I think a lot of us have an issue with belly fat, even those of us that are lean – or leaner than average. A bigger belly can affect our self-esteem and stop us from wearing the clothes we love (women mainly!).
But there are several reasons why a belly can develop for you, or anyone else for that matter. There are many aspects we need to consider.
I’m sure most are aware of how dangerous visceral fat is, because it situates itself around our main organs. The problem with this fat, is it secretes toxins into the bloodstream, that prohibits us from losing body fat (but we somehow gain more). In fact, if we even try to go to the gym, lift weights and do a bit of cardio, our attempts at building muscle mass and decreasing fat stores will be in vein.
The solution to belly fat is quite simple, but not easy in any sense, mainly because of years of unconscious eating and not paying attention to the initial signs.
It’s not only a matter of watching what we eat, but also knowing what hormones trigger belly fat, and altering their state to stop this from occurring. Let’s look at some important factors you need to consider, to eliminate belly fat – and keep it off! Seriously thought, we don’t want to be a biggest loser contestant that puts the fat back on again. Things need to be discussed with a proper strategy and intention. This is not only about caloric reduction… Here goes
6 ways to stop belly fat in its track, and get lean again
- Don’t reduce calories too much – avoid extremely cutting your caloric rate rapidly. This worsens your existing hormonal issues and elevates cortisol. If you are also the type of person who is stressed or gets stressed easily – perhaps fixated on your current weight, then leaning towards caloric restriction will worsen your already poor hormonal balance.
- Take control of what you eat from now on. You have complete control regarding what it is you eat. If you decide to take on fasting as an alternative, and couple it with some low carb foods, this will have a HUGE benefit metabolically and hormonally. Fasting balances your hormonal levels, decreasing your insulin levels, and naturally forcing the body to burn fat stores for energy. We also experience an increase in Human Growth Hormone which further promotes fat burning – and even muscle building. This hormone is drastically reduced naturally with age and is extraordinarily elevated through the roof when we fast. Over time, your fasting efforts will balance your fat burning hormones, elevate your metabolism and bring you towards better health. It’s well worth the effort.
- High protein is a key food source for fat loss. Protein as you know, creates satiety, and stops you from making poor food choices in between meals. It’s also thermogenic, which means we burn calories in order to digest it. It’s also a key component for building muscle mass, and we need to make sure that it’s part of every meal we have. There is no need to go to extremes with protein, but it’s important to get enough – especially if you are older. Remember – building muscle mass elevates your metabolism and re-shapes your body. That’s what you want to achieve with fat loss.
- Eating fats is essential. Certain fats can help improve our insulin sensitivity. Sources such as essential fatty acids found in fish, help people lose belly fat.
Fish oil improves insulin sensitivity because it’s incorporated in the lipid layer that protects cells. This allows the cellular receptors to bind more easily to insulin so that the body burns more glucose for energy more efficiently.
You should aim to eat fatty fish regularly, such as salmon, and keep up with the consumption of avocado and cold pressed olive oil. These will help you in the war against belly fat accumulation.
- It’s essential to fix your gut health. Your gut health is primary to your body composition. Probiotic foods help people lose belly fat by improving metabolism and raising anti-inflammatory signals called adiponectin, that improves the body’s ability to burn belly fat. You should aim to eat probiotic food daily, like good quality yoghurt, kefir, kombucha tea and fermented vegetables.
- Cycle carbs for training days. Eating proper carbs is key to losing belly fat. Going low carb for long stretches of time, can create more harm than good. like
- decreases your moods, and may see you feeling down most of the time
- the brain can become unresponsive to metabolic hormones like leptin
- thyroid function slows, then that will lead to lowering of the metabolism
You can get past this and lose belly fat by carb cycle regularly, only allowing for a higher carb consumption around training days. This will give you a good balance, and still help you lose body fat. Remember, think of good carbs, such as sweet potato, oats and basmati rice. Stay clear of white, refined breads, cereals and any other processed foods.