People accumulate belly fat for a variety of causes, including poor diet, lack of exercise, and stress. Improving one's diet, increasing physical activity, and changing one's lifestyle can all assist. The term "belly fat" refers to the fat that surrounds the abdomen. There are two types of belly fat:
- Visceral: This fat surrounds a person’s organs.
- Subcutaneous: This is fat that sits under the skin.
Health issues caused by visceral fat are far more dangerous than those caused by subcutaneous fat. To lose belly fat, people can undertake a variety of lifestyle and dietary adjustments.
Table of Contents
- Belly Fat - A Serious Issue
- How Does Belly Fat Differ In Male And Female?
- Causes Of Belly Fat
- 10 Best Exercises To Burn Belly Fat
- Foods To Be Taken To Burn Belly Fat
- Foods To Avoid To Burn Belly Fat
- Frequently Asked Questions
- The Bottom Line
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Belly Fat - A Serious Issue
Because belly fat accumulates in the abdominal region and can surround vital organs, it is the most harmful type of fat. According to research conducted at UT Southwestern, this sort of fat puts people at a higher risk of developing a variety of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, liver difficulties, some types of cancer, and premature death. Fat accumulation in the hips and buttocks, on the other hand, may not only be less dangerous but may even protect against certain medical issues. In other words, depending on where fat is stored in the body, two persons who weigh the same could have drastically different risks of having cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
The problem with belly fat is that it doesn't stop at the extra layer of cushioning beneath the skin (subcutaneous fat). Visceral fat, which is found deep within your abdomen and surrounds your internal organs, is also included. Having a lot of belly fat, regardless of your overall weight, raises your risk of:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Insulin resistance
- Type 2 diabetes
- Colorectal cancer
- Sleep apnea
- Premature death
- High blood pressure
How Does Belly Fat Differ In Male And Female?
Water, minerals, protein, and fat make up the human body. Fat can be classified as either vital or stored fat. Essential fat can be found in all parts of our bodies, including crucial organs like the heart and lungs. The body needs essential fat to function properly. Visceral fat is fat that is stored around internal organs and under the skin. Subcutaneous fat is fat that is found beneath the skin. Too much body fat, especially visceral fat, raises your risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. A healthy quantity of stored fat, on the other hand, protects your organs from impact and aids in the conservation of body heat.
How Do Women’s Bodies Store Fat?
Women's bodies are built to hold more fat than men's. An active woman will have 21 per cent to 24 per cent body fat, while a guy will have 14 per cent to 17 per cent, according to the American Council on Exercise. To function correctly, both men and women must maintain a particular level of necessary fat. For example, women should have no less than 10% body fat, whereas men just need 2% body fat. This is because women's bodies must be capable of caring for a growing infant, and fat reserves assist a mother in doing so. Estrogen production during puberty allows women to generate these required fat reserves.
Women and men store fat in various ways. While fat distribution differs from person to person and is largely determined by genetic factors, women are more likely to be pear-shaped, whilst men are more likely to be apple-shaped. This indicates that fat is typically stored in the buttocks, hips, lower abdomen, and thighs in women. The fat required for pregnancy and nursing is stored in the thighs of a woman. No matter how it makes you seem in a pair of jeans, gluteofemoral fat, which grows on the legs and buttocks, is a sign of good metabolic health.
Women also have more subcutaneous fat than visceral fat, which contributes to their smooth curves. Visceral fat poses a greater threat to one's health.
How Do Men’s Bodies Store Fat?
Excess fat is more likely to be stored in the upper body, particularly in the abdominal region, in men's bodies. This is what causes the dreaded beer belly that so many men suffer from. Men also have a better ability to lose weight through diet rather than exercise. Fewer calories consumed equals fewer calories stored in fat stores.
Men are more prone to storing visceral fat, which coats their internal organs than women are to developing subcutaneous fat. Men are more susceptible to fat-related illnesses and ailments, such as heart disease and diabetes, due to their tendency to retain visceral fat.
