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Believe it or not, the belly alone can be a key indicator of one’s health and lifestyle. Depending on one’s genetics, the area of the body where they accumulate the majority of fat can be anywhere. This includes the back, arms, thighs, and stomach. However, it is the accumulation of fat in the stomach area in which is usually a sign of poor health. In fact, a number of studies have shown that cardiovascular related deaths were close to three times higher in those whom were a normal weight for their height, but had larger bellies. Fat around the mid section is a strong indicator of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even a number of different cancers. Luckily, there things you can do to lose that stubborn belly fat and improve your all around health.
Frozen meals, packaged snacks, and meal replacement bars often advertise how low in calories they are, but leave out other ingredients that aren’t so good for your health. While low in calories, they tend to also be high in both sugar and sodium. Foods that are high in salt have been proven years ago to contribute to stomach bloat. A part from this, the body is built to store excess sugars as fat. This includes both artificial and natural sugars.
While were on the topic of artificial sweeteners, studies also show that consumers of diet beverages gain nearly three times the amount of belly fat in comparison to those whom do not consume them. It is believed that artificial sweeteners can actually slow down ones metabolism. Click here to check out our article on Artificial Sweeteners to learn more!
It is no surprise that there is a significant correlation between weight gain and sleep. The lack of sleep can and often contributes to weight gain, particularly in the stomach area. Of all places right, but sadly it is true. A lack of sleep has the ability to increase the production of “hunger” hormones, pushing you to over eat when awake. Not to mention, your motivation to hit the gym is more than likely to decrease.
So what exactly should you be focusing on in the gym? Many people who are attempting to lose belly fat think the solution is to do as many crunches are possible. While this is somewhat true, crunches mainly help you to build muscle. With this, stomach fat often becomes more visible due to the muscle that is actually building behind it.
You may also be familiar with the phrase “abs are built in the kitchen”. While this is also somewhat true, it is the combination of both diet and cardio that is key. Try moderate to high-intensity workouts. The combination of sweat and resistance training helps to shed fat all around. Aerobic exercises have proven to target the stomach area specifically.
That’s right! Belly fat goes far beyond just diet and exercise. Stress can actually release certain stress related hormones produced in adrenal glands including: cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. These hormones are activated almost at the first sign of stress.
Norepinephrine: stops the body from producing insulin creating excess amounts of blood glucose.
Epinephrine: relaxes stomach and intestine muscles ultimately decreasing blood flow to organs.
Cortisol: levels rise in order to stop these hormones from being produced in order to regulate digestion. While this is normal, for one who is over or chronically stressed, cortisol levels tend to stay high rather than dropping back down to a normal level.
In conclusion, it important to live a lifestyle of limited stress. Incorporate these 5 tips into your everyday life, and be ready to experience great results in the form of weight loss (specifically the stomach area), and a in your overall health.