What Causes You To Gain And Hold Onto Abdominal Fat? Series #5

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The stress-belly fat connection

You may have noticed that gaining weight around your mid-section is fairly easy but losing it is a nightmare.  While your arms, legs and buttocks may look amazing, your belly area seems to stubbornly defy all attempts at exercising and diet. The reason for this is that losing belly fat goes a bit beyond just eating right and exercising.

There are other lifestyle factors involved as well and if those are ignored, you will continue to spin your wheels never fully achieving your goals. It is important to take a holistic approach to losing your belly for optimal results. This section will provide you with the tips and tools you need to do just that!

The first question we need to ask is what causes you to gain weight around your midsection?

We can all agree that beer bellies and muffin tops – the fat that spills over the waist of a tight pair of pants or skirt – are not a sight to behold.  But still, when it comes to your pooch, the situation is more dire than your appearance. Aside from chronic illnesses, stress too has been strongly linked to excess belly fat.

Like it or not, the human body is designed to have a fast response towards danger. When your brain has a reason to believe that you are in danger, it triggers the release of stress hormones.

When you are stressed, your body releases ‘fight or flight’ hormones that are secreted in your adrenal glands and these are epinephrine, cortisol and norepinephrine. The moment you get stressed, these hormones are immediately launched.

So, what’s the correlation between these hormones and excess belly fat?

Epinephrine relaxes your abdominal muscles and intestines and also decreases the flow of blood to these organs.

Norepinephrine on the other hand instructs your body to stop producing insulin to allow it to have a good amount of fast acting blood glucose for the energy it needs to fight or flee.

Once whatever was stressing you passes the cortisol hormone now tells your body to stop secreting these hormones and go back to its normal digestive function. Although it’s normal for your cortisol hormone levels to oscillate up and down through the day, if you suffer from chronic stress, your cortisol levels soar and stay up there.

When your cortisol levels are high as a result of being stressed, your body in essence resists weight loss. This is because your body interprets this as starvation and so it holds on to all the fat it can get.

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Cortisol also somehow manages to take fat from your healthier areas such as your hips and butt and move it to your belly that has more cortisol receptors. This sees peripheral fat turned into unhealthy and dangerous visceral fat which increases inflammation as well as insulin resistance in your body.

As a result, your increased belly fat leads to more cortisol being produced because belly fat has higher concentrations of an enzyme that transforms inactive cortisol into active cortisol creating an endless and vicious cycle of visceral fat.

Cortisol levels also have an effect on thyroid function. High cortisol levels can cause hypoglycemia. These imbalanced sugar levels eventually lead to thyroid problems that if not addressed early enough also affect the proper functioning of the liver. It is therefore ever more important for you to work on reducing any excess belly fat.

The best way to help stabilize this stress-belly fat connection is to practice healthy and effective stress management techniques on a daily basis. In the next section, we will look at several methods that are not only effective but backed by science!

Why Is Belly Fat So Dangerous? Series #4

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Why Is Belly Fat So Dangerous?

As you can probably tell by now, your belly bulge is not simply a wardrobe malfunction. It goes so much deeper than ‘vanity’ as some people would put it. Yes, we all want to be able to rock the latest fashion trends but belly fat is a HUGE health problem.

Numerous scientific studies have shown that while it’s not healthy to carry excess body fat throughout your body, it’s especially dangerous to carry excess belly fat.

The human body is made such that all the major organs are surrounded by a type of fat known as visceral fat. It is designed to provide cushioning against all kinds of shocks and stresses to the heart, pancreas, kidneys and liver.

The problem comes in when the visceral fat is excessive because it can affect how your internal organs function and with time lead to health conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, stroke, diabetes, cancers and so on.

The main reason why visceral fat is the most dangerous type of abdominal fat is that it impacts all of your bodily systems because of its affect on hormones and inflammation. This would explain why it’s linked to chronic illnesses which mostly arise from inflammation and hormonal imbalance.

