Belly fat is quite possibly one of the most annoying aspects of weight loss because it doesn’t seem to want to go away. Whether it’s pregnancy weight, a beer belly, or simply the freshman 15, the stomach is known to be extremely stubborn and difficult to tone. Even if you have done everything in your power to lose the extra tummy fat (such as avoiding carbs, sweets, and alcohol), some of us have the bad luck of genetics, which causes excess weight to naturally accumulate in the stomach and love handle area.
What Causes the Buildup of Belly Fat?
The buildup of extra girth around the stomach area is due to the effects of cortisol. Cortisol is a steroid hormone which released during the body’s stress response. This isn’t a biology lesson, so I will try to explain this process as painlessly as possible. As the body is in fight-or-flight mode, fat is burned and used as an energy source in order to support the stress response. The release of cortisol increases energy and alertness, while decreasing the appetite at the same time.
The problem occurs after the fight-or-flight response is over and your body is no longer using the fat for energy. The cortisol lingers around so it can return your body’s balance. Unfortunately, your body also uses cortisol in order to replenish the fat and carbohydrates which were used during the stress response, and it does this by increasing your appetite. Although cortisol is used for an important purpose, it also creates a situation where your body holds on to fats and carbs (usually in the belly area) in order to restore balance.
How to Lose Belly Fat
Well, I’ve already explained the scientific aspect of belly fat, now it’s time to discuss the best way to get rid of it. The first thing you need to do is avoid sugar whenever possible. Sugar causes the belly to become bloated, which prevents it from becoming flat. You should also increase your protein intake because protein is what helps to create lean muscle. Lean muscle will be your best friend during your weight loss program because it increases your metabolism and essentially burns the fat for you even when you’re just sitting around.
Another helpful tip is to drink lots and lots of ice water. Cold water helps you burn calories because your body uses up energy in order to increase your body temperature. Not to mention, high water intake flushes out your system by removing waste so drinking water is always recommended for a healthy lifestyle.
Aside from changing your diet, you will also (unfortunately) need to exercise, as well. Any activity which involves cardio is your best bet because it increases your heart rate, which makes you use up energy and burn A LOT of calories and fast. By burning all of those calories, you can eliminate excess fat and form lean muscle throughout your body. This is why marathon runners tend to have fit body frames with well-defined and toned muscles.
If the treadmill (aka “dreadmill”) isn’t for you, there are plenty of other activities that can quickly help with belly fat reduction such as swimming, pilates, riding a bike, or power walking with your and/or friends. As long as you keep your heart rate up, you can exercise, lose weight, and still have fun.
How to Prevent Belly Fat
Watching what you eat while increasing your water intake is also important if you want to prevent weight gain in the stomach area. If you have trouble following a balanced diet every day, you may also want to consider taking daily multivitamins. Multivitamins help keep you body in balance, which is key in the prevention of weight gain. They also help in maintaining good health and wellness.
source: How to Lose Belly Fat