Inflammation blocks the brain's ability to detect leptin, a metabolic hormone that helps regulate food intake. If the body cannot detect leptin, it thinks you are starving. That increases cravings, causes us to eat more to feel satiated, and slows metabolism rate to conserve calories.
3 Types of Belly Fat and How to Lose It
The three types of fat include triglycerides (fat found in your blood stream), subcutaneous fat (layer of fat immediately below skin surface) and visceral fat (belly fat). Visceral fat poses serious health risks. Found beneath the muscles in your stomach, visceral fat is very difficult to get rid of. These are the three types of belly fat and how to lose it will be discussed later. For now, we want to examine the health risks posed by visceral fat.
One of the reasons belly fat poses such a serious health risk is because it causes production of excess hormones and chemicals. Additionally, belly fat increases risk for Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even colorectal cancer.
To determine if you have a dangerous amount of belly fat, you’ll need a tape measure. Next, take the tape and wrap it around your stomach and just above the hip bone. Lastly, be sure the tape measure fits snugly. In women, anything exceeding 35 inches is considered unhealthy. And, in men, the dangerous level is anything above 40 inches.
3Ways to Eliminate Belly Fat Safely and Naturally
Drastically Cut Sugar Intake
Sugars destroys metabolic health. In doing so, it makes losing belly fat much harder due to slower metabolism and a range of other issues. Sugar remains one of the unhealthiest things to consume due to it’s composition.
First, sugar is ½ glucose and ½ fructose. Secondly, to metabolize and use the sugar for energy, the liver is the primary organ that breaks down the fructose. Consuming significant amounts of sugar overloads the liver. Lastly, when overloaded, the liver converts the fructose directly into fat.
In fact, several studies conclude that consuming excess sugar directly contributes to adding fat around the belly and liver. Additionally, the increased levels of belly and liver fat contribute to a condition known as leptin resistance.
Leptin’s primary role is to signal to the brain when it needs to eat or stop eating. When leptin levels are high after eating, it triggers satiation and you stop eating. When leptin levels are low after not eating, it signals the brain to trigger hunger so you eat. If your brain can no longer detect leptin, this is known as leptin resistance. If it cannot detect leptin, it thinks your starving. This triggers a number of effects that make burning fat near impossible:
- Cravings Increase
- Need to Eat More to Feel Satiated
- Metabolism Slows Down to Conserve Energy
Cutting sugar intake is vital to burning fat. This includes refined sugars and those found in sugary beverages. But, the fructose found in fruit is not the same as added sugar. The fiber in the fruit mitigates the ingestion of fructose.
If you want to know the types of belly fat and how to lose it, cut out added sugar.
Increase Intake of Protein
There are three macronutrients: fat, carbohydrates, and protein. Of the three, protein helps burn fat and lose weight. Additionally, here are a few of the ways protein helps you lose weight and burn fat:
- Reduces cravings by 60%
- Boosts metabolism so you burn 80-100 more calories per day
- Lowers overall caloric intake by up to 400 calories per day
- Reduces appetite
In addition, protein also helps you maintain your weight after successful dieting. Perhaps no change to your diet is more important for burning fat that increasing protein intake.
Plus, protein also helps to specifically reduce harmful belly fat. Studies show that consume high quality protein have much lower amounts of belly fat. Additionally, other studies have protein consumption correlates with a reduced risk of belly fat over a time span of 5 years.
Ideally, you want to get 25-30% of all calories from protein. This is very easy to accomplish because you have plenty of choices to select from, including:
- Greek Yogurt
- Lean Beef
- Chicken or Turkey Breast
So if you want to know the types of belly fat and how to get rid of it, just eat more protein!
Lower Intake of Carbs
A host of studies conclude that reducing carbs from your diet helps shed fat. Additionally, carb reduction naturally helps reduce appetite and caloric intake so you lose more weight. Compared to cutting fat, reducing carbs helps generate 2-3 times the weight loss.
In fact, you can even restrict calories on a low fat diet and not lose as much weight as a low-carb diet with no caloric restrictions. Plus, low-carb diets also help you quickly shed water weight, providing a much needed mental boost to your weight loss efforts.
And, low-carb diets help reduce fat deposits in the belly, liver and other vital organs. This really helps a lot more than just losing weight because abdominal fat produces the health problems we mentioned earlier.
Additionally and for modest fat loss, simply cutting refined carbs like sugar, candy and white bread are sufficient. But, for significant weight loss, cutting carb intake to 50g per day or less produces best results. At that level of carb intake, your body begins burning stored fat for energy. Plus, don’t forget to boost your protein intake for even better results.
Losing Belly Fat Only Requires Modest But Sustained Change
In addition to the three tips above, adding in exercise dramatically increases fat burning. Specifically, anaerobic exercise like weight lifting, provides the greatest fat burning potential. That’s because building muscles increases the number of calories you burn at rest. Muscle cells simply burn more calories than fat cells. The more muscle mass you have, the easier it becomes to burn fat and keep it off.
Plus, even simple exercise routines that working out with dumbbells are effective. Just try using them 3X’s a week for 20-30 minutes. You don’t have to live at the gym to see results here.
Burning fat need not require superhuman sacrifice or suffering. Increasing protein intake is both easy and effective. Plus, just switch out refined carbs for protein and you have done two things to burn more fat. Yes, eliminating or drastically reducing refined sugars can be challenging. But, the benefits to your health and waistline are well worth the sacrifice.
Plus, if you consume 25-30% of your calories from protein, cravings for sugary sweets naturally subside. And, the best part is: You need not restrict calories on a high-protein, low-carb diet! So if you want to know the types of belly fat and how to lose it, just try the 3 simple but scientifically suggestions above and the results will come!
Mike Dorfman is BS in Biochemistry from the University of Colorado. Mike’s has worked as a personal trainer for Gold’s Gym and helped many clients achieve their weight-loss and fitness goals.
To health first, weight-loss second. Mike and Tetrogen are here to help you make the transition to the healthier, happier, and thinner you!
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