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Losing Weight around the Belly is the Key to Overall Fitness

Obesity is on the rampage in the United States, and most people suffering from being overweight have found it almost impossible to get rid of fat around the waistline, otherwise known as jelly belly or muffin top. The fact of the matter is that men and women alike—especially after the age of 40—are simply not looking very trim these days. There are many reasons to this and they can be anything from eating processed foods, taking in toxins in the environment, consuming too many calories and larger than necessary portions, having not enough exercise, hormones, and stress. The fact remains, people everywhere are seeking answers to the question: how can I get rid of belly fat?

The dangers of belly fat

In 2007, a research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggested that belly fat could lead to inflammation. Scientists have known there’s a relationship between excess belly fat and disease because those people who are apple-shaped and have more excess fat around the abdomen have a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other health challenges compared to pear-shaped people who store fat in the hips and thighs.

The bottom line is that too much belly fat is associated with the body’s response to insulin. And it must be noted that not just any belly fat causes inflammation. Earlier, researchers at the same University had realized that when using liposuction and removing even as much as 20 percent of a person’s total body fat mass, it did not have any beneficial medical effects, proving that even if fat mass and billions of fat cells were reduced from the body, it does not provide the same benefits in terms of metabolism, as when the fat mass is reduced by lowering caloric intake, something that actually shrinks the size of fat cells and decreases the amount of fat inside the abdomen and other tissues.

Visceral fat is evil fat

Scientists are also looking at visceral fat, which is the fat surrounding the organs. Unlike subcutaneous fat —that is, the fat which is closest to the skin—visceral fat is not easy to remove since it is usually so close to internal organs. Therefore, since they couldn’t remove this visceral fat, the research team decided to analyze the blood that ran through this specific type of fat in order to determine whether visceral fat was involved in inflammation or if maybe, but just like subcutaneous fat, it was merely a marker of potential problems. They believe that visceral fat is likely to contribute to the increase in systemic inflammation and insulin resistance, hence, they drew blood samples from patients who were undergoing gastric bypass surgery. They found that visceral fat in the abdomen had levels of IL-6 that were 50 percent higher than blood from the periphery.

Experts deducted that visceral fat produces inflammatory cytokines that contribute to insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease. Many scientists now believe the findings help explain how visceral fat can lead to inflammation, insulin resistance, and other metabolic problems.

You can do something about it

Interestingly, today, new revolutionary products are helping people lose belly fat by detoxing their abdominal fat. Still, nothing is more foolproof than plain old diet and exercise. Simply put, we all need to simply watch what we eat because it is a fact that the calories consumed versus those expended will affect your weight gain daily. Some experts also believe that a low carb diet helps the belly fat dissolve. The actual calories are not the problem because we all need calories for daily activities in life. It is the kind of calories that need to be addressed. Avoid worthless calories from soft drinks or gourmet coffee, and alcoholic beverages and instead, opt for nutritious calories from fresh fruits, vegetables, and proteins found in beans or meat. Also avoid fried foods that have less nutrient value and mostly empty calories, which means increased fat content in your body.

It is also extremely important to flush out your system by drinking more water, which can play an important part in losing weight. When your water consumption is low, your kidneys won’t operate at optimal levels, which means your liver then ends up having to assist them. A key function of the liver is to metabolize fat, so when it is busy helping the kidneys, the liver is unable to metabolize fat as efficiently.

To reduce belly fat and strengthen your stomach muscles at the same time, sit-ups can be an effective method. Think of your belly fat as nothing but stored energy, and if you want to lose it, then you must burn excess calories than normal. To get fast results and lose fat, choose sit-ups, as well as other abdominal exercises.

Lastly, get eight to nine hours per night of sleep. If you are under stress and do not get enough sleep, your body will produce too much cortisol, which is the stress hormone that causes your body to store fat around the belly area, and you do not want this.

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