Nobody likes to admit they have fat, including belly fat. But it’s important to recognize the different kinds of fat so you know how to best reduce it. As it turns out, there are several different kinds of fat in your body.
Subcutaneous fat simply sits under your skin. Visceral fat, on the other hand, is the fat that envelopes your organs. Your body used to store fat to help you survive. But now, food is available in any season at any hour. There’s no need to store up!
Everybody has subcutaneous fat. Depending on genetics, some people may store fat more than others. However, there are tips and tricks to help keep you healthy and help you reduce fat.
Understanding Stomach Fat
Basically, stomach fat is fatty tissue that has accumulated around your abdominal area. And if you start to store fat in the abdominal area, it can become quite tough to reduce the amount of belly fat.
No matter what, excess belly fat isn’t good for your health.
And get this: 90% of your body fat is subcutaneous. The soft fat that indents when you poke your tummy is subcutaneous fat. Visceral fat in your abdomen can be more dangerous than pinch-able, subcutaneous fat.
The other 10% of the fat in your body is visceral fat. You find this fat around organs, like your intestines and liver. Visceral fat can also build up under your stomach muscles.1
How Can You Get Rid of Belly Fat?
It’s actually pretty simple: When it comes to getting rid of belly fat, you want to…
- Manage your stress levels
- Get regular exercise
- Monitor your diet
Is it easy? Not necessarily. But focusing on those keys might just help you reduce that excess abdominal fat.
1. Get a Move On
The idea isn’t revolutionary. Every good weight loss plan involves some regular exercise. Exercise can be hard to commit to. A workout regimen requires tons of effort. Plus, it can leave you spent. It can sometimes even be discouraging to exercise because it takes weeks to see any results.
But it’s worth it. In a recent study, participants engaged in 6.5 months of cardio and resistance workouts. The workout program was based on the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines.
The participants reduced their overall weight by 2%.2 It’s a great way to attack that belly fat!
Strength training exercises use resistance against your muscles to build them up. This is how you make them stronger. Strength training is a great way to lose weight and sculpt muscle. It’s also an effective way to help reduce belly fat.3
Physical activity doesn’t have to be strenuous to decrease excess abdominal fat. A recent study involved participants who walked or jogged for five hours per week. The light physical activity encouraged a reduction in belly fat in obese participants.4
2. Make Friends with Fiber
Not many people pay attention to fiber when trying to reduce excess abdominal fat. But fiber can help with bloating and keeping your weight down.
Turns out, higher fiber intake may support:5
- Healthy cholesterol levels
- Heart health
- Healthy blood pressure levels
- Weight control
- Gastrointestinal function
Fiber may also help reduce bloating. And it can keep you feeling full, so you’re less tempted to keep eating throughout the day. When you eat less, you’re less likely to gain weight (and belly fat)!
3. Count Your Calories
High-sugar and high-fat diets have been known to increase weight gain for decades. But limiting your sugars, bad fats, and calories can have great health benefits for the long run.
Recent research observed adults who followed a calorie-counting diet for two years. Participants kept 50% of the weight they lost off – even after stopping counting calories. The consensus is that long term dietary adjustment has a lasting effect.6
4. Whole Vegetables and Fruits
Dietary recommendations change all the time. But one tenant of a healthy diet has always remained… fill your plate with lots of vegetables and healthy fruits.
Food marketers work hard to get you to ditch fruits and vegetables. They make processed and packaged foods seem more convenient. But what’s more convenient than picking up an apple and biting into it?
Vegetables and fruits give your body the nutrients it needs to function. And fruits and vegetables can improve how your body handles metabolic stress.7 And speaking of stress…
5. Let Go of Stress
Have you ever heard someone say that stress can make you fat? Sadly, this is a day and age in which society is subject to ridiculously high levels of stress. And in a lot of cases, modern stressors can lead to stomach fat.
The stress people face today may cause physical, behavioral, and psychological harm, such as:
- Unhealthy habits or addictions
- Unhealthy diet
In a recent clinical trial, a stress management regimen resulted in weight loss. The participants experienced reductions in their BMIs and stress, and experienced an elevation in mood.8 Avoiding stress, getting sleep, and meditating may help relieve certain stressors.
Losing Belly Fat
Trying to shed stomach fat can be a real challenge. But ditch those fad diets, and rely on the tried-and-true methods mentioned above to bust belly fat and lose weight.
And remember… your fat loss program doesn’t need to seem impossible. Lower your calorie intake, eat a healthy diet, increase fiber intake to banish bloating, and get in some moderate physical activity each week — that’s a great way to start.
And once you realize you’re feeling and looking better, chances are, you’ll stick with your new lifestyle.