The three main dangers of belly fat are:

  1. It’s biologically active.

Whereas the fat stored say in your hips just sits there, visceral fat is biologically active. What does this mean? Well, most health experts actually regard it as an extra gland or organ because it in fact produces hormones that affect your appetite, metabolism and other bodily systems.

  1. It increases your risk of getting breast and other cancers.

Gaining fat in general increases your risk of breast cancer because fat produces estrogen that feeds the breast cancer cells. However, belly fat has own risks. A study featured in the journal of the National Cancer Institute showed that women with larger waist lines were more prone to get breast cancer.

  1. It’s bad for your heart.

Visceral fat has been shown to release cytokines which are proteins linked to your immune system. This increases your risk of cardiovascular diseases as it promotes continuous insulin resistance and low level inflammation. Additionally, the fatty acids released by abdominal fat are associated with bad cholesterol.

What Type Of Fat Do You Have? Series #3

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Three Types of Belly Fat

It goes without saying, belly fat (visceral fat) is by far the most dangerous type of body fat. But did you know that when losing abdominal fat, it’s not just a matter of losing one layer of fat but three! This explains why burning belly fat is such a challenge.

Even if you choose to get liposuction, your doctor can only work on one layer of abdominal fat which is the subcutaneous fat layer underneath your skin. They cannot surgically remove the deeper visceral fat that surrounds your organs. No amount of surgery will get rid of visceral fat – only you can banish it!

The three types of fat are:                                             Visceral fat

lose visceral fatThis type of fat sits deep within your abdominal area and makes up the greatest percentage of your abdominal fat. It sits far below the surface of your skins and is deposited on a large protective membrane that surrounds your major organs known as the omentum. This type fat is wrapped around your liver, pancreas and kidneys. When we refer to a “beer gut” or “pot belly,” it’s visceral fat that we are mostly referring to. In excess, this type of fat is also referred to android fat or central obesity and it is a risk factor to many chronic illnesses.

  • Subcutaneous fat

This type of fat is found right below the skin and usually occurs in greater amounts around the thighs, hips and buttocks. This kind of fat ranks second after visceral fat in terms of being dangerous. However if you have higher levels of subcutaneous fat compared to visceral fat, you are at a lower risk of getting chronic illnesses.

  • Intramuscular fat

This type of fat is found within your abdominal muscles. Though this is not so common in the belly area, an excess of it has been linked to Type 2 Diabetes.

Where you store fat is determined by your hormonesLose Visceral Fat Fast

The amount of fat in your body depends on your diet and how often you exercise. However, where you store this fat depends on your hormone levels.

Women who have normal pre-menopausal estrogen levels tend to store more fat around the hips, thighs and buttocks.

On the other hand, men who have normal testosterone levels store more fat around their belly.

People with hormone imbalances as a result of having a thyroid disorder, diabetes or any other condition have higher chances of storing more fat compared to other people, especially in the belly area. If you suspect that this could be the problem, seek help from your physician to reverse this imbalance.

Benefits of Losing Belly Fat Series #2

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Lose Belly Fat

Benefits of Losing Belly Fat

Losing belly fat is not just a matter of going down a few dress sizes. It’s about improving all aspects of your life. You will be very surprised to learn all of the secondary gains you will enjoy by flattening your belly.

  • Improved sleep patterns

Scientific studies show that just losing 5 percent of your total body weight will help you sleep longer through the night. Additionally, getting rid of excess body fat can help stop snoring and sleep apnea.

  • Balance your hormones

Visceral fat (belly fat) has been found to cause inflammation and can trigger the release of various hormones. Losing belly fat will help balance out your hormone levels and keep your systems running at their optimal levels.

  • Improvements in your mood

Excess belly fat secretes hormones that could impact your mood, specifically cortisol. Too much cortisol can cause or exacerbate anxiety, depression and irritability. When you lose belly fat, you may find that your mood is much brighter and less tense.

