6 Simple Ways To Burn Your Belly Fat
Belly fat is the body fat that’s most hazardous to your health. It’s most common to focus our workouts on a particular body part without much thought. When it comes to aesthetics, we spend hours weight training the chest, biceps and butt. And if you’re a cardio enthusiast, it’s a leg day every day—running, sprinting, cycling, cross-training. But, did you know that it’s your gut, particularly your belly that needs most attention? The belly fat will not just keep the physical shape of your body out of order but also is extremely harmful to the inside organs’ functioning. It poses a great threat even to the extent of serious medical conditions like heart attack.
It is better to understand what exactly is belly fat and how can you burn it.
Belly fat is typically of two kinds:
The subcutaneous fat refers to the superficial layer of fat that lies just underneath the skin. It is the pinch-able kind of fat that you can hold on to from the outside. It’s quite common for us to have subcutaneous fat around the arms, hips and thighs.
The more dangerous of the two is visceral fat. This is the fat that’s rooted deep inside the body, accumulating around the organs. It releases toxins in close proximity to your organs. This increases the risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, developing non-alcoholic fatty liver. It can even be as serious as an increased risk of developing certain kinds of cancers. It’s tougher to know whether you’re carrying visceral belly fat because being overweight or healthy, or even thin is not a clear indicator. Even people who are skinny could be carrying visceral fat.
Measure Your Visceral
When it comes to visceral fat, weight has nothing to do with it. In fact, you can be your ideal weight or even lesser, and still be a carrier. Other than the obvious belly overhang or tummy pouch that is plain to see, there are two basic non-invasive ways to judge if you’re carrying hazardous visceral fat:
1. Waist to Hip Ratio:
Divide the circumference of your waist by the circumference of your hips. A healthy waist:hip ratio for females should fall under 0.8 and for males, it should be lesser than 1.
2. Waistline Measurement:
The waistline is the circumference measured in line with the belly button. Women with a waistline above or more than 35 inches are likely to be carrying visceral fat. And men with a waistline above or more than 40 inches are likely to be carrying visceral fat.
Burn That Belly Fat
Getting rid of your belly fat involves equal parts diet, exercise and rest and recovery. Slimming it out in the gym or just watching what you eat are not going to cut it. Here are some changes you need to decidedly make in order to cut down belly fat, both subcutaneous and visceral.
1. Fibre-rich diet:
Gut health is key to tackle the bulge. A diet high in soluble dietary fibre will help maintain the healthy flora and fauna in your stomach and keep your digestive enzymes and juices primed.
2. Increase your intake of whole grains:
Foods containing whole grains like oats, barley and rye, legumes like beans and lentils should be taken regularly. Als high-fibre superfoods with good fat like nuts and seeds, vegetables like broccoli, carrots and Brussels sprouts, and fruits like pears, oranges and berries should definitely be included in the daily diet.
3. Nothing Packaged Or Processed:
With hidden sugars, trans fat, sodium and additives that reduce insulin sensitivity, packaged food is a no-go area when it comes to beating belly fat. This includes fruit juices, peanut butter, jams and cold cuts that often become a part of your weight loss diet. Eat fresh, eat organic, and more importantly eat home cooked food. Also remember to include a portion of raw veggies, maybe a sliced green salad, with every meal (no packaged dressings).
4. Build Muscle Mass:
A great way to tone up and get rid of subcutaneous fat is to build more muscle mass in the area with targeted ab, core and hip exercises. Also make note that increased muscle mass boosts your metabolism which in turn makes it easier for your body to process calories effectively, even when you’re not working out.
5. Be Active:
Even on your worst day, you should try and complete 8,000 to 10,000 steps simply walking around if not jogging or sprinting. Daily moderate activity between 45-60 minutes is important for those carrying belly fat. On the good days, say 4 times a week, you should be indulging in workouts that get your heart rate going like running, taking the stairs, cross-training, interval training, endurance lifting, etc. This leads to your body tapping into visceral stores of fat for energy.
6. Rest Up:
All the exercise and diet will not be as effective if you do not give your body enough time to rest and recover. Poor sleep will lead to poor eating choices, impulse snacking, an acidic environment in the body and fatigue through the day. Also, when you’re stressed, your body releases the hormone cortisol that puts your body in survival mode because it’s feeling threatened. It signals your body to increase fat reserves. A minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep, mindful, slow and steady eating, and mechanisms to cope better with stress should be consciously put in place. This can include meditation, kickboxing, solving puzzles or even counselling, whatever works for you.
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