Everywhere you look on the internet and through magazines you’re sure to come across an article on how to lose belly fat. As you read through these articles you learn of ways to banish the fat through foods and exercise and exercise and more exercise! Sure some articles will touch on why we get belly fat but it often only scratches the surface; this led me to sharing what I’ve learned about belly fat through scouring the internet and my many books.
What does belly fat actually do to our belly? Well, belly fat doesn’t just sit behind your belt, it also surrounds your organs which leaves them less room to hang out in – sort of constricting them; belly fat also cogs some of the organs such as the liver, the kidneys and the bowls.
Of course one of the biggest culprits of belly fat is sugar. Sugar is one of the most over-consumed products as well as unhealthy fats such as vegetable shortening, fatty meats and wheat products, both bleached and unbleached alike. But these things don’t stand alone in credit for belly fat.
Other factors that lead to belly fat are as follows – the focus is on the why here more than the how to get rid of it. When you know why, you can easily figure out the how.
1 - Age – as we get older out metabolism slows, you’ve probably heard this many times over, but it’s true even if you’re an active person; for women there’s the added bonus of menopause and peri-menopause. These slow down the production of estrogen and progesterone and testosterone levels also begin to drop.
2 – Processed foods - as mentioned before, sugars, bad fats and added to that, chemicals, there are many food chemicals in many processed foods; one great example is artificial sweeteners, they are all chemical and more harmful than table sugar. Opt for natural sweeteners and better yet, kick the habit, learn how to cut back.
3 – Bad fats - saturated fats as in meat, dairy and processed vegetable oils (shortening)
4 – Not enough good fats - nuts, avocado, seeds, olives and olive oil, fish and fish oil. These help burn fat cells and metabolize food.
5 – Poor workout indoors or outdoors – having a low activity level on a regular basis decreases your fat burning efforts – try to get 1.5-2 hours of a high intensity workout weekly; that’s only about 30-minutes a day for 5-6 days a week. Choose something you enjoy doing and build your activities from there.
6 - Stress – the hormone cortisol increases the amount of fat your body holds on to and it may enlarge your fat cells. Find ways to relieve stress, try exercise, meditation, therapy, time out for yourself.
7 - Poor Sleep - If you get 5 hours or less, you’re likely to have more belly fat, try to get at least 7 hours per night. There are ways to help you sleep, ask me.
8 - Genetics – Yup, it’s true, it does matter, it makes it harder to lose/keep belly fat off but it’s not impossible.
9 – Illness - there may be an underlying cause for your difficulty in losing belly fat, seeing your doctor on a regular basis is important for you to be sure you’re at your optimal health.
10 – Motivation - you may simply be unmotivated, it’s common, but there are ways to get motivated; you can join a group with like-minded people, friends, & family online, in-person or you can join a gym or an outdoor adventure group, and you can gain motivation through working with a health coach. You’re welcome to reach out to me since this is work I do.
Belly fat is no fun, it’s easy to gain and hard to lose for most, but it’s not impossible. See where you can make changes and try to encourage yourself and incorporate small changes at a time so that you will be able to stick with it. Get support again through a health coach, a therapist, a trainer, friends and groups.
Never give up on yourself!