Causes Of Belly Fat
1. Poor diet
Sugary food such as cakes and candies can:
- cause weight gain
- slow a person’s metabolism
- reduce a person’s ability to burn fat
Low-protein, high-carbohydrate diets can also cause weight gain. Protein keeps individuals satiated for longer, and people who don't get enough lean protein may eat more food in general. Trans fats, in particular, have been linked to inflammation and obesity. Many items, especially fast food and baked products like muffins and crackers, contain trans fats.
2. Drinking too much alcohol
Excessive alcohol consumption can result in a range of health issues, including liver damage and inflammation. Excessive alcohol use causes guys to accumulate weight around their belly, according to a 2015 analysis on alcohol consumption and obesity, however, female study results are mixed.
3. Lack of exercising
A person will gain weight if they consume more calories than they burn off. A person's ability to lose excess fat, particularly around the belly, is hampered by an inactive lifestyle.
4. Taking too much stress
Cortisol is a steroid hormone that helps the body deal with stress. Cortisol is released when a person is in a dangerous or high-pressure scenario, and this can affect their metabolism. When people are worried, they typically turn to food for consolation. Cortisol causes those extra calories to be stored around the belly button and other bodily parts for later usage.
Some research suggests that a person's genes may have a role in whether or not they become obese. Genes, according to scientists, can affect behaviour, metabolism, and the chance of acquiring obesity-related disorders. Obesity is influenced by a variety of factors, including the environment and one's own behaviour.
6. Poor sleeping patterns
A 2013 study found a correlation between weight increase and insufficient sleep, which could contribute to an excess of belly fat. This study, however, cannot be used to infer causality. Sleep deprivation is connected to increased food intake, which may contribute to the development of belly fat. Unhealthy eating behaviours, such as emotional eating, may result from not receiving enough adequate sleep.
Although researchers do not believe that smoking is a direct cause of belly fat, they do believe that it is a risk factor. Even though both smokers and nonsmokers were obese, smokers had more belly and visceral fat than nonsmokers, according to a 2012 study published in the journal.
10 Best Exercises To Burn Belly Fat
For most people, a droopy and flabby stomach is a big source of concern. Unhealthy eating habits, bad lifestyle habits, and sitting in front of a computer all day lead to fat accumulation, especially in the midsection, making your clothes seem tighter. A protruding stomach not only makes you feel self-conscious about your appearance but is also unhealthy. Fortunately, even 10 minutes of exercise per day can help you get in shape. Here are the 10 best exercises to burn belly fat.
1. Flutter kicks
Step 1: Lie on your back with your legs crossed and your hands beneath your buttocks.
Step 2: Raise your right leg slightly above hip height off the ground. Lift your left leg a few inches off the ground at the same time. It's best if your back is flat on the ground.
Step 3: Hold this position for 5 seconds before switching legs and performing a flutter kick.
Step 4: Lift your head and neck off the floor to make this exercise more difficult.
2. Kettlebell Swing
Step 1: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and both hands on a kettlebell's grip.
Step 2: Slightly bend your knees, push back your hips, and swing your weight between your legs.
Step 3: Raise the kettlebell to around chest height by standing up and contracting your glutes.
Step 4: At the top of the movement, lock your elbows, tighten your core, and squeeze your quadriceps and glutes.
3. Leg raise
Step 1: Lie down with your legs straight and together on your back.
Step 2: Keep your hands by your sides and lift your legs to the ceiling until your butt is lifted off the floor.
Step 3: Return your legs to the ground slowly.
Step 4: Wait 2-3 seconds before raising your legs again.
Step 1: Lie down on your stomach with your feet spread wide apart and your arms arched overhead.
Step 2: Join your legs together and place your forehead on the ground.
Step 3: Pull your hands back beneath your shoulders (palms by the side of your chest), keeping your elbows tight to your body.
Step 4: Inhale deeply and elevate the upper part of your body gently.
Step 5: Hold this pose for 4-5 seconds while breathing in and out, then return to the starting position.
5. Leg ins and outs
Step 1: Take a seat on the ground with your knees bent and your feet firmly planted.
Step 2: Place your hand alongside your hips. The full weight of your body should be supported by your buttocks and hands.
Step 3: Slowly stretch and retract your legs towards your chest.
