Belly fat is visceral fat that surrounds the liver and other organs in the abdomen, close to the portal vein that carries blood to the liver. This fat can be harmful to the body but proper measures can be taken to reduce belly fat. That said, dropping points is not a method recommended by HealthifyMe. However, we look at what a person can do to lose belly fat.
Causes of Belly Fat
Contrary to popular belief, people with a normal body mass index (BMI) but with excess belly fat also face an increased risk of these health problems. Here are some potential reasons for excess belly fat accumulation:
- Sugary foods and drinks: Studies have shown a link between high sugar consumption and excess belly fat. This is mainly due to the addition of refined sugar during processing. While excess sugar in any form can be harmful, sugary drinks are especially problematic.
- Alcohol: Another possible cause of sudden belly fat gain is alcohol. Studies have linked excessive alcohol consumption to increased belly fat, with one study showing that men who drank more than 3 glasses of wine per day had an 80% higher risk of having excess body fat.
- Sedentary lifestyle: A person’s activity level also plays an important role in the accumulation of belly fat. One study showed that people who performed resistance training or aerobic exercise for a year after losing weight were able to prevent belly fat gain, while those who did not exercise faced an increase in belly fat. 25-38% belly fat.
- Stress: Cortisol, commonly known as the ‘stress hormone’, is produced by the adrenal glands during stressful situations. While stress promotes overeating, cortisol causes excess calories to be stored as belly fat.
- Genetic: Just as genes play an important role in increasing obesity risk, genetics may be partly responsible for the body’s tendency to store fat in the abdominal area.
Tips to reduce belly fat
To lose belly fat, one needs to stick to a planned routine. However, the following tips can help reduce fat accumulation in the abdominal area:
Eat more soluble fiber
Soluble fiber forms a gel with water that slows food down as it passes through your digestive system. This type of fiber promotes weight loss because it helps you feel fuller for longer, thereby preventing unnecessary food intake.
While alcohol can have health benefits when consumed in limited amounts, it can be seriously harmful if consumed in excess. One way alcohol can negatively impact your body is by increasing your risk of belly fat. Cutting it down can help reduce one’s waist size. While there’s no need to give it up completely, it’s a good idea to limit your regular alcohol intake.
Drink green tea
A very healthy beverage, green tea contains the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that boosts metabolism. The effects of the antioxidants in green tea can be enhanced when consuming it in conjunction with exercise.
Cardio or aerobic exercises are an effective way to reduce belly fat. While that may have been proven by different studies, results vary in terms of exercise intensity needed. In addition to cardio, endurance training can also help with fat loss. That said, you should ideally consult with a personal fitness trainer before starting high-intensity resistance training.
Sleep affects many aspects of a person’s health, including the accumulation of belly fat. People who don’t get enough tend to gain more weight. Sleep apnea, where breathing stops intermittently at night, has also been linked to excess visceral fat. A minimum of 7 hours of quality sleep per night is a must to control one’s fat gain.
Track your calories
Excess calories in any form will be stored in the body as fat. Ideally, track the number of calories consumed and burned daily. This can help avoid fat accumulation in the body. You can use the calorie tracker available on the HealthifyMe app.
Exercises to reduce belly fat
Exercise is an important part of almost any weight loss journey. Exercises that specifically target the abdominal area will help reduce belly fat in the long run. Here are 4 exercises that you can do to lose belly fat:
1. Vertical foot smash
- Lie flat on the floor, legs extended straight up and then cross one knee over the other.
- Inhale and then lift the upper body towards the pelvis. Exhale slowly.
- Do 12-16 crunches in two or three sets.
2. Cycling exercise
- Lie on the mat, or on the floor, and put your hands behind your head or by your side as if you were doing crunches.
- Lift both your legs off the ground and bend them at the knees.
- Bring your right knee close to your chest while keeping your left leg down.
- Lower your right leg and bring your left leg toward your chest.
- Alternately bend your knees as if you were using a bicycle.
3. Crunches Abdominal Exercise
- Start by lying flat with your knees bent and your feet on the ground.
- Raise your hands and then place them behind your head or keep them crossed over your chest. Breathe in deeply.
- As you lift your upper body off the floor, you should exhale. Again inhale as you come back and then exhale as you come up.
- If you’re a beginner, start by doing 10 crunches in each set. Every day, aim to complete 2-3 crunches.
These exercises, combined with a good diet routine, can play an important role in an individual’s weight loss journey.
Fat loss diet plan
Eating the right foods is central to losing belly fat. It is best to follow a well-thought-out diet according to your needs and requirements. We have put together a 1200 calorie diet plan to help you understand how you can plan your diet. However, it should be noted that a 1500 calorie diet plan is ideal for men, while a 1200 calorie diet plan is more effective for women.
That said, dietary requirements vary from person to person. Understand which plan works best for you by consulting a dietitian and choosing the right diet plan.
|07:00||Cinnamon lemonade (1 cup)|
|8:00 am||Vegetable sandwich (1 sandwich)
Skimmed milk (1 cup)
|11:00 AM||Watermelon (1 cup, diced)
Almonds (5 almonds)
|1:00 pm||Masala Khichdi (2 katori)
Sprouts Curd Salad (1 katori)
Kadhi low fat curd (1 katori)
|3:30 PM ONLY||Buttermilk (1 cup)|
|4:00 pm||Green tea (1 cup of tea)|
|05:00||Boiled Chana (0.5 katori)|
|8.30 PM||Chapati (2 pieces)
Palak Paneer (1 katori)
Cucumber (0.5 cucumber (8-1/4 ″))
|11:00||Skim milk (1 cup)|
- Start your day with a glass of cinnamon lemonade.
- Eat a vegetable sandwich for breakfast, accompanied by a glass of skim milk.
- Followed by eating fruit and almonds at 11:00 am.
- Lunch at 1:00 pm. Eat two Masala Khichdi katoris along with one katori each of the low-fat Sprouts Curd and Kadhi Curd salads.
- Let the food digest with a glass of skim milk at 3:30 pm.
- Drink a cup of green tea at 4:00 pm.
- Eat half boiled chana katori in an hour afterwards.
- For dinner, eat two pieces of chapati along with the katori of palak paneer and half a cucumber.
- End your day with a cup of skim milk.
Make sure your diet is balanced and that you’re consuming as many nutrients as possible, while also making sure you burn more calories than your daily calorie intake. To better understand how to plan your diet for a week, check out the weekly plan here.
The risk of accumulating belly fat
In addition to a higher BMI, excess fat accumulation in the abdominal area can be associated with the following health risks:
- Heart disease
- Sleep apnea
- Colorectal cancer
- Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
- High Blood Pressure
One cannot lose belly fat overnight. A long-term plan is the best way to lose belly fat. However, following the tips above can bring you one step closer to your fat loss goals. That said, it’s ideal to talk to a professional before you start working on your weight loss goals. Talk to some of India’s best nutritionists and fitness trainers, and start your slimming journey.
Hi everyone, I’m Tony Scotti, an expert in the field of height increase with many years of experience researching and applying height increase methods, and have achieved promising results. I have created increase height blog as a personal blog to share knowledge and experience about what I have learned during the process of improving my own height.