Trans fats are found in some margarine, spreads, and also often added to packaged foods. Increased intake of trans fat is linked to increased belly fat. Thus, include healthy fats foods like chia seeds, eggs, olives, nuts, etc.
- Eliminate sugary foods and beverages: A high sugar intake may increase levels of visceral fat by promoting insulin resistance and increasing inflammation throughout the body.
- Reduce stress levels: Stress can make you gain belly fat by triggering the adrenal glands to produce cortisol (stress hormone) and high cortisol levels increase appetite and drive abdominal fat storage. Thus, engage in pleasurable activities that relieve stress.
- Do aerobic exercise: Aerobic exercise (cardio) is the most effective form of exercise for reducing belly fat and slimming your waistline as it caters to overall health improvement as well as burn calories.
- Get plenty of peaceful sleep: Sleep deprivation is linked to an increased risk for weight gain. Thus, getting enough good quality sleep should be one of the main priorities.
There are no magic solutions to reduce belly fat and neither doing just one of the above lists would have a big effect of its own. So, successfully adopting the combination of these methods along with lifestyle modifications for the long term is the key to losing belly fat and keeping it off.
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