  • Mental strength

Committing to a healthy diet and fitness regimen will help torch all the stubborn belly fat but it will also boost your mental strength. The hormones secreted by belly fat can interfere with brain functioning. This may include your ability to focus, concentrate and think clearly.  Losing belly fat will help to improve mental clarity and clear away the brain fog.

  • Clearer, smooth and radiant skin

You may have embarked on a belly fat loss journey with the sole intention of getting a flat tummy, but an added bonus of all your hard work is younger looking and glowing skin. This can be attributed to your improved diet that now comprises of fruit, veggies and whole grains mainly and also increased detoxification through sweating from your workouts. Losing belly fat also decreases inflammation which can help improve various skin related disorders.

  • Natural stress relief

By checking off belly fat loss from your to-do list, you will already have reduced the number of things you are going to be stressing about. Additionally, eating a healthy and balanced diet, getting enough sleep and exercising on a regular basis serve as natural ways of alleviating stress. In addition, stabilizing your hormones and reducing inflammation will also directly impact your stress levels and losing belly fat will help to accomplish both.

  • A stronger immune system

Having belly fat is only the beginning of a vicious cycle. We are talking about inflammation, chronic stress, reduced metabolism and a reduced ability to protect the body from foreign attacks from bacteria, viruses and disease. Losing belly fat and taking up a healthier lifestyle is the best natural way to improve your immune function especially owing to the fact that chronic inflammation will start reducing naturally.

  • Improved self esteem

There’s no doubt you are going to be on top of the world with a flat tummy. You can now put on your favorite outfits and even enjoy the summer season as you swim in your bathing suit with confidence. With increased confidence and self-esteem, you will be able to achieve almost everything you set your mind on.

We could go on and on about the benefits of finally shedding the extra belly fat but we’ll never finish. You just have to see it yourself by following the guidelines in this report!

 

Lose Belly Fat Fast Series #1

lose belly fat

lose belly fat

Although most people want to lose belly fat fast so they look better, there are many more reasons why shrinking your midsection should be a priority.  Recent studies have found that belly fat is more dangerous for the heart than general obesity. If that isn’t scary enough, people carrying extra pounds around the waist have mortality rates that are twice as high as those who are obese.

Even if the rest of your body is within normal range for body fat, a large mid-section will still put you at risk for serious medical conditions.

Therefore, if you want to live a long and healthy life, losing your belly fat is a must. This isn’t hype – science has confirmed that belly fat is not only a potential sign of poor cardiovascular health but can also be a predictor of future health problems such as insulin resistance, diabetes, heart attack, cancer, dementia, stroke, sexual dysfunction, sleep problems and mood disorders.

Most people never make the connection between their poor health and the size of their mid-section – their main motivation for losing their belly is to look better. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good in your jeans and it is perfectly fine if this is one of your motivating factors.

But it is equally important that you understand the bigger picture because if you don’t address your issues with belly fat, you may end up with much bigger problems than not fitting into your skinny jeans.

As you may have experienced, belly fat is tough to lose and it feels like a never ending battle. Although belly fat is stubborn, it is not impossible to lose. Armed with the right information and plan, you can finally achieve the flat belly you have always dreamed of. You will not only look great in your jeans but will improve your overall health and vitality for the short and long-term!

The key to a flat tummy is being one hundred percent committed and true to a healthy lifestyle. Starting from the quality of food you eat, how much sleep you get, what you drink, how much exercise you do, how you deal with stress, work-life balance and so on.

This series was designed to give you the basic information you need to finally break through your belly fat plateau by taking a holistic approach to your weight loss. Meaning, it will go beyond nutrition and will educate you on the importance of sleep, stress relief and living a balanced life. When you approach your weight loss efforts as a full lifestyle change, your results will be long-term and permanent rather than short-term and temporary.