Knowing how to lose belly fat can be a hard thing, and not just for the sacrifice and effort it requires. If done improperly, fat reduction can lead to an overall shrinking of muscular mass and a weakening of the body. That’s the best-case scenario. In the worst case, it can lead to hypovitaminosis and malnutrition, which can result in serious health conditions, and even death.
We want to get lean in a healthy way (isn’t that the whole point of losing weight? getting healthier?)
In this article, we are going to tell you:
- What is fat and why it’s important despite the bad marketing it has
- What are healthy proportions of body mass, varying according to people
- A routine of exercise for belly fat reduction that fits into busy schedules
- Surprising foods that burn belly fat and do not appear in boring diet lists
- A series of unexpected habits that burn belly fat according to Stanford studies
Let’s learn all there is to know about burning fat!
Visceral Fat vs Subcutaneous Fat
Now, even though fat has very bad marketing, it is actually a natural component of the body. Fat is important. Like pretty much everything in life, it is good in the right quantities. Excessive fat, however, can be seriously harmful to your health and lead to a whole set of terrible diseases, ranging from cancer to diabetes.
The first thing you must know is that not all fats were created equal. Bodily fats are generally divided into two types:
- The first is called subcutaneous fat, which is the superficial fat layer we notice when seeing a shirtless person.
- The second is called deep belly fat or visceral fat, which may be unnoticeable with the naked eye (and more dangerous because it can not always be diagnosed.)
Problems Linked to Excessive Subcutaneous Fat
In order not to be unfair against subcutaneous body fat, let’s start with its positive sides. Firstly, subcutaneous fat regulates body temperature, it is a natural storage of energy and it can protect your bones and muscles against impacts, functioning as a natural airbag.
This being said, excessive subcutaneous fat is linked to a sedentary lifestyle, in which very little exercise is combined with an excessive calorie intake. This is already unhealthy enough as it is (and partly to blame on the 21st-century office life), but rest assured, it can get worse. Excessive amounts of subcutaneous fat, if prolonged through time, can lead to:
- Heart attacks and strokes
- Liver Diseases
- High Cholesterol
Doesn’t sound cool, right? And this is without mentioning the psychological problems linked with it, including depression, low self-esteem and the inability of finding a significant other or a job resulting from all the previous conditions.
Problems Linked to Excessive Visceral Belly Fat
Visceral or deep belly fat has the same positive effects as subcutaneous fat when kept under controlled limits. In moderate quantities, it will serve as a natural energy storage system, as a shock-absorbing cushion and as a temperature regulator. But its negative sides are much worse when found in excess. Excessive visceral fat is linked to diseases as serious as:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Breast, Liver and Colon Cancer
- Heart Diseases
Excessive deep belly fat will be stored in unusual parts of the body, and many of your organs (including your heart), can become fat deposits. The biggest problem with visceral fat in the belly is that even skinny people can have it. Unless you go through a CT scan or a full-body MRI, it can remain unnoticed for years. Also, visceral fat loss is more difficult than subcutaneous fat. We may want to look at how to detect it.
Healthy BMI! How Much Fat is Too Much Fat?
We already said that a certain amount of body fat is natural and even healthy. But how much fat is too much? Unless you get MRI tested, it will be hard to determine whether you have an excessive amount of visceral fat. In this case, calculating your BMI (Body Mass Index) can serve as a good estimation.
You can calculate your BMI by visiting the following page.
Bear in mind that this will only give you a rough estimate that can greatly vary depending on the case, but as a general rule a BMI superior to 25 is considered overweight, a BMI superior to 30 is considered representative of an obese person, and patients with a BMI superior to 38 are strongly advised to go through weight loss surgery, such as a gastric sleeve.
How to Lose Belly Fat Effectively
In most cases, it will not do you any harm to lose some belly fat. Let’s face it, most of us are in no ideal kind of physical shape, and we could all benefit from a healthier lifestyle. So, now for the moment we have all been waiting for! Here are our best advices on how to lose belly fat.
Go Hard or Go Home: Exercise for Belly Fat Reduction
Listen to inspirational music, get buzzed and don’t think, just act. It’s all positive when it comes to exercising. You burn fat, become leaner, gain confidence and increase dopamine production. Dopamine is a naturally produced hormone that will make you feel high on life and motivated hardcore.
