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3 Tips To Lose Stubborn Belly Fat - AVOID these Popular Mistakes!

Lose stubborn belly fat FAST - Tempting isn't it?

But when you do all the popular things they recommend - it doesn't happen. WHY?

This post will show you why it can be hard - and how to eliminate stubborn belly body fat.

We'll also share the methods that work versus those that DO NOT.

If you're planning to lose stubborn belly fat (and keeping it off anytime soon), make sure you read this first, before you do anything else.

Suppose you've struggled to get rid of that big belly for ages, and despite all your efforts, nothing has worked.

In that case, the following information is for you. But first, some background.

Make sure you comment at the end if there are any methods you've tried and did not work!


Image of abdomen to show how to lose stubborn belly fat

What Is (Stubborn) Belly Fat?

Belly fat is what we call having excess fat around your middle section or abdomen.

Now, looking at how your abdomen is made up, you will find there is a layer of fat just underneath your skin and above the muscle.

This is called the subcutaneous fat. This type of fat can be stubborn to shift for many people even after you've lost weight. It's the flabby fat that you can easily squeeze when you grab hold of your tummy - also known as your 'love handles' or 'muffin top'. 

But as you can see in this image, there is also fat deeper within your abdomen.

It lies underneath the muscle and surrounding the organs in your core - like the stomach, intestines, and liver. 

This second type is called visceral fat, but it's also known as deep belly fat. Deep belly fat is a dangerous kind of belly fat.

Generally, it is more common in older men - we call it a pot belly or beer belly. But women can also get it after they reach menopause.

Image of abdomen for Stubborn belly fat blog

Why is Deep Belly (visceral) Fat dangerous?

Well, not because you can't fit into your favourite dress or jeans. (Although that is an important sign you are adding weight). 

No, it's because having deep belly fat is linked with developing serious medical problems. Examples are - Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Dementia and more.

It's also firm to touch compared to the more flabby subcutaneous fat.

If you are overweight, you can have excess amounts of both types; and having a lot of deep belly fat can expand your waist considerably.


What Are The Causes of Stubborn Belly Fat?

Most often, you gain weight because your body takes in more fuel/energy than what you expend. This can happen because you:

  • eat too much or too often or
  • are not as active, or
  • have a problem with metabolising fuel.

Whichever the case, the result is you get excess fat which your body has to store somewhere.

Now our body can store fat anywhere, but its location, in particular, depends on:

  • Genes that determine your build - we know some people are naturally on the large side while others are not
  • Hormones, 
  • Age - as women grow older, they may store fat more around the belly. Studies show that women who have entered menopause store more deep belly fat than younger women.
  • your birth weight (smaller babies add belly fat more readily when they are adults), and 
  • Whether you've had children (women who have given birth tend to develop more deep belly fat than women who haven't).


Weight lifting is an important method to eliminate belly fat

So now we know the different types of fat around the abdomen, let's take a look at some popular methods and see if they work or not.

  1. Abdominal crunches/ Sit Ups.
    • These types of exercise are great - but for strengthening the muscles of your abdomen. They will NOT help burn large amounts of belly fat.
  2. Lemons, Lemon Water or Apple Cider Vinegar.  
    • Lemons and cider vinegar contain antioxidants and other compounds that can have some health benefits. Still, there is no evidence taking them can melt away belly fat.
  3. Ab Stimulators.
    • These electrical muscle stimulators promise to tone your belly and help with weight loss, but can they do so? While there is some evidence that they can tone the abdominal wall muscles, there is no proof that they can burn fat - deep fat or subcutaneous fat; or even help you lose weight. If you are trying to lose stubborn belly fat, this is not the way.
  4. Weight lifting.
    • When it comes to burning energy and fat, then weight lifting is a plus. One of the benefits of lifting weights is that you lose overall body fat, strengthen muscle and getting toned. 
  5. Eating Superfoods/Taking Supplements.
    •  - While superfoods can significantly reduce the risk of diseases like Diabetes, obesity, cancer and help reduce weight, they cannot directly melt or burn fat away. The same applies to supplements (like fish oil capsules) - there isn't one supplement that can melt belly fat, but when combined with other measures - they could be a big help.
  6. Liposuction.
    • This is a cosmetic procedure that removes stubborn fat that you can't seem to get rid of through diet and exercise. The main goal of lipo is to change the body shape, and its effects can be long lasting. However, it works best if your weight is normal and in areas where the skin is tight. While it helps with subcutaneous fat, lipo cannot remove deep belly fat. So if you have a lot of belly weight to lose, this method may not be for you!