Step 1: Lie down on your back with your arms extended behind your head. Toes should be pointed and feet should be kept together.
Step 2: Raise your upper body off the floor while keeping your legs straight.
Step 3: Reach for your toes while keeping your core firm.
Step 4: Return to your initial position by lowering yourself.
7. Mountain Climbers
Step 1: Start in a high plank position with your toes tucked in and your hands directly under your shoulders. Make sure your back is in a straight line.
Step 2: Bring your right knee close to your chest, pause, and then return it to its previous position.
Step 3: Switch to your left leg and repeat the process. It should appear as if you're running on your knees.
8. Russian Twist
Step 1: Take a seat on the floor, knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
Step 2: Lean back slightly to make a V-shape or a 45-degree angle between your body and thighs.
Step 3: Clasp both hands in front of you and elevate your feet off the ground slightly.
Step 4: Twist your torso to the right, then back to the centre, and again to the left, using your core muscles.
9. Side plank with leg lift
Step 1: Lie on your right side with your weight balanced on your right forearm and leg.
Step 2: Form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles by lifting your hips into the air.
Step 3: Lift your left leg without bending your knee while keeping your torso firm.
Step 4: Raise your left leg (1 foot) and return it to the starting position. Make an effort not to let your hips droop.
10. Reverse Crunches
Step 1: Lie comfortably on your back with your legs stretched out and your arms by your sides.
Step 2: Bring your knees to chest level by bending them and lifting them off the floor. This is where it all begins.
Step 3: Raise your pelvis to the point when your knees are near to your brow.
Step 4: Hold the pose for a few moments before lowering your pelvis to the beginning position, keeping your knees close to your chest.
These were some exercises to lose belly fat in 2 weeks, provided they are followed regularly for 45 seconds, followed by a 15-second rest period.
Foods To Be Eaten To Burn Belly Fat
Belly fat is a particularly formidable foe in the battle of the bulge. However, several foods are delicious and also good for your waistline. They aid in the reduction of abdominal fat. And, believe it or not, they're so tasty that you've probably already eaten them!
Half an avocado includes 10 grammes of healthful mono-saturated fats, which prevent blood sugar spikes from signalling your body to deposit fat around your middle. Avocado's healthy fats not only prevent tummy bloating, but also aid in the absorption of carotenoids, cancer-fighting substances found in colourful fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots, spinach, and winter squash. According to a study by The Ohio State University at Columbus, people who ate salads with avocado had 15 times higher absorption of carotenoids.
The fruit contains 422 milligrammes of potassium, a mineral that can help reduce the amount of salt in your body, which can cause tummy swelling.
A cup supports the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut, which helps to eliminate bloating-causing bacteria. Creamy Greek yoghurt is delicious, but it's also good for you: the carbs and protein it contains assist to balance insulin, a hormone that instructs your body to store calories as fat when levels rise too high.
Antioxidants increase blood flow, allowing muscles to receive more oxygen, making ab-revealing aerobics simpler. To get those muscles ready for action, eat some yoghurt and berries before your workout.
5. Chocolate Skim Milk
To encourage muscular growth, a glass combines carbs and protein. To aid recuperation, drink post-workout. Plus, you're getting calcium, which helps to strengthen your bones. Chocolate milk isn't just for the little ones!
6. Green Tea
According to a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, three cups of coffee each day can boost your metabolism and burn 30 calories. Tea contains the chemical ECGC, which aids fat burning.
According to studies from Arizona State University at Mesa, vitamin C in colourful fruit like oranges and red peppers can help you burn up to 30% more fat during exercise.
8. Whole Grains
Oatmeal, brown rice, and bulgur are high in fibre, which helps to keep your body's insulin levels low. This, according to researchers, may cause fat cells to shrink. These are more slowly absorbed and used by your body, resulting in longer-lasting energy than refined carbs like white bread and rice.
Foods To Avoid To Reduce Belly Fat
Extra belly fat not only makes it difficult to fit into your skinny jeans but also poses serious health hazards. Having extra weight around your waist is linked to metabolic disturbances, as well as an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. How much fat builds up (or doesn't) on your belly has a lot to do with your diet. Certain meals and nutrients have been definitively linked to the development of belly fat—which is a good thing! If you want to lose weight, avoid these nine foods, according to experts.
