Belly fat is a prevalent disorder of the body among most men and women. The protrusion is mainly caused by visceral fat residing around the stomach. And the reason why this is a problem is that the fat surrounds the body and puts you at risk of heart disease. It can also lead to type 2 diabetes and in some cases, cancer.
It is pretty easy to know if you have excess fat. For men, measure around your midsection at the bellybutton-level with tape. Up to 40 inches is too much for men, while more than 35 inches is too much for women.
Losing belly fat is not difficult but first, let’s see the causes of belly fat;
Foods that cause weight gain are also sources of belly fat. For example, foods containing too many carbs, like cakes, fruit juice, can increase weight. Consequently, these goods can slow a person’s metabolism and ability to burn fat.
Meanwhile, foods high in protein promote satiety; that is, you feel fuller after eating. This is why you should go for diets with high protein to reduce the body’s weight.
Lack of Exercise
The principle here is quite simple; you will add weight if you consume more calories than you burn off. So, if you want to burn belly fat, ensure you constantly burn off the calories you consume and imbibe an active lifestyle.
Exercising is beneficial to the body’s overall health, not just for burning fat.
Excessive intake of alcohol has been attributed to several health issues like inflammation and Liver cirrhosis. Every time the liver is injured by disease or excess intake of alcohol, it naturally tries to repair itself.
Also, according to research, excessive intake of alcohol is a leading cause of belly fat and obesity.
Genes play a significant role in the physique of a person. According to research, the metabolism, behavior, and weight of a person can be influenced by their genes.
Factors like behavior/lifestyle and the environment are the leading causes of body weight and obesity.
Although research is still ongoing in this area, it is widely believed that smoking is a risk factor for belly fat. Meaning smokers are liable to have more visceral fat than those who do not smoke.
The study was published by Pios.
People battling insomnia are more likely to gain weight than those who have good sleep. Short sleep has been found to cause fat to be stored around the belly.
Inadequate sleep can cause increased food intake, leading to an increase in belly fat. People who do not get enough sleep are prone to emotional eating.
Stress and lack of sleep produce a hormone called cortisol, which often opens up the appetite. One of the ways many people deal with stress is by eating.
Also, cortisol makes the body store excess calories around the belly and other parts of the body.
How to lose belly fat
If you know the causes of belly fat, it will be easy to lose it. Below are some of the methods you can adopt to lose belly fat.
If you do not exercise, your calories from food will be stored in parts of your body and belly as fat. Exercise does not only make you fit and healthy. It helps you burn fats from the body.
Going to the gym is good, but routines as simple as taking a long walk or skipping effectively burn calories and belly fat.
Reduce or Quit Alcohol
Alcohol contains sugar, especially beer. Therefore, excessive intake of alcohol can cause belly fat. So, if you want to lose belly fat, cut down on your intake of alcohol or abstain from taking it.
Get More Sleep
Sleep is beneficial to the overall health of the body. During sleep, the body and its organs recover, heal, and rest. People who have good sleep time are likely to maintain good body weight.
Smoking is said to be a risk factor for belly fat. Asides from the several health benefits you get when you quit smoking, quitting can also reduce the risk of excess fat around the stomach.
Your diet plays a huge role in your physical appearance. Eating a balanced diet can help you shed weight.
If you want to lose belly fat, cut down on carbs, processed foods, sugar with low nutrition value. Instead, increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, and protein.
Stress is a leading cause of weight. If you want to maintain a good weight, you must find time to rest.
A hormone called cortisol is produced when the body is stressed, which causes the body to want more food.
Why Belly Fat Is Hard to Lose
It usually takes discipline, commitment, and dedication to lose belly fat by whatever method you choose. Below are some of the reasons you may find it difficult to lose belly fat.
Belly fat is “active fat”
Belly fat is either visceral or subcutaneous. Visceral fat is found around the organs, while subcutaneous fat is found underneath the skin.
Visceral fat is the cause of several diseases because it secrets hormones that affect the body. Substances secreted by visceral fat increase the risk of cancer, liver cirrhosis, and cardiovascular disease.
Protein is also secreted by visceral fat, which prevents the body from using insulin and puts the body at risk of diabetes. In addition, visceral fat increases the risk of heart attack, high blood pressure, and stroke because it produces too much cholesterol.
Diet alone won’t do it
Eating a balanced and controlled diet is vital for weight loss, but you must exercise if you intend to lose belly fat. According to a study, walking three times a week for 50 minutes helps to lose belly fat.
When you exercise, your liver generates energy via nearby fats and encourages the body to use(burn) calories.
Low estrogen levels lead to increased belly fat.
Most women experience an increase in their waistline after menopause. Because of the reduced estrogen level, accumulated fat moves from the hips and thighs to the belly. Although some women don’t gain weight after menopause, most women experience waist growth.
A therapy for hormone replacement effectively prevents visceral fat from gathering around the belly during menopause. However, the said therapy is one of the causes of cancer, dementia and cardiovascular disease. Therefore, this therapy is not recommended unless done by a doctor.