Belly fat is the fat stored around your internal organs such as your liver and pancreas. Carrying weight here is linked to a number of seriously health problems, for example heart and circulatory problems. How do you get rid of belly fat?
According to BMI Healthcare, belly fat is more dangerous than subcutaneous fat– the soft and jiggly fat visible just beneath the skin.
Belly fat is visceral fat, which means it is stored within the abdominal cavity near your vital organs.
Carrying visceral fat around the abdomen increase the risk of:
• heart and circulatory problems
• high blood pressure and stroke
• insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
• bowel cancer
• sleep apnoea
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How do I know I have belly fat?
Regardless of your height or BMI, you should pay attention to your weight measurement.
According to Bupa, should aim to lose weight if:
• You are a man with a waist measurement of 94 cm (37 inches) or more
• you’re a woman with a waist measuring 80 cm (31.5 inches) or more
And your risk of serious health problems will greatly increase if:
• you are a man with a waist measurement of 102 cm (40 inches),
• you’re a woman with a waist measuring higher that 88cm (34 inches).
If you are in the highest risk category, you need to visit your GP and maybe work with a dietician to make a plan.
Can exercise help to get rid of belly fat?
Bupa advises any form of exercise that lasts at least 30 minutes a day.
This could include walking, cycling, yoga, or just dancing around your living room.
Combining strength training and cardio is ideal, though.
Strength training improves your muscle mass and your glucose metabolism, and both of these things are important for managing your weight.
This is known as resistance training, and it has been shown to reduce fat around your tummy area.
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What foods get rid of belly fat?
The most important part of the battle when it comes to losing belly fat is diet.
There is no such thing as a diet plan specifically to lose belly fat, so all you can do is eat healthily.
You need to eat variety of healthy options from the five main food groups: fruits and vegetables, starchy foods, proteins, fats, and dairy (or dairy alternatives).
Dedicate yourself to eating your five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, and drink six to eight glasses of water a day.
You need to cut out sports drinks and sugary sweetened drinks, as these contain more calories than you would think.
There are things to add to your diet, such as beans, pulses, fish and eggs.
Start eating more protein because it makes you feel fuller than carbs and fat.
Good sources include chicken breast, tuna, mackerel, salmon, eggs, milk, red lentils, chickpeas, brown bread, nuts and soya.
Keep your protein portion to about the size of your hand.
You also need to be eating less than you are burning, so try to stick to a calorie limit.
On the NHS weight loss plan, the daily calorie allowance is 1,900 for men and 1,400 for women.
However, you can use the BMI calculator to get a personal recommended calorie intake, because everyone is different.
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