Your Abdominal Fat May Result From This One Factor You can Instantly Change

Abdominal Fat

Diet and exercise are missing a key component when it comes to losing belly fat

If you have a protruding belly, exercise and eat well, there may be a missing puzzle that hasn’t been discovered yet. There are so many reasons why some people are more inclined to have a bigger belly than others, and it can be a digestive or gynaecological issue. For example, since I’ve recently had a hysterectomy, my belly has stopped poking out, but chronic digestive issues inhibit that completely flat belly look. Age may have a small part to play for women. Menopause can increase our risk of accumulating belly fat. Belly fat may or may not have one cause, not to mention the genetic factor that comes into play here. Some people are more likely to accumulate fat on their abdomen than in other spots. But if we stop to think about our diet and exercise habits, perhaps there is one thing you may have missed along the way. That thing I’m referring to here is sleep. We can’t seem to get enough of it, which causes a real damper on our health and well-being. A cohort of 12 healthy individuals who were not obese spent 21-day sessions in the inpatient setting. Participants were randomly assigned to either the regular sleeping group or the restricted one. Then they did the opposite (The group that slept less were put into the standard sleep group). But the swap only occurred after a three-month break. All participants were free to choose what foods to eat throughout the study. Both instances also monitored appetite. Body fat markers were measured, too — especially belly fat (both the visceral and subcutaneous fat).

Here are the findings:

  • Participants who consumed an extra 300 calories per day were in the sleep-restricted group
  • The sleep-restricted group ate 13% more protein and 17% more fat.
  • The increases in nutrition were highest during the start of the sleep-deprived period, then tapered off during the recovery phase.

Sleep seemed to have directed more fat and the dangerous visceral compartment when it comes to visceral fat accumulation. But the most critical factor in the dangers of sleep deprivation is this: Even though the sleep-deprived participants put on a very modest amount of weight, sleeping regularly again did not affect visceral fat disposal! In short, catching up on lost sleep doesn’t help your belly fat loss goals! Perhaps that’s why so many people are scratching their heads, wondering why their diet and exercise aren’t giving them belly fat loss success. It could also indicate that the long-term implications of sleep deprivation could be a reason for the obesity epidemic and cardiovascular disease and other metabolic disorder that is constantly increasing.

Key take away

It’s quite a scary piece of evidence here — and something we should consider and make sleep a key driver towards our health and lifestyle goals. There are still many studies that need to be undertaken to delve deeper into this. Shift workers and those with a high level of exercise and nutritional habits are not considered. Perhaps it may not be easy for certain people to avoid sleep disruptions. The only steps we can take are to make sleep a big enough priority to sit in line with nutrition and exercise. It’s not just from a weight loss perspective but also to eliminate the disease. Illustration for the Effects of Sleep Restriction. Courtesy of Covassin N et al. J Am Coll Cardiol.

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