First, a bit of information about fat.
Dietary fat and body fat are two different things. Dietary fat (what you eat) is converted to fatty acids and absorbed in the small intestine then transported to the liver before circulated in blood and these fatty acids are oxidised for ATP production (energy). Similarly, body fat (body stores) is liberated and converted to fatty acids in the liver before being used for ATP. Thus, our body has infinite stores of energy and requires fat to live.
Why is stomach fat hard to get rid of?
Firstly, when trying to reduce body fat your body, generally speaking, will not pick and choose where it comes from first and therefore if you aren’t seeing progress in your stomach fat, stay persistent as this will eventually be reduced. Hormones are the main reason for stomach fat accumulation. Eating the wrong foods and leading a poor lifestyle leads to chronic inflammation (this is bad!) and insulin resistance, thus leading to increased stomach fat storage. Over the years, this fat becomes ‘mature’ and denser than newly formed fat, resulting in a spot that is a challenge to get rid of. This type of adipose tissue (fat) will take a long time to remove compared to newly formed fats, therefore, you may need to set more realistic goals and take your time when trying to reduce this area.
What causes stomach fat and bloating?
When you consume carbohydrates, you also store water in your body which can cause a bloating effect. For example, if you have more sugar at the weekend than is typical in your diet, you may have a bloating effect on the Monday morning. Secondly, intolerances can cause bloating; therefore, if you have a specific food intolerance and are eating this on a regular basis, this will cause bloating (among other negative symptoms). If you’re experiencing this, we suggest trying our intolerance test in Harley Street. Finally, stomach fat is caused by over consumption of calories. A positive energy balance (eating more than you expend) causes weight gain over time. Similar to previously mentioned body fat loss, the body does not choose where the fat is stored, however men are likely to store fat around their hips and stomach whilst women thighs and hips. Therefore, we suggest ensuring you’re not in a positive energy balance for a prolonged period of time and are consuming a nutrient rich diet to support a healthy lifestyle.
Why stomach fat is dangerous?
There are two types of fat, or adipose tissue, and these are known as visceral and subcutaneous fat. Subcutaneous fat is the fat that is on the periphery of the body and is normal for a healthy human being to possess. Whereas visceral fat is mature fat that surrounds organs. This type of fat is associated with a series of mortality causing diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Visceral fat also produces markers of inflammatory.
Which foods burn stomach fat?
There are no single food that will help remove or burn your stomach fat, however a calorie deficit over time is the most efficient tool to promote body fat loss, including around the stomach region. Furthermore, this should be paired with a varied and structured exercise regime that promotes healthy muscle remodelling and metabolic rate. There is some evidence that reducing sugar intake can help prevent body fat storage around the stomach area, therefore aim to increase your fibrous vegetable intake, proteins and essential fatty acids.
Does stress effect stomach fat?
Interestingly, some evidence in the scientific literature suggests that stress increases cortisol which in turn can aid body fat storage around the mid-section. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is associated with obesity; therefore, it is important to focus on mental wellbeing as well as physical. Regular physical activity and a nutrient rich diet are associated with mood and overall human health. Neglecting these areas of life and focusing your attention on a calorie in vs calories out model sets you up for failure.
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