10 Common Reasons For Belly Fat And How To Avoid It

                      10 Common Reasons For Belly Fat And How To Avoid It

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Visceral fat, or belly fat is a problem facing many adults. While more prevalent in men (men naturally store fat around their waist), the problem affects women as well. Even “skinny” people are at risk for belly fat, those are the individuals you often refer to as “skinny fat”.

Visceral fat differs from the layer of subcutaneous fat that covers most of your body, just under your skin. Visceral fat is stored within your abdomen and surrounds your internal organs and once your abdominal cavity is filled, spills out at your waistline.

The accumulation of excess fat around your middle is more unhealthy than being overweight secondary to subcutaneous fat accumulation. Visceral fat around your waist can greatly increase your risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and breast cancer.

Causes include:

  1. Sugar – Both fructose and glucose increase visceral fat. Excess glucose is stored directly as adipose tissue in both the abdomen and body wide as subcutaneous fat. Fructose has been found to interfere with insulin sensitivity leading to increased fat in the liver and eventual visceral fat stores. [1]
  1. Stress – Stress releases the hormone cortisol which promotes fat storage, even in otherwise “skinny” individuals. Most stress induced fat storage is in the visceral area. [2]
  1. Skipping meals – Skipping meals, and especially skipping breakfast send the message that your body should prepare for a famine, a long period without food. To prepare, your body steps up fat storage for emergency energy. Fat is stored first in the liver, then the abdomen and the hips and thighs of women.
  1. Lack of sleep – There is a direct correlation between your sleep duration and metabolic conditions including insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and incident (type 2) diabetes. The less sleep you get, the greater your risk for visceral fat accumulation. [3]
  1. Alcohol – Drinking alcohol (liquor) increases visceral adipose (fat) tissue, the fat around your body organs. Drinking beer, which contains hops which are estrogenic, will lead to more body wide body fat gain and harder fat loss. A “beer belly” is the term most often used to describe visceral (belly) fat.
  1. Aging – As we age, we experience a natural decrease in the production of the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone. The older we get, the more rapid the decrease, and the more likely we are to gain visceral fat, affecting both men and women.
  1. Trans fats – You’re thinking “I know about trans fats, I don’t eat them!” Unfortunately, trans fats are found in vegetable shortenings, margarines, and in manufactured baked goods like cookies, crackers (saltines), and most snack foods. Many fast food chains still fry your food in trans fat and those trans fats make you fatter than other foods with the same number of calories. You can ask, but the average fast food employee only knows that your french fries or chicken was deep fried in “vegetable” oil.
  1. Gut health – A healthy “gut”, your stomach and intestines, is home to millions of healthy bacteria that break down food, absorb nutrients and support your immune system. If you are lacking these bacteria, called “probiotics” your stomach and intestines will not function properly. One way your body compensates for the resulting shortage of digested nutrients and vitamins is to increase your appetite in order to encourage you to eat more.
  1. Lack of fiber – Fiber, and specifically “soluble fiber” helps fight fat. Soluble fiber is “sticky” and absorbs water to form a gel inside your stomach and intestines. Sources include steel cut oats, beans, peas, barley, fibrous fruits, and avocados. Soluble fiber will soften your stool allowing it to slide through the intestines as it binds to substances like cholesterol and sugar. Eating more soluble fiber will decrease the amount of fat your body stores.
  1. Lack of exercise – Sedentary people have more belly fat than those who are active. To decrease your overall fat storage and your risk for visceral belly fat, get up and get moving! THIS is the one reason for belly fat that YOU can control most easily, get up and get moving and burn more calories than you eat, every day. The perfect reason and opportunity to participate Boxing, Kickboxing and TRX classes. Any one, or a combination of these three classes can help you burn 600-900 calories per hour and reduce and eventually eliminate that stored fat in your belly – get moving today!

 

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