Do you deal with stubborn belly fat that just refuses to go away? Trimming down that excess pudge might do more than just boost your confidence and help you fit into those new summer clothes.
Too much stomach fat that swells your tummy might also be dangerous. You can appear skinny and still have this visceral fat, which is packed around the organs in your abdomen and linked to serious diseases like type II diabetes and heart disease.
Reasons Belly Fat Won’t Go Away
One thing you should do before starting any weight loss journey is gain some understanding as to why that extra flab seems to stick. If you feel like you’ve done everything you can–the
Unfortunately, the older you get, the more likely it is that your body will pack on more fat in your stomach. Part of this is due to the fact that your metabolism slows down as the birthdays pile on. Women in particular might gain more weight as they reach menopause, as the shifting hormones can have an effect on how much fat your body retains. This leads to the second factor that can keep the pounds packed on your belly:
There are medical conditions that can cause excess fat around the waist. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS, is a hormonal disorder that affects women. It causes cysts in the ovaries as well as other symptoms that range from annoying to painful, including weight gain.
Cortisol is another hormone that can make you pack on the pounds. Cortisol is released when your body is stressed. If you’re taking on more than you can handle, or if you have any significant and stressful changes in your life, it might cause your body to release excess cortisol. It’s not binge-eating during times of stress that makes you gain weight–it’s the cortisol messing with your metabolic function. Lack of sleep can also lead to high levels of cortisol–so get some rest, and take it easy!
Yes, it’s repeated over and over, debated over and over–but your genes can indeed affect where your fat goes as well as how much stays on. While you obviously can’t alter your genetic code, there are ways to work with nature to maintain a healthy body.
What you can do to reduce
- Change Your Diet
Start munching on protein and fiber-rich foods. Fruits and veggies, likewise, which contain anti-oxidants that may reduce inflammation. Try to kick processed snacks and refined sugars, which can affect your insulin levels and possibly lead to diabetes. You want to cut fatty foods, sure, but there are good fats that help you lose weight–monosaturated fats that are found in nuts, olive oil, and avocados are healthy and keep you feeling full without making you gain.
- Change Your Exercise
The idea that crunches alone can give you a lean stomach is a myth. If you want some real results, you should be doing a mix of exercises. Cardio by itself won’t target your tummy. You should switch up heart-healthy work outs like jogging and spinning with some strength training. Working your muscles will work your metabolism. Build up your muscles and you’ll burn calories at higher rates, slashing that flab faster.
Also, high intensity work outs burn more calories that low-intensity ones. A brisk walk won’t have the same effect as a hard sprint. But don’t push yourself until you pass out. You can still burn more fat if you just do these intense work outs between intervals of rest.