8 Easy Ways to Lose Belly Fat, Based on Medical Science

ways-to-lose-belly-fatAll of us have belly fat. But there are two types of belly fat. One is just below the skin that is also called subcutaneous fat. In normal people, about 90 percent of fat is this type. However, there is the remaining ten percent as well which is called visceral fat.

Visceral fat, which is also called intra-abdominal fat, is deeper below the skin and also surrounds body organs like liver, heart and intestines etc. It is generally not possible to feel this fat with your fingers.

As women age, they have a tendency to get more fat in the belly area. In fact after menopause, there is a marked increase in belly fat because after menopause, A woman’s body starts to store more fat in the belly area and not in the hips and thighs because bodies start to think that no pregnancy is expected.

Different Between Belly Fat and Visceral Fat

When we say that belly fat is bad, we are talking about visceral fat because otherwise we all have belly fat which is not bad too. Visceral fat is responsible for a variety of health issues which we will discuss later.

So when do you need to worry about excess belly fat and start to look for ways to lose belly fat. When the simplest way is to measure your waistline at the level of your navel.

In case of women a waist measurement of 35 and higher is considered excessive belly fat. And in case of men, a waistline measurement of 40 inches is considered too much belly fat. However, you should also take into account your height as well. And more importantly keep an eye on your pants when you tie these. If they snug at the waistline, then it means you need to do something.

Why Belly Fat is Bad

Belly fat has been linked with many diseases. Some of the most common ones are discussed below:

Cardiovascular Diseases: Many medical studies have linked visceral fat with hard diseases. Different medical studies have shown that larger waist circumference is linked with increased risk for cardiovascular diseases. Another study showed that there is an increase of 10% in heart disease risk when the waist size increases by 2 inches. [1] [2]

Asthma: A medical study reported that those women with more than 35 waist size had 37% more chances of developing  asthma.[3]

Breast Cancer: A research study has shown that those women who had more abdominal obesity (belly fat) were at increased risk for breast cancer. [4]

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Dementia: A research study at Kaiser Permanente has found that those people who have high abdominal fat are more likely to develop dementia, which also includes Alzheimer’s disease, by the age of 70 and 80. [5]

Colorectal Cancer: A medical research study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology has shown that the risk of developing colorectal cancers is 300 percent more in people with high visceral fat.

8 Best Ways to Lose Belly Fat

Which part of your body will accumulate fat is dependent on many factors like sex, hormones, weight at birth, age, and whether you have given birth to a child or not. Read on post on what causes accumulation of belly fat.

While some of the factors like genes and weight at birth can not be changed but there are many simple ways to minimize belly fat. What should motivate you is that this type of visceral fat is easily changed into fatty acids when compared with fat on thighs and hips. So given below are 9 ways to get rid of belly fat.

1.Start Moving: Even if you do not lose weight with exercise, you still lose visceral fat in the body and you also gain muscle mass. Engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise like cycling or brisk walking for at least 4 days a week. Try to add physical activity to your lifestyle by other means like taking the stairs when given the option, parking your car farther away from your destination etc.

Both cardio and physical training can cut belly fat and prevent its recurrence. Spot reduction exercises like sit ups will strengthen abdominal muscles but these do not reduce visceral fat on their own directly.

A study conducted at University of Alabama showed that doing a simple 40 minutes of exercise like a walk decreased the chances of recurring visceral fat in women who had lost 24 pounds of weight with cardio and strength training. [6]

2. Eat Healthy: A balanced diet not only prevents belly fat gain but is a good way to lose belly fat too. Your diet should include lots of calcium because a study has shown that those women who consume more calcium had less chance of visceral fat gain.

Stay away from foods that are known to cause belly fat deposition like trans fats, sweetened sugars and beverages and high carb foods.

3. Stop Smoking: This might surprise you but quitting smoking is one of the easiest ways to lose belly fat. Studies have shown that you increase your chances of storing fat on belly rather than on thighs and hips when you smoke more. [7]

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4. Get Enough Sleep: Sleeping less than five hours a day is known to cause significant accumulation of visceral fat. But on the other hand sleeping too much is also bad. Young people who sleep more than 8 hours accumulate more visceral fat. [8] [9]

5. Stay Happy and Mind Your Anger: A medical study has shown that those women who were more hostile and showed symptoms of depression were likely to have more visceral fat Other medical evidence has suggested a strong link between release of stress hormone called cortisol and accumulation of belly fat, even in otherwise lean women. [10] [11]

6. Eat More Protein: Protein is known to help lose weight. It decreases food cravings by almost 60 percent and helps increase metabolism rate and you also end up eating less calories per day. [12] [13]

A study has proven that those who ate more quality protein had less belly fat.[14] Another study showed that diets rich in protein decreased chances of belly fat gain. Ideal percentage of protein in your daily diet should be between 25 to 30%.

7. Eat Fiber Rich Foods: Eating more viscous fiber has been known to slow down bowel movements and digestion process. It makes you feel full with reduced appetite for longer duration. [15]

One study showed that adding 10 grams of soluble fiber to your diet can decrease the belly fat by 3.7 percent. [16]

So start eating plant based foods like fruit and vegetables and increase your fiber intake.

8. Keep Track of Your Calories: Most of the time we are not keeping any accounting of what we are eating and this means we end up eating either more carbs of fats which means wider waistline.

You need to occasionally start to measure and track your food to ensure for example that you are eating at least 25 percent proteins. It does not mean that you should transform into a freak who measures and tracks calories all the time. But using a calorie calculator and other online tools and apps can help with keeping track of your food.

Use these 8 simple and effective ways to lose belly fat. Forget about quick fixes like liposuction because it does not remove the visceral fat because it only removes cosmetic fat which is actually beneficial for health too.

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