One of the most often mentioned goals of clients at 180 Fitness in Gloucester, ON, is to lose belly fat and have great looking abs. Belly fat is the most unhealthy type of fat. It’s called visceral fat and the most dangerous type of fat. It crowds organs and increases the risk for several types of serious diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers Just working out is a start, attempting to lose weight in a specific area doesn’t work. So what can you do to get that flat stomach without the belly fat covering your toned abs?
Are you getting enough fiber?
There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fiber can’t be digested, but it does provide bulk and help prevent constipation that causes bloating. Insoluble fiber mixes with the water to form a gel. It helps you lose belly fat. That type of fiber slows the absorption of nutrients. It feeds gut bacteria and helps nurture a wider variety of gut bacteria and more beneficial bacteria that affects how you digest food. Gut bacteria also produces short-chain fatty acids during digestion and that’s linked to a lower risk or reduction of belly fat. It also can fill you up.
While doing abdominal exercises help strengthen the underlying muscles and burns calories, it doesn’t necessarily take those calories from the fat on your belly. Cardiovascular exercises, such as running burns tons of calories, but it takes those calories from both fat and lean muscle tissue. Strength training not only burns calories, it builds muscles in the process. The more muscle tissue you have, the more calories you burn. Studies show it’s beneficial for losing belly fat and the combination of cardio and strength training is the most effective technique to achieve the goal.
Learn to deal with stress.
When you’re under stress, your body prepares for fight or flight. However, not all stressful situations require you to do either. That means those hormones aren’t burnt off. Cortisol is one of those hormones. It’s associated with the accumulation of fat in the belly area and increased appetite. Find a way to reduce the effects of stress, such as doing something physical or enjoying a pleasurable activity. Learning techniques, such as controlled breathing or meditation also help.
- Avoid both sugary and sugar substitute drinks. Sugary drinks add tons of calories without satisfying hunger, while drinks like diet colas with sugar substitutes, are proven to add belly fat and increase waist size.
- Take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar a day in an 8-oz glass of water. The acetic acid in the apple cider vinegar in animal studies shows it does help reduce belly fat and human studies show it helps lose weight.
- Combine strength training with HIIT—high intensity interval training. HIIT is a technique where you vary the intensity of your exercise, burns calories while you’re doing it and for up to 72 hours afterward.
- Get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep causes the body to create more ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and less leptin, the one that makes you feel full. Studies show people who didn’t get enough sleep were more prone to weight gain than those that don’t.
For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness