Belly fat is a drag. It’s also among the toughest kind of fat to burn away. Aside from making us feel less than our best, storing belly fat (also known as visceral fat) increases the risk of heart-related diseases: high cholesterol, high blood pressure. As the saying goes, “abs are made in the kitchen.” Nutrition is the answer when we are trying to win the battle against belly bloat and storing belly fat.
You can win the battle against storing belly fat! Learn how to make small corrections to win the battle of the belly, and look and feel amazing.
1 // Eating Too Much Sugar and Trans Fats
If you diet contains a lot of processed sugar, there is a high likelihood that you are storing belly fat. According to studies, there is a definite link between the two. Sugar can also cause belly bloat. And bloat looks an awful lot like belly fat.
Trans fats are another big no-no if you want to avoid belly fat. These are pretty much the worst types of fat you can eat as they promote inflammation. According to studies on animals, trans fats actually encourage more fat to be stored on and around your abdomen. Yikes!
2 // Alcohol Intake
You’ve no doubt heard of a “beer belly” and this is something that can affect women too. Depending on how much you drink, it could be the culprit for stubborn belly fat. Some studies have shown that alcohol can make it harder to burn fat, and makes it more likely that the extra calories it brings to the party are stored on and around the abdomen.
3 // Following a Low Protein Diet
If you want to stay trim, it’s really important to get enough protein in your diet. Protein helps you to feel more sated and can mean that you consume fewer calories. Low protein diets are also more likely to result in belly fat, according to studies. People who eat a lot of protein tend to have very little in the way of belly fat.
4 // Not Eating Enough Fiber
If your diet is low in fiber, you likely are storing belly fat. Observational studies show that getting plenty of soluble fiber reduces the chances of storing belly fat. In one particular study that involved over 1,100 men and women, every extra 10g of soluble fiber led to a 32% decrease in how much belly fat was stored. Not sure if you are eating enough fiber? Spend a couple days tracking your food to find out.
5 // Not Eating Enough Fat
Sounds counter-intuitive, right? Eat more fat to reduce your belly fat. Just hear me out. Fat often gets a bad rap, and eating a “too low fat” diet can do more harm than good. While it’s true you
Monounsaturated fats are one of the good fats and are important for satiety. They’ll help you to feel fuller for longer so you’re less likely to make unhealthy food choices that increase your potential for storing belly fat.
6 // Too Much “Bad” Bacteria in Your Gut
According to research, an imbalance of gut bacteria can have an effect on your weight and how much fat you store on your abdomen. If you’re overweight, you’re more likely to have a type of bacteria that can mean that more calories are absorbed from your food.
7 // You’re Stressed
Under a lot of stress? It could be one of the reasons why you’re storing belly fat. The stress hormone, cortisol, can lead to weight gain, especially in the abdominal area. Rather than going on your body across the board, cortisol often encourages extra calories to be stored as abdominal fat.
8 // Poor Sleep
If you spend a lot of time tossing and turning in the average night, there’s a much higher chance that you’ll store belly fat. Poor sleep is linked to weight gain in general and according to some studies, it also predisposes you to abdominal weight gain in particular.
A large scale study of more than 68,000 women found that those who were sleeping less than 5 hours per night gained more weight compared to those who slept 7 hours or more.
9 // Not Getting Enough Magnesium
Getting enough magnesium in your diet can lower your blood sugar and insulin levels. That’s not too surprising when you consider that this mighty mineral is involved in over 300 chemical reactions in your body! Some of these reactions have an effect on your body’s ability to burn fat so it can have an indirect impact on your weight. Not sure if you are getting the right amount of Magnesium. Just track your foods for a week or so and let that tracker show you the picture of your nutrition. Then look for foods that are higher in magnesium if necessary.
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