My clients at Habitat Health and Fitness in Lakeland, Florida, aren’t the only people that want to get rid of belly fat. It’s almost universal. It takes the right type of workout, but also one more thing, a healthy diet. No matter how many workouts you do that target the belly, if there’s a layer of fat covering it, nobody will know. You have to lose weight all over your body to see the results.
What is belly fat?
There are two different types of belly fat. The first type is subcutaneous fat that’s located all over the body just beneath the skin. It protects the body and stores energy. The second type of fat is visceral fat. That fat surrounds the organs deep in the body and is difficult to lose. Visceral fat produces several types of chemicals, such as cytokines. Cytokines are beneficial in small amounts to boost the immune system, but in large quantities cause inflammation. That can lead to heart disease, type2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, stroke and high cholesterol.
Start with workouts that burns calories and tones the abdomen.
While you can’t spot reduce by doing exercise, you can lose weight all over your body and tone the abdominal muscles. HIIT—high intensity interval training—is a good way to start. HIIT isn’t a specific type of exercise, but a way of doing exercises. You go at high intensity for a few seconds to a few minutes and then back down the intensity to recovery for the same length of time or longer, repeating the process several times. You can do any type of workout, from walking to bike riding or using kettlebells. Strength training is also important. It burns tons of calories.
A healthy diet is a must.
A healthy diet can help you lose weight, but it also can reduce the amount of belly fat you have. Visceral fat—belly fat—has a unique relationship with inflammation. It causes inflammation. In return, the inflammation causes more visceral fat. It’s a vicious cycle that ends with damage to your body. Sugar and refined flour are two triggers for inflammation, so cutting out highly processed food and food with added sugar can help eliminate the problem. A diet low in carbohydrates is beneficial.
- Consider eating more fiber. Fiber not only helps control your appetite, it feeds the health bacteria that boost your metabolism. Increasing protein in your diet can also cut visceral fat.
- Whether you choose exercise that burns off the hormones of stress or learn meditation or deep breathing to reduce it, lowering stress levels helps. Studies show the cortisol that comes from stress can increase abdominal fat.
- Watch what you drink, not only do sugary drinks and alcohol add to belly fat, diet soft drinks also can do the same. New studies show that people who drank diet drinks had a bigger abdominal measurement than those that didn’t.
- Some small changes like drinking a glass of water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or drinking four cups of green tea a day may also help reduce belly fat according to studies.
For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health & Fitness