Belly fat is an unpleasant side effect of a lifetime of bad health habits, but many people get frustrated with the way it can mar their appearance or make them feel less than desirable. Even though the build-up has occurred over time, desperate folks looking for an instant fix through a fad or crash diet to get them swimsuit ready or back in prime condition by their twenty-year reunion. While effective dieting protocols like the HCG diet can create an improved weight loss scenario, the ultimate way to keep belly fat off for good is through a change in lifestyle and eating routines.
Types of Body Fat
Many people tend to think of belly fat as the roll around the middle, but there are two separate types of body fat. Visceral fat is the composition of the tissue surrounding a person’s organs, while subcutaneous is the fat layer that is found just under the skin. Even though you cannot see visceral fat, the health complications from substantial build-up are far more harmful than simply having too much subcutaneous fat. Fortunately, you can attack both kinds with some simple changes, and the sooner the better. Most often the result of a poor diet, belly fat increases a person’s risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. As research confirms, being overweight is one of the primary causes of major diseases. Areas of risk include heart attacks, heart disease, asthma, high blood pressure, colon cancer, blood pressures, and several types of dementia.
Who or What Should be Blamed?
Even though you have seen your belly fat growing, you might not realize what exactly caused it. And if your fat is visceral, then you might not even realize you are dealing with an unhealthy inside. Here are some of the prime causes of excess belly fat.
1. Poor Diet
Your intake has everything to do with your fat accumulation. Consuming sugary foods like fruit juice, soda, candy, and cakes can reduce your body’s natural ability to burn fat by slowing down your metabolism. When this happens, weight gain occurs. Some studies have found that low-protein but high-carb diets can impact your weight. People who consume protein generally feel fuller longer, and when there isn’t enough lean protein in the diet, the tendencies are to snack more and eat more food overall. Not only will you eat more, but the trans fats included in many foods like baked goods, fast food, crackers, and processed carbs can cause inflammation and over time, lead to obesity. Reading labels can help educate you about what is going in your body, and you should make a conscientious effort to substitute unhealthy foods for whole-grain foods, polyunsaturated, and monosaturated fats.
2. Unchecked Alcohol Consumption
The occasional glass of red wine is said to be good for lowering your stress levels and proving antioxidants to your system, but too much alcohol can lead to inflammation, liver disease, and a number of other health problems. A few years back, the Current Obesity Reports journal presented a study that showed men with excessive alcohol consumption had more weight gain around their bellies than those who did not consume alcohol heavily.
3. Inactivity or Lack of Exercise
Consuming more calories than you burn in a day will also cause weight gain, and a lifestyle with very little activity makes it incredibly difficult to get rid of fat without medical intervention. Not only does a lack of exercise affect your waistline, but it can also lower your cardiovascular activity and weaken your cognitive health. Oxygen-rich blood cells are what help give your brain the fuel it needs to do its job, and your circulatory system is what carried the blood throughout the body. The heart is the most important muscle when it comes to distributing blood throughout the body, and a lack of activity creates an unhealthy and weak heart. Strength training and aerobic exercises are two ways that you can start to attack your belly fat.
Stress doesn’t just turn your hair gray or cause you to lose sleep at night. It can be a hidden culprit of what you’ve been calling your spare tire. The body produces cortisol, a steroid hormone that helps a body deal with stress. Perpetually dealing with high-pressure situations or continually leaving your body in a fight-or-flight mode can keep your body in a cortisol production mode. This will have an impact on your metabolism. Emotional or comfort eating is often an individual’s way to relieve stress, but the cortisol keeps the excess calories around the belly and other areas as a way to stash them later use.
While research does indicate that genetics can play a role in your body type and composition, the prime culprit of accumulated belly fat is an unhealthy lifestyle. This can include poor choices regarding diet, mental health, and physical activity.
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