Belly fat isn’t just bad news when it comes to fitting into your favorite jeans. It is also a big issue for your long-term health. More people are starting to notice that as their waistlines grow, so do their health risks. Abdominal or visceral fat is of particular concern because it surrounds some of the vital organs of the body, including the stomach, the liver and intestines. According to John Hopkins Medicine, this fat is so close to vital organs that the liver can turn it into cholesterol. From there, the fat goes through the bloodstream and may collect along the walls of the arteries, which results in hardening and narrowing of the arteries.
Visceral fat infiltrates the vital organs in the abdomen and causes malfunction of these critical organs, fatty infiltration of the liver and is associated with impaired insulin function that can lead to Type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease and stroke.
There are many reasons why people gain belly fat, including poor diet consisting of processed foods, eating foods sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, lack of exercise, stress and hormone imbalance. Unfortunately, being overweight is one of the leading causes of major diseases and can increase the risk of:
- Heart disease
- Heart attacks
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- Breast cancer
- Colon cancer
- Alzheimer’s disease
How to lose belly fat
Despite some claims, you cannot spot-reduce fat only around the belly. However, with the following lifestyle, you may be able to lose your unwanted belly fat:
Improve your diet
A healthy, balanced diet can help you lose weight and has positive effects on overall health and wellness. A healthy diet includes eating low glycemic fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and, once at your goal weight, complex carbohydrates.
Avoid eating processed foods, refined and high glycemic carbs, saturated fats from animal products, trans fats and omega-6 fatty acids that cause an increase in systemic inflammation.
Enjoy some of our delicious weight loss recipes here, which utilize healthy, wholesome ingredients.
Increase your exercise
Exercise is one of the best things you can do to lose excess belly fat and avoid disease. Weight training and cardiovascular exercise will help reduce fat across the entire body. Aerobic exercise, such as running, walking, bicycling, and swimming, can also lead to major reductions in abdominal fat.
Improve your sleep pattern
Sleep is vital to overall health, and too little rest can have an impact on a person’s weight. According to a recent study published in the journal SLEEP found that people sleeping less than five hours per night gained more abdominal fat over a five year period, versus those who averaged over six hours per night.
Sleep allows the body and brain to repair, restore and re-energize, so it is important to get enough rest every night. If you are trying to shed a few pounds, including belly fat, changing your sleeping habits may help.
Avoid sugar and sugar-sweetened drinks
Many people are aware that sweets and soda contribute to weight gain, but many people don’t recognize that juices and other so-called “healthy” drinks are also causes of belly fat. While these drinks offer many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, you can also find lots of added sugar in them. Complicating matters, there are many forms of sugar used by the food and beverage industry with names that disguise the fact that these ingredients are actually sugar. Be sure to check the label before purchasing these sorts of drinks and get an understanding as to what the ingredients actually are or try opting for zero-calorie/zero-sugar liquid water enhancers.
How we can help
Many people can reduce their abdominal fat by taking on key lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. At CardioMender, MD we can help you achieve sustained weight loss success through our reliable, scientific evidenced protocols based on individualized weight loss programs.
Are you ready to start losing weight? Our Weight Loss Phase 1: “Wellness Transformation” is unlike typical diet programs. When executed effectively, our approach ensures your long-term weight loss success. For more information or to book an appointment at our weight loss clinic, call us at 954-480-1665.
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