You've probably heard of "beer belly." It turns out that the theory that drinking alcohol causes increased belly fat is correct. Some research has found a link between lifetime alcohol use and "central" obesity (the kind that collects in the centre of the body). This isn't to say you can't have a glass of wine or a mug of beer with your meal. According to one study, the more drinks someone consumes per day, the more belly fat they are likely to gain. People who drank daily (but only one or two drinks per day) had the trimmest stomachs of all.
This bad macro has been linked to a slew of ailments, including an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and, yes, belly obesity. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided in 2018 that partly hydrogenated oils, the most common source of trans fat in the American diet, could no longer be used in processed foods.
Packaged pastries like danishes, muffins, and doughnuts, as tasty and easy as they are, also contain trans fats. In one study, postmenopausal women who were already overweight discovered that consuming bread rolls high in trans fats increased their body fat and waist circumference. Check for hydrogenated oils in these breakfast foods on the label.
4. Fries Fast Food
Fast-food chains' fried selections add to the list of trans fat offenders. Maize oils, according to research, contain more trans fats than other vegetable oils, and the majority of fast-food companies utilised corn oil to fry their French fries as of 2010. Choose a green salad instead of fries for the sake of your waistline, or limit fast food to a once-in-a-while treat.
The effects of soda on your figure aren't very pleasant. These beverages have been linked to a rounder middle on numerous occasions. Over 1,000 adults were analysed in a study published in the journal Circulation, and those who consumed a daily sugar-sweetened beverage had a greater gain in belly fat over six years. Even diet sodas aren't exempt. Diet soda consumers had roughly three times the average range of waist circumferences as non-diet soda drinkers in a study of nearly 750 older individuals.
6. Sweetened Coffee
Keep an eye on your coffee shop order when you're restricting your intake of fizzy sweet drinks. The sugar content of flavoured coffees is often higher than that of soda. When it comes to beverages and belly fat, it makes little difference if the sugar comes from a can of Coke or a fine cappuccino. Sugar-sweetened beverage use has been associated with an increase in deep belly fat, according to research.
7. Processed Meat
Processed meats, such as pepperoni, sausage, deli meats, and bacon, have been revealed to have significant health risks in recent studies. They not only raise your risk of colorectal cancer, but they also add inches to your waistline. A diet low in processed meats and other processed foods (and high in fruit and dairy) has been shown in multiple studies to help prevent the buildup of belly fat.
8. White Bread
You're certainly aware that white bread lacks the same amount of fibre and nutrients as whole-grain bread, but refined grains' drawbacks don't end there. Increased intakes of refined grains, such as those found in white bread, were linked to higher visceral (abdominal) fat in a large study of over 2,800 adults. Choose whole-wheat bread over white bread whenever feasible. Their slow-digesting complex carbohydrates can keep you satiated for longer, which may help you lose weight.
This shouldn't come as a shock to anyone. Keep your distance from the candy bowl to reduce belly fat! It's all too tempting to overdo it on sugary treats like fruity or chocolatey candies when you're eating a lot of unfilling basic carbs.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How can I lose my tummy fast?
The above-mentioned exercises to burn belly fat at home for beginners and food habits, if regularly and diligently followed, will help you lose your tummy fat faster.
2. Does any exercise burn belly fat?
Yes, exercise plays a vital role in reducing belly fat. We have mentioned above the 10 best exercises to burn belly fat which is regularly done for 15 minutes every day will help you in your journey.
3. How can I lose belly fat in a week?
Our experts recommend going for long-term targets instead of only a week. Well, reducing belly fat in a week is possible but that the effects of it will not last long. Therefore it is not suggested.
The Bottom Line
While we hate to break it to you, there is no quick fix for belly fat. There are, however, some things you may do to aid the process. Your best hope is to make conscious lifestyle adjustments and a long-term commitment to improving your food and exercise habits. You'll be well on your way to a healthy you with a little patience and perseverance.