We are all fighting belly fat! Did you know that belly fat comes from diet and lifestyle? You have to contribute to gaining and losing belly fat. Working out is not the whole picture either.
Belly fat is not good for you period! The medical term for unhealthy fat in the belly is “visceral fat,” which refers to fat surrounding the liver and other organs in your abdomen. Even normal-weight people with excess belly fat have an increased risk of health problems. It’s a risk factor for diseases like metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. According to Authority Nutrition, there are 12 ways to make your tummy fat. Let's look at some of them!
1. Sugary Foods and Beverages -Many people take in more sugar every day than they realize. High-sugar foods include cakes and candies, along with so-called “healthier” choices like muffins and frozen yogurt. Soda, flavored coffee drinks and sweet tea are among the most popular sugar-sweetened beverages. Observational studies have shown a link between high sugar intake and excess belly fat. This may be largely due to the high fructose content of added sugars. Although too much sugar in any form may lead to weight gain, sugar-sweetened beverages may be especially problematic. Sodas and other sweet drinks make it easy to consume large doses of sugar in a very short period of time. What’s more, studies have shown that liquid calories don’t have the same effects on appetite as calories from solid foods. When you drink your calories, it doesn’t make you feel full so you don’t compensate by eating less of other foods instead.
2. Alcohol- When consumed in moderate amounts, especially as red wine, it may lower your risk of heart attacks and strokes. However, high alcohol intake may lead to inflammation, liver disease and other health problems. Some studies have shown that alcohol suppresses fat burning and that excess calories from alcohol are partly stored as belly fat — hence the term “beer belly”.
3. Trans Fats- are the unhealthiest fats on the planet. They’re created by adding hydrogen to unsaturated fats in order to make them more stable.Trans fats are often used to extend the shelf lives of packaged foods, such as muffins, baking mixes and crackers. Trans fats have been shown to cause inflammation. This can lead to insulin resistance, heart disease and various other diseases.
4. Inactivity- A sedentary lifestyle is one of the biggest risk factors for poor health. Over the past few decades, people have generally become less active. This has likely played a role in the rising rates of obesity, including abdominal obesity. One study also suggests that inactivity contributes to the regain of belly fat after losing weight.
5. Low Protein Diets- Getting adequate dietary protein is one of the most important factors in preventing weight gain. High-protein diets make you feel full and satisfied, increase your metabolic rate and lead to a spontaneous reduction in calorie intake. In contrast, low protein intake may cause you to gain belly fat over the long term. Several large observational studies suggest that people who consume the highest amount of protein are the least likely to have excess belly fat.
6. Menopause- Gaining belly fat during menopause is extremely common. At puberty, the hormone estrogen signals the body to begin storing fat on the hips and thighs in preparation for a potential pregnancy. This subcutaneous fat isn’t harmful, although it can be extremely difficult to lose in some cases. Menopause officially occurs one year after a woman has her last menstrual period. Around this time, her estrogen levels drop dramatically, causing fat to be stored in the abdomen, rather than on the hips and thighs.
7. Gut Bacteria- Hundreds of types of bacteria live in your gut, mainly in your colon. Some of these bacteria benefit health, while others can cause problems. The bacteria in your gut are also known as your gut flora or microbiome. Gut health is important for maintaining a healthy immune system and avoiding disease. An imbalance in gut bacteria increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other diseases. There’s also some research suggesting that having an unhealthy balance of gut bacteria may promote weight gain, including abdominal fat.
8. Fruit Juice- Fruit juice is a sugary beverage in disguise. Even unsweetened 100% fruit juice contains a lot of sugar. In fact, 8 oz (250 ml) of apple juice and cola each contain 24 grams of sugar. The same amount of grape juice packs a whopping 32 grams of sugar. Although fruit juice provides some vitamins and minerals, the fructose it contains can drive insulin resistance and promote belly fat gain. What’s more, it’s another source of liquid calories that’s easy to consume too much of, yet still fails to satisfy your appetite in the same way as solid food.
9. Low Fiber Diet- Fiber is incredibly important for good health and controlling your weight. Some types of fiber can help you feel full, stabilize hunger hormones and reduce calorie absorption from food. In an observational study of 1,114 men and women, soluble fiber intake was associated with reduced abdominal fat. For each 10-gram increase in soluble fiber there was a 3.7% decrease in belly fat accumulation. Diets high in refined carbs and low in fiber appear to have the opposite effect on appetite and weight gain, including increases in belly fat.
10. Not Enough Sleep- Getting enough sleep is crucial for your health. Many studies have also linked inadequate sleep with weight gain, which may include abdominal fat. Those who slept 5 hours or less per night were 32% more likely to gain 32 lbs (15 kg) than those who slept at least 7 hours. Sleep disorders may also lead to weight gain. One of the most common disorders,sleep apnea, is a condition in which breathing stops repeatedly during the night due to soft tissue in the throat blocking the airway. In one study, researchers found that obese men with sleep apnea had more abdominal fat than obese men without the disorder.
As you can see, many of these issues, can be corrected with small changes over time. Try a probiotic to change your gut health, drink more water and less juice, limit the refined carbs and snacks. Take a whole fiber supplement daily. I recommend Super Seed Beyond Fiber. It is on page 2 of my Amazon estore. If you are having hormonal fluctuations, seek natural hormone replacements, and it will make a world of difference. Get moving and add walking to your daily routine, and finally, eat more protein. Eggs, tuna, turkey, fish, quinoa, chicken, lamb just to name a few! By exercising and changing your diet, that six pack will come soon!
I am with you and in your corner!