Certain healthy lifestyle habits can help you fight belly fat accumulation. Get good sleep and stress relief first, as these habits help keep cortisol levels down. Cortisol is a stress hormone that, when elevated, contributes to muscle breakdown and fat storage in the abdominal region.
Belly fat: not just aesthetics
It’s important to realize that reducing belly fat has benefits that go well beyond aesthetics. Belly fat (visceral fat that accumulates around your internal organs) releases proteins and hormones that can cause inflammation, which in turn can damage the arteries and reach the liver, affecting how your body uses fat, sugar, and breaks down fats.
Chronic inflammation associated with visceral fat accumulation can cause many of the systemic disorders associated with metabolic syndrome. For this reason, excess weight around the waist has been linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and other chronic diseases, and for this reason measuring your waist-to-hip ratio is a better indicator of your health than body mass index (BMI).
Three tricks to lose belly fat
1) Reduce or eliminate added sugars from your diet
This includes all forms of sugar and fructose, whether refined or “natural”, such as agave and honey, as well as all grains (including organic) that quickly turn into sugar in your body.
That being said, refined fructose (like glucose-fructose syrup) is by far the worst when it comes to causing metabolic disorders. Your body metabolizes it in the same way as alcohol, so it promotes insulin resistance and fat storage even more than other sugars.
2) Increase your intake of good fats.
Following a low-fat diet is the best way to sabotage your weight loss goals. In fact, to lose fat, you need to eat good saturated fats, and lots of them. These include: avocados, organic butter, organic egg yolks, coconuts and coconut oil, organic cold-pressed nut oils, raw nuts and grass-fed meats, and animal-sourced omega-3 fatty acids.
Monounsaturated fats found in nuts, olive oil and avocados help boost abdominal fat loss. In one study, researchers asked women to switch to a 1,600-calorie diet high in monounsaturated fat, and they lost a third of their belly fat in one month!
3) Intermittent Fasting: Belly fat can’t resist it
The third dietary key to losing belly fat (and fat in general) is intermittent fasting. This is actually one of the most effective ways to manage obesity as it “resets” your body to start using fat as its main fuel instead of sugar. .
The simplest version of intermittent fasting for people with insulin resistance is to simply limit your meals to a specific time slot each day, say eight hours.
For example, you can limit yourself to taking your meals between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Just skip breakfast and make lunch your first meal of the day.
That equates to a 16-hour daily fast—double the minimum required to deplete your glycogen stores and start burning fat. This type of intermittent fasting is really easy to do once your body starts burning fat instead of sugar.
Because fat burns slowly, you can stay active without suffering the sudden energy slumps associated with sugar.
* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace the advice of a doctor.
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