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Tags: diet | nutrition | weight loss | belly fat

How to Get Rid of Belly Fat

a group exercise class
(Monkey Business Images/Dreamstime.com)

Monday, 10 February 2020 10:11 AM

If you can pinch more than an inch around your tummy, you're in trouble. Belly fat is not only unattractive, it's dangerous for your health. When fat expands in your abdomen, nestling deep in your organs, it sets you up for serious health problems.

This type of fat, called visceral fat, is metabolically active and unleashes stress hormones like cortisol and inflammatory substances called cytokines that affect your body's production of insulin.

"You are at risk for premature death if you can pinch more than three inches of fat in your belly," Dr. Gabe Mirkin, a sports medicine guru, fitness expert, and author of "The Healthy Heart Miracle," tells Newsmax. "Even people who are not overweight are at a high risk for a heart attack and diabetes if they store most of their fat in the belly instead of the buttocks, hips, and thighs.

"Having extra belly fat is associated with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, inflammation, and arteriosclerosis," says Mirkin. "Research has shown that belly fat is also associated with many diseases including diabetes, dementia, impotence, heart disease, strokes, kidney damage, and even some types of cancer."

According to Dr. Mirkin, you can banish belly fat without drugs, incorporating simple lifestyle changes.

  • Lose weight with a clean diet. Even a 7% reduction in body weight helps reduce the risk of diabetes. "Intermittent fasting has been shown to be an effective way to lose weight quickly and keep it off," he says. Mirkin advises banishing red meat, processed foods, and all foods with added sugar from your diet. Instead, eat whole grains like oatmeal, barley, wild rice, brown rice, and quinoa, along with plant-based foods. Avoid fried foods.
  • Burn it off. Visceral fat responds quickly to aerobic exercise. You can trim that tummy by running, biking, swimming, and even brisk daily walking — anything that gets your heart rate up. A 2011 study from Duke University found that jogging the equivalent of 12 miles a week was more effective in burning fat than weight training three times a week. However, both types of exercise are beneficial, say experts. In fact, the latest research shows that Hight Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which includes both aerobic and resistance exercise, is extremely effective in burning belly fat.
  • Eat a high-protein, low-carb diet. Nutritionist Jonny Bowden recommends following the keto diet to help burn fat more effectively. "Essentially, when you don't give your body sugar or excess carbs to burn for energy it turns to fat stores for fuel," he tells Newsmax. In a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, researchers had overweight men and women follow a high-protein diet (30% protein, 40% carbs, and 30% fat) or a high-carb diet (15% protein, 55% carbs, and 30% fat) and found that the high-protein group experienced a 21% greater weight loss and a 27% greater body fat loss on the average than the high-carb group.
  • Reduce stress. Stress wreaks havoc on every part of the body and can lead to joint pain, headaches, and even excess body fat. That's because when you are stressed, your body pumps out extra cortisol, a hormone that not only spikes your appetite but also redistributes body fat to our belly area, according to a review published in the journal Obesity. If you feel edgy, find time to relax during the day. Any type of exercise is helpful, but research shows that yoga and meditation practices may be particularly effective in reducing stress.
  • Fill up on fiber. A 2012 study published in Obesity found that people who increased their soluble fiber intake by 10 grams — the equivalent of half a cup of black beans or a small apple — reduced their visceral fat by 4%. But there are more benefits. Fiber helps slow down your digestive system and requires more chewing, keeping your hunger in check all day.
  • Cook your own meals. Spending more time in the kitchen can help you lose belly fat — as long as you are cooking the right foods, researchers say. UK scientists found that people who ate more than five homemade meals per week were 28% less likely to have a high body mass index. The same folks also had better good-for-you habits such as exercising more. They also made healthier food choices like including more fruits and vegetables in their daily diet.

© 2022 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

If you can pinch more than an inch around your tummy, you're in trouble. Belly fat is not only unattractive, it's dangerous for your health.
diet, nutrition, weight loss, belly fat
Monday, 10 February 2020 10:11 AM
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