Why It’s Important to Lose Belly Fat

Belly fat can be hard to get rid of. But it’s important to lose belly fat because excess abdominal fat is associated with a number of health problems.

You can reduce your tummy fat by taking up brisk walking exercise. This can be done anytime and anywhere. Also, try doing crunches and its variations to burn belly fat.

1. Exercise

Everyone has some fat around their midsection. But some people have more belly fat than others, which can increase their risk for certain health problems. This is especially true of visceral fat, which is deep inside the abdomen and surrounds the organs. People with more of this type of fat are at greater risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and dementia.

To reduce belly fat, exercise regularly. Experts recommend moderate aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, for 150 minutes per week. You can also do strength training exercises to help build muscle.

You can also burn calories by adding more movement to your daily routine, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking farther away when shopping. Just make sure to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine.

2. Eat Healthy

People who carry too much belly fat are at greater risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, and have an increased inflammatory response to infection and viruses. That’s because the type of fat that accumulates in the abdomen, called visceral fat, is different than subcutaneous fat or muscle tissue.

This deeper fat can interfere with normal organ function and leads to inflammation. And though everyone has some of it, studies have shown that excess belly fat increases your risk for certain cancers and chronic diseases.

A well-rounded approach to losing belly fat includes diet, exercise and good sleep habits. Try not to get caught up on quick fixes like crunches, as the best way to lose belly fat is by changing your habits over time.

Aim to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy proteins like lean meats. Avoid sugary foods and beverages, as the body stores unused sugar as fat.

3. Manage Stress

Stress may have some health benefits in small doses, but it can cause belly fat by causing cortisol levels to rise. This swell of cortisol may cause you to feel hungrier, leading to overeating and weight gain.

Incorporating stress-relief activities into your day can help lower your cortisol levels. Try incorporating things like reading, listening to music or going for a walk into your daily routine.

Getting enough sleep is also important. Research has shown that adults ages 18 to 65 who get less than six hours of sleep per night are at a greater risk for visceral fat.

If you’re drinking alcoholic beverages to unwind after a long day, try cutting back or stopping completely. Alcohol is high in calories and can slow down your metabolism. Also, remember to drink plenty of water. It can help hydrate your body and improve your digestion. It’s also better for your waistline than soda and sugary drinks.

4. Sleep

A bad night’s sleep can wreak havoc on your entire day, but the effects of poor sleeping habits extend beyond that. When you don’t get enough rest, your body is less likely to burn calories and may even store more fat.

During deep or slow-wave sleep, the hormones that regulate hunger and metabolism shift your body from using glucose as fuel to burning stored fat cells for energy. The body also uses protein for muscle repair and recovery during sleep.

Studies have found that people who don’t get adequate sleep are more likely to gain weight, particularly in the abdominal area. This may be due to an increase in calorie intake and the secretion of hormones that stimulate fat storage.

Eliminating unattractive belly fat, or “love handles,” takes more than adjusting your diet and fitness routine. According to Max Posternak, a health and fitness expert who has over 5 million YouTube subscribers, improving your sleep could be the key to successful weight loss.