Now that’s a question which perplexes everybody. You must have seen the movie ‘300’ and wondered what those guys did to get an impressive set of abs. Well certainly it’s not a mystery; it takes hard work, dedication, and motivation. Even if you are too lazy to follow the rigorous workout regimen of Gerard Butler, rest assured you can still carve a set of great looking abs and be considered worthy enough to join King Leonidas’s army.
What is Belly Fat?
Our body contains three types of fats:
- Subcutaneous fat
- Visceral fat
The fat residing in our bellies is known as visceral fat and is known to be the most dangerous forms of fat present in our bodies. This type of fat lurks deep within the stomach and is located behind the stomach muscles. It surrounds all the major organs within the stomach and supplies them with a steady flow of energy which in turn proves to be harmful for the entire body.
On the other hand, subcutaneous fat lies between the abdominal wall and the skin. It is situated below the surface of the skin and you easily pinch it between your fingers.
What’s the Harm?
The visceral fat located near the organs has been the source of major health risks such as heart disease, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and even certain types of cancers. Since this fat is located close to the organs in the stomach, it becomes their best source of energy. Research shows that both visceral and subcutaneous fat are metabolically active and they secrete chemicals and hormones that can affect the internal organs of the body. Some harmful effects of belly fat are:
- High cholesterol levels
- Disorders in the blood lipid levels
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- High blood pressure
- Low self-esteem issues
- Higher stress levels
Bye Bye Belly Fat!
If you are fed up of that spare tire around your tummy and are ready to show off your abs at the beach next summer, then there are scientifically proven ways to eliminate that extra layer of fat. Here are the five proven ways of doing so.
- Avoid white sugar and stay away from sweet beverages
- Consume more protein
- Restrict the amount of carbohydrates in your diet
- Eat foods that are rich in fiber
- Perform aerobic exercises
The consumption of excess sugar is the primary cause of belly fat especially soft drinks, beverages, and fruit juices. This is because sugar is made up of fructose and glucose; fructose can only be metabolized by the liver in large quantities. When a person eats too much of sugar, the liver is unable to metabolize the extra fructose and is forced to convert it into fat. This leads to an increase in liver and belly fat. Therefore, cut down on the intake of sugar in your diet and stop drinking sugar-sweetened beverages.
Read More: Your Diet Cheat Sheet to Staying Lean without Losing Muscle Mass
Consume More Protein
According to numerous studies and research, protein has been found to be the most effective in the fight against belly fat and proves to be extremely helpful in losing weight. It was also discovered that people who consumed more and higher quality proteins had less belly fat. So if you are looking to destroy that flab, it is essential that you include more protein in your diet. Some excellent sources of protein are:
- Dairy products
If you are unable to implement more protein in your diet, then consider going for a good quality protein supplement.
Reduce the Carbs
The best way to eliminate excess belly fat in and around the organs as well as liver fat is to incorporate a low-carb diet in your life. A low-carb diet also reduces the water weight in the body which is responsible for the extra weight. Avoid having refined carbs found in pasta and white bread and limit your intake of carbs in a single day. This will cause your body to start burning fats for energy, particularly abdominal fat.
Have More Fiber
Dietary fiber especially viscous fiber is very effective in reducing belly fat because it binds water and acts like a gel to decrease the absorption of food in the stomach, thereby resulting in a reduced appetite. Eat plant foods such as fruits and vegetables, legumes and oats to increase your fiber intake.
Do Aerobic Exercises
Exercise is not only a powerful weapon against belly fat but it also has other health benefits as well. Keep in mind that abdominal exercises like crunches and sit-ups are ineffective in getting rid of belly fat because spot reduction is a myth. On the other hand, performing aerobic exercises such as jogging, brisk walking, cycling, running, and swimming is the best way to annihilate that stubborn tummy fat.