Six Steps to Lose Belly Fat
You’ve probably seen all the infomercials and gimmicks offering you a seemingly instantaneous flat stomach. We all know it’s not that simple. If you have belly fat, you should know that it poses significant health risks and the sooner you lose it, the healthier you’ll be.
There are two types of belly fat, one is the subcutaneous, this belly fat is the one you can grab. The love handles, if you will. The other type of belly fat is visceral; visceral fat is held deep in the abdomen and is considered a major health risk. While subcutaneous fat is unsightly, it’s also relatively benign. Medical research has shown that the visceral fat is what we need to worry about the most.
By making a few changes in our diet and weight loss plans, we can make huge strides in not only losing weight, but in losing belly fat. And when we lose belly fat, the first to come off is usually the visceral fat – this is good news! So, what is it going to take to lose belly fat?
Here are 6 strategies to help you get a flat stomach and a healthier life:
- Make the switch to whole grains. You’ve heard it before, but it’s true; whole grains should be part of your daily diet. A diet rich in whole grain foods can alter insulin and glucose levels which result in an acceleration of fat burning.
- Incorporate monounsaturated fats into your diet. Studies have shown that consuming monounsaturated fats can help prevent fat deposits from accumulating in the body. Monounsaturated fats can be found in soybeans, avocadoes, nuts and seeds … even in dark chocolate!
- Avoid Trans Fats. Trans fatty acids, or trans fats, encourage the body to hold on to belly fat, they also pose plenty of their own health risks. Most convenience foods and processed foods contain trans fats, they can be found in crackers, cookies and just about anything made with hydrogenated oils.
- Increase you intake of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps the body maintain lower insulin levels and lower insulin means lower cortisol, this is important for anyone trying to lose belly fat. Cortisol, the stress hormone, not only impedes the body’s ability to release stored fat, it actually encourages the build-up of fatty deposits in the belly.
- Include MUFAs or Mono Unsaturated Fatty Acids in your diet. These healthy fats encourage the body to burn more belly fat. MUFAs include: olive oil, grape seed oil, canola oil, soybean oil, seeds, nuts, avocadoes and even dark chocolate.
- It’s not possible to spot reduce or burn fat in specific areas, but you can encourage fat burning by increasing your aerobic activity. Aerobic exercise burns calories which will result in fat loss throughout the body, including belly fat.
Making a few small changes in your eating habits can have dramatic and lasting effects on your health and appearance. Start small, pick one thing you’ll change this week and make it a habit. Each week, add another one of these simple strategies and you’ll soon have a flat stomach and healthier body.