If you have been trying your hardest to get rid of the belly fat you are carrying around with you, then you may have come across a metaphorical brick wall whereby the fat refuses to budge.
Some of us are genetically predisposed to put on weight on our stomachs unfortunately. Also it is difficult if not impossible to spot reduce areas of fat through diet and exercise.
Fat around your midsection is dangerous because it collects around your internal organs including your heart and liver.
Particularly dangerous is visceral belly fat around your stomach because it is buried deep in your body around your organs.
The downsides of this type of fat may seem obvious: including being easy to put on. All is not lost though as it is also the fastest type of fat to be burned off when you treat it correctly.
Thankfully there are steps you can take to melt off the belly fat that is getting you down. There are factors within your control that will effect when and where you accumulate fat, and if you take control of those factors you can see a reduction in belly fat within a few months.
Stress and Belly Fat
Stubborn belly fat can be caused by prolonged and severe stress. When you are stressed out your body releases the hormone Cortisol. A side effect of too much Cortisol circulating in your body is that it sends signals to your stomach to store fat there.
Cortisol is the hormone responsible for instructing your body to lay down visceral belly fat. Its is released by stress by your adrenal glands, specifically when you are in “fight or flight” situations.
You may not realize but we face these situations every day every time we are anxious about doing something or even when we think about doing something anxiety provoking.
More stress equals more cortisol produced. People who are chronically stressed will find that their tendency to put on stomach fat gets higher and higher as time goes on.
It is the same people who will become at risk of getting diabetes because their insulin resistance increases.
Unfortunately this is one of the most dangerous places where your body can store fat and it makes finding clothes that fit a hassle. The answer is to relax! Easier said than done, I know.
By reducing your stress levels, the amount of Cortisol in your body will drop and the belly fat will shed.
In my last career as a software developer, I was chronically stressed. I never made the link between me being overweight and stress, so I continued to reduce the number of calories I was eating drastically. Yet I was still piling on the pounds, mostly around my midsection.
Once I learned about the stress – belly fat link my eating habits went back to normal (I was actually eating more!) but I lost a lot of weight around my tummy.
Sleep and Belly Fat
We all feel awful after a sleepless night but it's not just your concentration and attention that is affected after a night of poor sleep.
Sleeping enough is one of those factors that determines whether you will accumulate belly fat.
You ideally want to get 8 hours of sleep per night to allow your body to repair muscles and regulate your metabolism.
Cortisol levels rise in response to sleepless nights so try practicing what doctors call “sleep hygiene” including avoiding computer and phone screens up to an hour before bed and reducing your caffeine intake during the day.
Drink loads of water. Drink until you are full, then drink some more. This is because salt in foods that we might not even realize we have eaten causes bloating and swelling of the abdomen which can be mistaken for stubborn belly fat.
It also makes you feel uncomfortable and clothes don't fit well either.
How to Get Rid of Belly Fat
Don't despair that you are doomed to have tummy fat forever. Follow these simple tips to reduce that dangerous visceral fat and keep it off for good:
1. Drink lots of water to help reduce your body's response to stress and therefore the release of cortisol.
2. Work on reducing your stress levels all day every day, at home and at work. Try talking to a therapist or go for a short walk when it is all getting too much for you. Hobbies and exercises classes are ideal for stress reduction too.
3. Exercise in a way that you find enjoyable. Many people find team sports are a great way to burn off fat without realizing you are exercising. Experiment with classes and types of exercise until you find something that fits your schedule and that you enjoy.
4. Get as much sleep as possible to lower your cortisol levels. Getting enough sleep also has an effect on your snacking habits during the day as people tend to eat more when they are tired.
5. Vitamin C supplements are thought to help to reduce the perception of stress in the body, and therefore lead to a reduction of the release of cortisol.
6. Reduce caffeine and alcohol, as they are both known to cause cortisol release. Many people think caffeine helps weight loss, and this is true to an extent. But for getting rid of that deep belly fat it is best avoided or reduced.
7. Take a fat burning supplement like PhenQ
PhenQ will be your secret weapon when it comes to burning off all types of fat, because it's ingredients are laser focused at helping your bodies own fat burning processes.
It is an established product from a renowned manufacturer and has helped many thousands of people to lose significant amounts of weight.
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