Many of members of our weight loss clinics struggle with stubborn belly fat, also known as visceral fat. It’s a common problem that can be difficult to change without targeted effort. It’s an important issue to work on, as it doesn’t just affect your appearance; abdominal fat increases the risk of many chronic health issues. Visceral fat increases the risk of high blood pressure, strokes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes.
Here are five ways to target belly fat so you can slim down your waistline and improve your overall health.
1. Drink Green Tea
Studies show that green tea’s epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) content has a thermogenic effect, which means it boosts fat burning. It’s also good for your health—the antioxidants in green tea have been shown to fight diseases among other benefits.
2. Cut Back on Sugar & Simple Carbs
Much research shows a direct connection between abdominal fat and the consumption of refined carbs and sugars. Simple carbs convert to glucose in the body, and just like refined sugars, this causes spikes in blood sugar levels. Reducing intake of both will help you shed stubborn belly fat.
3. Load Up on Protein & Fiber
As we age, our body produces more insulin since fat and muscles don’t respond to it as quickly. Protein helps protect against insulin resistance, while filling you up, building lean muscle mass and raising your metabolic rate. Soluble fiber also helps fill you up while promoting healthy digestion.
4. Exercise Consistently
The good news about belly fat is that exercise decreases it fairly well. Interval cardio has been shown to stimulate the fat our bodies store and burn it off faster than regular cardio. Doing any sort of aerobic or strength training will boost the process, so find something you like and get moving. Even walking programs help eliminate visceral fat. Workout regularly if you want to see noticeable results.
5. Reduce Stress
Stress triggers cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, which boosts appetite and leads to excess fat stored in the abdomen. Take up stress reduction activities to combat high cortisol levels. Physical activity such as exercise, dancing and walking provide an excellent way to decrease stress while burning calories. Other proven methods include meditation, deep breathing, listening to music, getting a massage and socializing. Many take up eastern practices like Tai Chi and Qi Gong to address stress. Find what works best for you and do it consistently to combat cortisol.
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