How can I reduce my stomach fat?
This is a question that many of us worry about and are desperate to improve!
Having a large waist measurement can indicate that you have too much visceral/internal fat and are putting your health at risk.
Visceral fat is a type of body fat that is stored within your abdominal cavity. It is found near or around your internal organs, including the liver, stomach, and intestines. This is commonly referred to as ‘belly fat’.
Why is it dangerous?
Even if you are not particularly overweight, it is well known that having an apple shape or carrying excess fat around the belly is linked to many concerning health conditions. To name but a few:
• Risk of stroke
• High Blood pressure
• Heart problems
• Bowel Cancer
• Type 2 Diabetes
Women often find it harder to lose tummy fat when they are older?
Women generally tend to store more fat in their bodies overall. This is particularly true after the menopause. Unfortunately it also takes more time for women to lose extra weight from their tummies.
Drinking alcohol and the drop in oestrogen levels are just some of the main culprits:
The calories from alcohol are not used in the same way as they are from other food sources.
Alcohol is an energy dense food source, which is otherwise quite poor in its nutrient content. That is why the calories from alcohol are sometimes labelled as “empty calories”.
There are several reasons why drinking alcohol could lead to weight gain:
• It is calorie dense – 1 gram of alcohol has around twice as many calories as a gram of carbohydrate or protein.
• Your liver has got a special affinity for ethanol – an alcohol derivative. It turns almost all of it into energy.
• Therefore, your body stops using its fats and carbohydrates as energy sources when a lot of energy comes so easily from alcohol.
• When your body gets too much energy from alcohol, it starts to shunt the extra energy into the production of storage products like fats.
- The body cannot metabolize alcohol well as we age, and the toxins are stored as belly fat!
• When the menopause hits then oestrogen levels drop to an all-time low. So as oestrogen levels decline, women tend to gain more belly fat.
Try getting a good night’s sleep to decrease Tummy fat.
Research published in the International Journal of Obesity links sleeping less than five hours per night to abdominal fat gain. Subsequent research has identified that poor sleep can increase levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which increases the tendency to store fat around the waist.
What else can I do to lose belly fat?
• Eat a healthy high fibre diet.
Aiming for around 30 grams of fibre each day can help you lose weight, lower your blood pressure, and improve your body’s response to insulin just as effectively as a more complicated diet.
• Eat a more balanced diet that includes a minimum of five portions of fruit and veg every day.
• Eat more beans, pulses, fish and eggs.
• Drink plenty of water. Being dehydrated can lower your metabolic rate by up to 20%.
• Avoid adding sugar or salt to your meals.
• You need to burn up more calories/energy than you are actually eating.
So when exercising, not only calories are burned but also your body fat percentage decreases and your muscle mass percentage increases.
Muscle cells burns calories mega fast!
So, exercising not only helps you lose belly fat, but it also sheds fat from other areas. Running and walking are two of the best fat-burning exercises, however using a cross trainer or bike will get results.
So how do I know if my belly is too large?
According to current NHS guidelines
You should try to lose weight if your waist is:
94cm (37in) or more for men
80cm (31.5in) or more for women
This will vary according to your height but provides a rough guide.
However, you could be at very high risk if your measurements exceed those below and should consider seeking nutritional guidance or see a GP if your waist is:
102cm (40in) or more for men
88cm (34.5in) or more for women
Planning to target all these gaps in your current lifestyle is key. If you want to lose belly fat and start making some changes, contact:FoodCoach@weightlossnutritionist.co.uk