If left for a long time, fat around the stomach can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. If you are asked where in your body do you think is the most troublesome and difficult to get rid of? Maybe most of you will answer belly fat.
Besides being unsightly, the fat lining the belly area is also more dangerous for health than fat in other parts of the body. In fact, exercise without a diet is not enough to erode belly fat. Setting a healthy diet is the right solution for slimming a distended stomach.
- Hidden Fat Risks
- How To Lose Belly Fat
- Food and Drinks That Help You to Lose Belly Fat
Hidden Fat Risks
After the body digests food, the excess calories that enter the body are stored in two forms of fat, namely visceral fat and subcutaneous fat.
Visceral fat is the fat that coats around the body’s internal organs, especially in the abdomen. This fat is the cause of the distended stomach – hence it is often called “belly fat.” Visceral fat is not the same as subcutaneous fat that is close to the surface of the skin.
Subcutaneous fat is considered less dangerous because it is easier to remove than visceral fat. Visceral fat is more difficult to remove because the fat is stronger embedded and attached to the body’s tissues.
Visceral fat is often called “hidden fat” because the amount in the body can only be accurately measured by a special imaging machine that can see how thick the layer of visceral fat covers or coats the organs of the body.
Visceral fat deposits in the stomach are very dangerous for health because it can increase the risk of degenerative diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and even cancer.
According to Mark Hyman, MD, in his book Ultrametabolism, visceral fat has a different function than fat in other body parts. The fat around the stomach does not only become an “arsenal of storage” for excess calories.
This fat is active and produces cytokine, a dangerous compound that can cause inflammation and damage arteries, thus increasing the risk of heart disease.
Also, this fat in the liver will undergo a process of metabolism and is released into the bloodstream in the form of cholesterol, thereby increasing cholesterol levels in the body.
Cholesterol will form plaques in blood vessels that clog the bloodstream, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
How To Lose Belly Fat
There are two main factors that cause accumulation of visceral fat in the belly, namely a diet high in fat and sugar, and lazy to exercise.
People who eat foods high in fat and sugar naturally save more fat in the body because excess calories from sugar will be stored by the body in the form of fat.
While being lazy to exercise will make extra calories in the body not burn, so that it is stored again in the form of fat.
People who are lazy to exercise, smokers, and like to consume alcoholic beverages also have more visceral fat than people who are active, do not smoke, and do not consume alcoholic beverages. Stress is also a factor in the formation of visceral fat in the body.
Here are some of the best solutions to get rid of fat around the abdomen while maintaining cardiovascular health.
Maintain Level Insulin Stability
Foods high in sugar (candy, soft drinks, cake) will increase the accumulation of visceral fat in the body, especially in the stomach. Eating simple carbohydrates will force the pancreas gland to work hard to produce insulin.
High levels of insulin in the body will cause the body to store more fat. To prevent this, increase the consumption of fruits, vegetables, oats, brown rice, and fiber-rich nuts.
High fiber content does not make blood sugar levels soar dramatically after eating. Also, it makes you feel full faster because it takes more time to digest. Choose whole wheat bread and brown rice that are high in fiber, rather than white bread and rice.
Anti-Inflammation Food Consumption
Visceral fat produces cytokine, which causes inflammation of the cells and tissues of the body. We can prevent inflammation and reduce cell damage by consuming anti-inflammatory foods containing monounsaturated fatty acids (olive oil), Omega-B fatty acids (salmon, sardines, almonds, walnuts), and antioxidants (dark fruits and vegetables, oranges, broccoli, strawberries, and green tea).
Keep Away Fat Trans
Research conducted at Wake Forest University, USA, in 2006, found that trans fat is not only easier to accumulate in the body than other types of fat, it can also move fat from other body parts accumulate in the stomach.
Many trans fats are contained in fried potatoes, fried foods, various chips, especially foods that are processed with margarine, shortening, and oil which undergo a hydrogenation process – the addition of hydrogen to convert liquid oil into solid fat. Be sure to read labels on food packages to avoid trans fats.
Consuming Foods Rich in Calcium
Calcium-rich foods, such as yogurt, sardines, dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale), and soybeans can help burn fat, especially stomach fat.
In a 2004 study published in the journal Obesity, people who consumed 1200 to 1300 mg of calcium a day lost as much as 10 percent — in which 66 percent of the weight loss came from belly fat.
Carbohydrate Mixture with Protein
In the book The Cortisol Connection, nutritionist Shawn Talbott Ph.D., suggests that you add a few ounces of protein every time you eat carbohydrates.
This method is very effective to reduce cortisol production in the body so that the process of storing fat around the stomach can be minimized.
Research results from Duke University, United States, show that walking fast for 30 minutes, six times a week, will prevent the buildup of visceral fat.
Doing aerobic exercise, such as cycling, running, and swimming intensively 3-6 times a week can reduce weight and visceral fat within six months.
Doing light weight training, at least for one hour every week, can also help lose 10 kg of weight for six months. In this way, the fat around the belly is also burned.
Relaxing to Live
Stress triggers the release of cortisol, a stress hormone that causes you to get hungry easily and slow down your body’s metabolism.
Increased cortisol in the body also increases the buildup of visceral fat. Doing yoga, meditation, and walking exercises can help reduce stress.
In addition to applying a healthy diet, exercising, and avoiding stress, you don’t need to be obsessive about losing weight.
According to the study, people who worry too much about body weight actually have higher cortisol levels than people who are not too concerned about their weight.
So, just enjoy it!
For additional reference here are the following foods and drinks that have proven useful help make your stomach slim,
Food and Drinks That Help You to Lose Belly Fat
Olive oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids that can increase metabolism and burn piles of belly fat into energy. Olive oil also helps keep cholesterol levels within normal limits.
Oranges contain flavonoids which act as fat burners.
The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that women who ate the most flavonoid-containing fruit, one of the oranges, had significantly lower body fat for 14 years.
Research in the International Journal of Obesity found that people who consumed three ounces of almonds every day could lose weight and body mass index (BMI) by 18 percent.
Almonds are rich in alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3 fatty acids found in plants), which can promote fat metabolism. Also, almonds contain proteins that have the effect of burning fat.
Researchers from Arizona State University in Mesa, Arizona, United States, stated that strawberries rich in vitamin C could help burn fat up to 30 percent during exercise.
According to Lauren Slayton, RD, a nutritionist from New York, United States, adding a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon to your diet can prevent a drastic increase in insulin expenditure that usually occurs after eating.
By decreasing insulin levels in the body, the body will reduce glucose absorption and start burning body fat to be used as energy.
Soybeans contain lecithin, which acts to prevent the absorption and accumulation of fat while breaking down fat deposits in the body.
The fiber content in oats can stop the appetite from consuming food excessively by sending a “full signal” to the brain. Also, high-fiber foods retain energy in the body longer.
A cup of green tea will control stress while helping to lose weight. Green tea extract can increase metabolism and help burn fat. Some researchers suspect polyphenols, especially catechins that are responsible for the fat burning process.
Thus tips for preventing and fighting belly fat which if left for a long time can be at risk for your health factors.
Hopefully, the tips above are useful for you to immediately take a healthy diet!