Belly fat! It’s so easy to put on and so hard to get rid of. This fat causes so many health problems and it is something you should not ignore.
Daily habits that led to the excess weight around the belly are hard to change, such as eating unhealthy foods, drinking excess alcohol and being a couch potato. All this said, why is it so hard to lose belly fat?
What is belly fat?
Abdominal fat can be divided into two classifications. Fat buried deep in the abdomen is called visceral fat and the fat that’s located between the abdominal wall and your skin is called subcutaneous fat.
Because visceral fat is located so close to a critical body vein in your abdomen, it carries fatty acids to your liver. Once these acids are in your liver, they can contribute to the increase of blood lipids or fats.
This kind of fat is also directly connected to bad cholesterol and good cholesterol. By exercising you can trigger the visceral fat in your body to help you lose the extra centimetres.
Five reasons why you’re struggling to lose belly fat and how to get rid of it!
1. Eating the wrong foods
There are lots of healthy foods that can be added to your daily meals to increase your fat burning potential and the ability to lose stomach fat.
Stay away from processed foods and include foods like ginger, chilli, berries and legumes to your diet.
2. Burning belly fat gets harder as you get older
This is due to hormonal changes and the ageing process. Pre-menopause and menopause also affect belly fat. You may find the changes in your body overwhelming.
This isn’t easy to deal with, especially if you’ve been fit your entire life. As we age we lose muscle and if we do not exercise it is a matter of ‘use it or lose it’.
We also hold on to excess body weight as we age. Often for men and women this becomes the doughnut around your middle, the dreaded belly fat. Hormonal changes of the natural ageing process also slows down the resting metabolic rate. When your metabolism slows down you burn fewer calories.
So how can you lose belly fat? You replace fat with muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn – lose fat, maintain muscle. So resistance training, as well as a cardiovascular work out is a great way to start.
2. Lack of physical exercise
Working at a sedentary job that doesn’t give you the opportunity to move around and increase your heart rate leads to muscle loss, which decreases the rate at which your body burns calories.
As this happens, you gain weight and some of this weight can be concentrated in your abdominal area. If you don’t start to exercise regularly, you won’t be able to lose that extra weight despite decreasing your caloric intake.
The 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge has over 350 convenient exercises, including our high intensity Tabata workouts available on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge App. Tabata is a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout, featuring exercises that last 4 minutes. It incorporates a warm up and uses full-body exercises that engage as many muscle groups as possible
3. Stress makes your belly fat
Not only does stress lead you reach for junk foods, it also triggers the release of cortisol, a stress hormone. When stress becomes unrelenting, the momentum attempts to control cortisol flow by sucking it out of the bloodstream.
But cortisol fights back once it’s in the system, and turbo-charges fat there. That sets off other chemical reactions that leave you feeling hungry…and looking for the sugary treats again. Fortunately, any kind of stress reduction, especially exercise, will help short-circuit this stress/fat cycle. Try a 40 minute walk to alleviate this problem.
4. Not enough sleep can be making your waistline expand
Sleepless nights don’t just ruin your mood the next day, they could also be ruining your waistline. Sleep loss also causes our bodies to release more ghrelin, another hormone that signals hunger, and less leptin, the hormone that tells your stomach that it’s full.
With your hormones off-kilter, your body wants more food and lacks the ability to know when to stop eating. Not to mention that being awake more hours gives you more time to snack!
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