Why You Need to Lose Belly Fat and How to Do It Right
“Muffin top” is the slang term used to describe the roll of fat that hangs over the top of your pants, while the “belly roll” is usually the roll of fat just underneath it. Neither of which are particularly appealing to anybody. Any pair of pants, skirts, or jeans that are too tight at the waist can emphasize a muffin top, but even if you wear loose clothing, it may still be just hiding under the surface. Sad to say, with obesity on the rise all over the world, there are plenty of people—men, women, and even children—who sport muffin tops and belly rolls.
Although it’s common to want to get rid of this unsightly belly bulge for one’s vanity, the desire to lose belly fat is actually not just about how you look. It goes beyond that of your waist size. An even more important cause for wanting to lose belly fat is one’s health, and knowing why should be enough to get you to sit and pay attention.
If you limit your goals to reasons such as judging yourself and others or trying to reach some unrealistic ideal, you are bound to fail. Instead, look at it as getting a handle on your fat as it is very dangerous to your health. Studies show that an excess of abdominal fat affects the body’s response to insulin in an adverse way. This is why some specialists are mindful of the waist circumference of their patients as it is an effective way to ascertain if one is at risk. Thankfully, there are some tried and tested ways that you can adapt to help get rid of your belly fat.
Your diet is also very important. It is essential to pay close attention to the portions you consume without drastically cutting calories. The reason for this is that cutting calories can force your body into starvation mode which only slows down metabolism. This, in turn, causes it to store fat in your body for later use, which is really the opposite of what we’re trying to achieve here.
Experts emphasize that eating complex carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains along with fat-burning foods like lean protein are more efficient than consuming simple carbohydrates from sugary drinks, white bread, and refined-grain pasta. Replacing saturated fats and trans fats with polyunsaturated fats can also help.
Strength training and exercise
There are, of course, ways to deal with your belly fat. Did you know that strength training, which is simply exercising with weights, is a true belly fat burner? It actually helps fight abdominal fat, according to research gleaned from a University of Pennsylvania study that studied overweight and obese women ranging from 24 to 44 years of age over a two-year period. Those who devoted an hour in strength and weight training for just two times a week exhibited reduced body fat by as much as 4 percent compared to those who didn’t exercise. Not only that, the women who exercised were also more successful in keeping off the visceral fat. This also refers to strength training for the entire body. It has been found that although spot exercising sit-ups will usually tighten the abdominal muscles, this is actually ineffective in reducing visceral fat.
If you are seeking ways to bring your weight and belly fat under control, then regular moderate-intensity physical activity is crucial. Ideally, this is a minimum of 30 minutes per day—or better still, 60 minutes per day.
In one study by researchers at Duke University Medical Center who compared sedentary adults with those exercising at different intensities, it was determined that non-exercisers experienced a nearly nine percent gain in visceral fat after just six months. However, those who exercised by walking or jogging 12 miles per week gained no visceral fat at all, while participants who exercised the equivalent of jogging 20 miles per week lost both subcutaneous and visceral fat.
Today’s scientists are also hoping to develop drug treatments that target abdominal fat. For example, studies of the weight loss medication sibutramine (Meridia), which was approved in 1997, have shown that the drug’s greatest effects are on visceral fat. However, results tend to be short-lived and impermanent. This option as a viable belly fat buster is still very far off into the future.
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