Who loves love handles? Who loves the belly that hangs over their pants? Who loves having an increasingly difficult time buttoning up their slacks? Hmm… I haven’t heard of one person answering these questions with an affirmative. So keep reading today’s article by guest blogger, Samantha Olivier, for tips on how to decrease our lovely belly fat.
Unlike the flab that settles on the thighs, butt, or hips, abdominal fat is much more dangerous because of its location. It is visceral fat formed between the organs and stored deep inside, and there are different ways to fight it – exercising, dieting, and developing healthy habits. The bigger the fat-cells are, the larger the amount of abdominal fat.
However, a firm midsection is what the majority of people strive to have. A trim stomach gets people to walk around the beach with confidence and to fit into their favorite jeans. That is why visceral fat is so annoying.
How to know whether you carry too much abdominal fat? Grab a measuring tape and wrap it around your body at the top of your hips. If it shows more than 35 inches, perhaps the time has come for you to take action. Here is what you can do.
First of all, lose bad habits such as:
Those who like to spend their money during happy hours should consider changing their habits. The calories from alcohol will likely burn off if you drink in moderation (one cocktail a day). Excessive drinking results in those calories turning into abdomen fat, because instead of fat, the liver spends its time burning alcohol calories.
According to WebMD, men have less subcutaneous fat than women, and that is why alcohol calories are stored a lot more in their bellies.
Nicotine prevents fat-burning in the abdomen, just like alcohol. Thus, even if they are not overweight, smokers tend to have an increased amount of visceral fat. Cigarettes may cause you to have a lower-body mass index, but the abdominal fat that smokers carry may cancel out the positive effects.
When it comes to fats, there are the good and the bad. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are an example of good fats. On the other hand, trans fats (trans-unsaturated fats) are the ones you should avoid. They are found naturally in some foods, but unhealthy fast foods (which a lot of people consume on a daily basis) are full of artificially manufactured trans fats. The advice is to stop eating deep-fried fast food.
Next, change your lifestyle by incorporating a few simple healthy habits into your daily routine…
One of the best ways to get rid of the ab flab is regular exercise. Start exercising in your own home, take a yoga or pilates class, or start visiting the gym more often. Belly fat may be more responsive to exercise than fat in other body parts, so get your body moving. You could consider hiring a personal trainer to show you proper ways of doing exercises for the abdomen, help you create a personalized set of exercises, or simply give advice.
Consume healthy fats and get enough sleep
The key is to get about 30% of your daily calories from healthy fat, primarily omega-3 fatty acids and monosaturated fats. Walk to the nearest market and buy some avocados, olive oil, nuts, almonds, and salmon.
Also, lack of sleep has been shown to have a strong connection with obesity in adults, teenagers and children. Sleep deprivation can lead to an increase in cortisol, the stress hormone, and the storing of fat in the abdominal area.
Your body shape also depends on your genetics. If you are pear shaped, fat goes to your thighs and hips first, while those who are apple shaped have more troubles with abdomen fat.
The first thing you should do is start loving your body. Do not feel bad, because it is then when people give up on their goals. Do things that make you feel good, but that are also good for you. Avoid smoking, excessive drinking, and junk food. Get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and the ab flab will fade to a memory.
About the Author
Samantha Olivier has a B.Sc. in nutrition, and has spent two years working as a personal trainer. Since then, she has embarked on a mission to conquer the blogosphere. When not in the gym or on the track, you can find her on Twitter at or in a tea shop.
Did you find any of these tips helpful? Here’s a great blog post which compliments this list, it’s 12 foods that help rid us of belly fat.