Sleeping lady in white nightie and black sleep mask - important to lose stubborn belly fat

What Really Helps You Lose Stubborn Belly Fat?

Belly fat can be challenging for some of us to lose because we may be using the wrong approach or having unrealistic expectations about achieving our goal.

 For instance - can you lose stubborn belly fat in 14 days? That's probably unlikely for most people - Losing belly fat takes effort and patience.

Now, let's look at three measures that can help you lose stubborn belly fat - and keep it off long term.

  1. What you Eat/Consume.
    •  To reduce belly fat, make the following changes to your diet.
      • Add plenty of soluble fibre, eat a high protein diet and don't eat many sugary foods.
      • Make sure you cut back on carbs - especially refined carbs like processed food, pastries or snacks.
      • Fats are an essential part of a healthy diet, but avoid trans fats such as those commonly found in Margarine, Vegetable oils, Cakes, Doughnuts, Pastries, Ice cream, Bread, Fast food.
    • Don't drink too much alcohol as this contributes to weight gain.
    • Also, don't smoke - the more you smoke, the more likely you are to store fat in your abdomen rather than on your hips and thighs.
  2. Get the right kind of physical activity. 
    • Exercise - aerobic exercise (<120b/min) like walking/cycling for hours burns fat more efficiently than high impact short-duration exercise (140-160b/min).
    • High impact activity burns glucose instead of fat. While running and high-intensity training burn more calorie per unit time than walking, these activities trigger more insulin and Cortisol.
    • This will make you get more hungry and end up with cravings and storing fat in the long run. You're more likely to burn fat when the activity is low intensity - walking is better to lose fat effectively.
    • Weight training is another excellent way to burn off excess fat overall.
    • In summary, when it comes to exercise: "Studies show that you can help reduce stubborn belly fat or prevent its growth with both aerobic activity (such as brisk walking) and strength training (exercising with weights). Spot exercises, such as sit-ups, can tighten abdominal muscles but won't get at deep belly fat. 
  3. Reduce your stress levels.
    • Get enough sleep and watch your mood. Too little sleep is bad, and so is too much.
    • Studies show that adults under age 40 who slept five hours or less a night gained a lot of belly fat!
    • However - those who slept more than eight hours also added belly fat. So a balance of 6-8 hours is recommended. (This relationship wasn't found in people over age 40.).
    • In some other studies, developing excess belly fat in women was found linked to higher levels of the stress hormone, Cortisol. This happened even while they were lean. They also found that middle-aged women with depressive symptoms tend to have more belly fat.


Conclusion

Hopefully, this post has given you ideas for how to eliminate stubborn belly fat.

Let us know down in the comments if this post has changed a little of your ideas about how to lose stubborn belly fat and one thing you might do differently now you've watched it.

Next time we'll be looking at the health benefits of scotch bonnet peppers. What's good about Chili peppers? You don't want to miss this one! 

Stay Healthy!


Read More:


References:

1. https://youtu.be/GoQ_Qt2REgQ

2.https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/taking-aim-at-belly-fat

3. https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-belly-fat-facts

4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/mens-health/in-depth/belly-fat/art-20045685

5. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/best-ways-to-get-abs#TOC_TITLE_HDR_5   

6. https://www.everydayhealth.com/photogallery/superfoods.aspx

7. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cosmetic-procedures/liposuction/

8.https://www.webmd.com/beauty/cosmetic-procedure-liposuction#1

9. https://nubodyconcepts.com/blog/visceral-fat-removal-liposuction/ 

Editing by AskAwayHealth Team

Disclaimer

All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising  Medical Practitioners on a wide range of health care conditions to provide evidence-based guidance and to help promote quality health care. The advice in our material is not meant to replace the management of your specific condition by a qualified health care practitioner.
To discuss your condition, please contact a health practitioner or reach us directly through info@askawayhealth.org

Image Credits: Canva

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