Liberate the sadomasochist you have inside. If you specifically want a belly fat workout, what you are looking for is cardio, cardio and… more cardio. Jogging for 20 minutes for 3 or 4 days a week will do the job. Or just walking for 40 minutes for about 4-5 days a week. Who said you had to sweat your guts out to burn fat?
Of course, your weekly cardio routine will depend on the amount of fat you want to burn and the time you want to take to do it. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you want us to review your case and give you recommendations. As a general rule, a piece of good advice is: take it zen and do sport to live, don’t live to do sport.
Foods That Burn Belly Fat
Have you ever heard the expression ‘what’s good in life either kills you or makes you fatter?‘
Dieting is the other best way of losing belly fat, and it can be the best part of it.
If properly combined with exercise, a good weight loss diet will lead to tremendous results in just 1 or 2 months – without resorting to boring salads and legume austerities. No need to eat little portions! certain foods actually burn belly fat. Here’s how you can enjoy gastronomy and get lean.
As Weird as it Sounds: Cutting Carbs to Lose Weight (But Fats Allowed)
Alimentary studies have proven than people consuming more fat-rich foods and less carbs actually lose more weight than people doing the opposite. Don’t ask me how, because even researches don’t seem to agree on this point, but results are clear about it. So goodbye pasta, hello brownies!
Fiber Rich Foods for Weight Loss
Fiber-rich foods have a high water absorption rate and slow digestion down while reducing sugar absorption. All you need and want. They will also make you feel full fast, so you will not want to eat as much. *Cough, cough* porridge for breakfast?
High Protein Diet to Lose Belly Fat
Protein is very low in calories and will help you gain muscle by raising your metabolic rate. Protein-rich foods also reduce your appetite, so it is all benefits with this one too. Bear in mind: fish meat is generally better than land animal meat.
Liquid Gold: Olive Oil Is Good for Weight Loss
Olive oil is an extremely beneficial natural fat that can help you burn belly fat by the feeling of satiation it gives. It can also help weight loss through the easing of intestinal transit. Hence why we call it ‘liquid gold’.
Dark Chocolate Good for Weight Loss!? …Yes Baby!
Cocoa-rich chocolate (+90% cocoa), practically unadulterated with sugars nor fats, will substantially decrease your appetite and improve your insulin sensitivity, contributing to weight loss. On the other hand, dark chocolate is a well-known aphrodisiac that can help you do some extra exercise, if ya know what I mean.
Cut Down on Sugar
Do I really have to explain this one? No right?
Bye-Bye Beer, Bye-Bye Beer Belly
As sad as it sounds, alcohol is transformed into sugar when absorbed, so the same applies as above. Sugars are calorie-rich foods that almost immediately transform into fat when processed by the body. As said, avoid drinking alcohol if you want to know how to burn belly fat.
This One Is Easy! Sleep and Weight Loss
As surprising as it sounds, studies have demonstrated than an average sleeping time of 6 to 7 hours can help you lose belly fat. This was found when people who stuck to such a sleeping pattern were compared with others who slept less than 6 hours (considered not enough), and others who slept more than 7 hours (which the study considered ‘excess of sleep…’). No comment.
I know what you are thinking. ‘So first you tell me I can eat chocolate and have olive oil to burn fat, then you said I could even sleep more and burn fat, but this, relax and burn fat, preposterous!’
I totally understand, but Stanford researchers have found a clear link between glucocorticoids (mainly composed of the ‘stress hormone’ corticoid), released at night, and a lesser ability to burn fat. So we have to give this one some credit.
If Everything Else Fails… Go for Liposuction
The harsh truth is that stubborn fats, mostly localised in the abdominal, hip and thigh area, are extremely hard to get rid of without an excessive amount of dieting and exercise. And most of us don’t have either the time nor the energy for any of those. So you might want to consider liposuction to get rid of those last few kilos of fat.
Liposuction offers a safe, cost-effective and permanent solution for stubborn fats if healthy life habits are maintained after the operation. Not only that, MCAN Health offers FREE online consultation services for liposuction in Turkey. So don’t hesitate to get in contact with us to receive a costless medical treatment plan today!