Weight loss isn’t just about looking good; it’s about improving your health. While none of us prize a poochy tummy, belly fat can also be dangerous. A bulging belly is usually made up of two types of fat: visceral and subcutaneous. Subcutaneous fat lies just under the skin and is the most noticeable. Visceral fat, which still contributes to your girth, lies under the abdominal muscle and surrounds vital organs. The more visceral fat you have, the greater your chance of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
But both kinds of belly fat need to go. Just a few simple steps can help you better target abdominal fat so you lose inches as you gain confidence, energy and overall better health.
Order a fat cell-shrinking combo. To reduce the size of abdominal fat cells, it’s vital to combine both calorie cutting and exercise. A study showed a group of women who both exercised and trimmed calories reduced abdominal fat cell size by about 18 percent. The group who just dieted did lose weight but had no changes in abdominal fat cell size.
Kick up the calcium. At least three servings of dairy products a day — totaling 1,100 mg of calcium — can significantly reduce body fat even without cutting calories. And if you are cutting calories, you’ll speed weight and fat loss even more compared to those who consume only minimal dairy. A study shows a high-dairy diet can boost weight loss by as much as 70 percent. Study participants consuming three daily servings of yogurt lost more inches around their waist and more pounds than those on the low end of calcium consumption. When your body is deprived of calcium, it conserves it. The result is your body produces higher levels of calcitriol, a hormone that triggers increased production of fat cells. But extra calcium in your diet keeps calcitriol levels lower so more fat is burned and fat cells become leaner.
Sip on soy. Menopausal and postmenopausal-aged women tend to steadily accumulate fat around the middle. In a study, however, a group of women in their mid-fifties drank a daily soy-based shake for three months. As a result, while their weight remained the same, they reduced their subcutaneous abdominal fat. The group that drank a placebo shake with no soy gained abdominal fat while maintaining the same weight.
Boost the C. The lower your vitamin C intake, the more likely you are to accumulate belly fat. A study showed women who take in less than 56 milligrams a day have a 131 percent higher probability of having abdominal fat. The body needs enough vitamin C to turn fat into energy. Research also shows that women who get lots of vitamin C daily burn 30 percent more fat during exercise than those who don’t.
Go fishing for fat loss. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found fish oil (omega-3) supplements and regular aerobic exercise together significantly reduced fat mass better than either one alone.
Chill out. The stress hormone cortisol causes your body to hoard fat and deposit it right around the belly. So it’s no surprise women in a study who reported the highest stress levels also had the widest waistlines. Find ways to unwind each day. An evening stroll is a great start!
Time it right to keep it off. So your weight is OK or you’ve recently lost weight? Keep it that way and lose the internal belly fat by working in just 80 minutes a week of aerobic or resistance training. This helps not only to prevent weight gain, but it also stops regain of harmful visceral fat one year after weight loss.
Reliv’s Slimplicity® Weight Loss System provides the ideal nutritional support for anyone looking to drop excess pounds.