You’re not alone. The visceral fat in our bellies can be the hardest to lose.
The thing with that visceral belly fat is that it isn’t just unsightly and uncomfortable. It can be very dangerous. This fat which encompasses your internal organs may heighten the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and even some cancers.
So, what should you do differently?
That depends on a variety of factors. Including age, diet and exercise.
1. Processed Foods: Specifically the amount of these foods you are eating. Fast food, cookies, crackers, refined sugars and grains. These are some of the most common culprits of belly fat. Add in more natural foods, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
2. You Need More Sleep: The National Institute of Health recommends adults sleep between seven and eight hours per night. If you’re like many people, you are falling short of that number. Sleeping less than 5 hours a night can raise your risk of being overweight. The abdomen generally takes the brunt of this.
3. You’re Getting Older: Not a lot we can do about this one, but we should know how and why our bodies change. Among men and women, as you grow older, your body changes the rate that it burns calories, and also the amount of calories needed to function. These changes can cause fat to stick around the belly. Eating clean natural foods and exercising are your best bet to age gracefully.
4. STRESS!: Stress has a couple different effects on the body. One, it makes us crave high fat; high salt foods over healthy fruits and vegetables. Two, it increases cortisol levels in your body. These increases in cortisol have been shown to increase fat storage, particularly around the stomach.
5. Exercise Habits: This can be a can of worms. You are not exercising enough, or too much. Not hard enough, or doing the wrong types of exercises. How do you navigate this terrain? Most of us look to crunches or sit-ups as a way to tone. But, these are not a great, or even good way to reveal your abs. Try more functional “full body” exercises which include your core to reach maximum burn level. Planks are a good way to involve your entire body, while the brunt of the work goes to your belly.
Fighting belly fat can be the hardest part of overall weight loss, or even just a healthy lifestyle.
Knowing what to look for and where to start fighting is key in winning the battle.