The fat secret of a big belly, and why eliminating it is so frustrating

Belly fat has the potential to drive any human being into a state of confusion because it’s possibly one of the most challenging places to lose it.The main reason belly fat is challenging to overcome is that it’s primarily visceral fat surrounding our organs, then most likely mixed with a bit of subcutaneous fat. This fat lies just under the skin. Both types of fat react differently to the diet, exercise and nutrition. 

Most people have spent decades believing that all fat on our bodies is equal — which in fact, is not entirely correct.

 The location makes the most significant difference — and this is one of the most important aspects of fat loss we should become aware of. When it comes to fat loss, I would have piped up and made it apparent that Intermittent fasting is the best possible alternative. The same goes for belly fat — fasting is the essential lifestyle plan to combat this. But after some more research, I have found that this point is not entirely true! Both visceral and subcutaneous fat undergoes dramatic changes during intermittent fasting. But, surprisingly, visceral and subcutaneous fat can go into what we call “preservation mode” and become resistant to releasing fatty acids. What’s even more shocking is that stomach fat can adapt over time, becoming better at storing fat as energy and essentially becoming more resistant to weight loss.Surprisingly, visceral fat can adapt to repeated fasting bouts and protect its energy source. No wonder that in some cases, belly fat still lingers during a fasting lifestyle — or doesn’t entirely diminish when using this method. It can be very frustrating.


What do we do to enhance belly fat loss?

Unfortunately, fat adaptation can happen to the best of us when you diet for long periods, especially during extreme dieting. Bodybuilders — especially women know what it means to experience adverse fat loss effects (from dieting for extreme amounts of time). In addition, getting down to single-digit body fat stores can cause issues with trying to eliminate body fat down the track. The studies on this do not indicate if all fasting protocols have this “fat preservation effect” attached to them. Therefore, looking at fat loss holistically is probably your best option. But don’t give up hope in fasting, as it has many benefits — such as increasing the efficiency of your metabolism, keeping a lot of diseases at bay & promoting optimal health. You may need to shift your strategies to ensure you don’t get stuck in preservation mode.

Five ways to lose belly fat and eliminate fat preservation long term

One: Eliminate processed foods, or save them for a once per week treat instead of a daily occurrence.

Sugary treats and bars on supermarket shelves most likely contain fructose, that’s linked to chronic disease. Unfortunately, it’s hard to stop consuming this additive in excess because it’s apparent in many of our foods. In addition, high sugar intake increases abdominal fat. Sadly it’s not just the refined sugar that can lead to belly fat gain — excessive amounts of supposed healthy alternatives like agave, coconut sugar, and even honey can increase your chances as well. Go easy on those babies as well. 

Two: Play around with your carb intake, and reduce the refined kind

Although I never recommend eliminating carbs, reducing the refined kind is a step in the right direction. If you start by reducing your overall carb intake to under 50 grams, you can trigger belly fat loss (for overweight and at risk of type 2 diabetes). Even the concept of swapping refined carbs for the good guys can make a huge difference. Think about changing chips for sweet potato, rice for oats, pasta for lentils. The more nutritional value the carb has (in terms of protein, fibre and vitamins), the better it is.

Three: Eating as many fibre rich foods

Soluble fibre helps to slow down our food as it passes through the digestive tract. This type of fibre increases weight loss by promoting satiety, naturally decreasing our appetite. Soluble fibre may help fight belly fat and could reduce the number of calories your body absorbs. Try out these sources as often as you can:

  • Flaxseeds
  • Brussels sprouts
  • avocados
  • Legumes
  • Blackberries
Four: Reduce stress as much as possible.

Stress can cause belly fat gain by triggering adrenal glands to produce cortisol. Cortisol in excess can cause a lot of damage to our bodies. As a result, you can expect an increase in appetite, and unfortunately, that will be cravings for high sugary and carb foods. Relieving stress by trying out different alternatives can become a great time long term solution. Stress is part of life and something we have to become accustomed to. Try yoga, meditation, exercise or even something simple like walking. Non-active stress relievers could be writing or some creative outlet. You are only limited to your imagination.

Five: Lift some heavyweights

Gaining and preserving muscle mass is one of the best strategies for combating belly fat and body fat and increasing bone density. In addition, combining weight lifting with a suitable amount of cardio & proper nutrition can all become a positive strategic pathway towards eliminating and keeping off visceral fat stores. There are more than five ways you can combat belly fat without too much restriction and exercise. If you want to get good results, combining different methods is one way to go about it. Changing your long-term lifestyle is the best step forward if your goal is to encourage fat loss and keep it off permanently. That’s only one benefit — then add on quality of life, longevity and better health. What about fewer visits to the doctor for specific ailments?You really can’t go wrong with nutrition, exercise and some form of relaxation in your lifestyle.

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