Weight gain and obesity are on the rise. And the accumulation of fat increases the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
When fat is stored in the belly or abdominal region, the risk of chronic diseases grows further. Fat around the midsection has several contributors although poor diet quality and lack of exercise are the main culprits.
Get a better grasp on what causes belly fat and how you can lose abdominal fat once and for all!
How Long Does It Take to Lose Belly Fat?
First and foremost, weight loss cannot be necessarily be targeted to one part of the body. Losing weight in the belly naturally comes with gradual weight loss.
Most nutrition experts suggest losing more than two pounds weekly is not advised unless recommended and supervised by a health professional. The time it takes to lose weight can depend on current weight. Someone with more body fat will likely lose weight faster than a smaller amount of fat to lose.
But losing one pound of fat generally comes down to a deficit of 3,500 calories. Losing two pounds would equate to a 7,000 calorie deficit. Although that may seem like a big number to tackle, that large mountain can be broken down into smaller hills.
If taking steps for weight loss without results, read on to find out why you may not be losing belly fat.
Why Can't I Lose Belly Fat?
Individuals accumulate and do not lose belly fat for a number of reasons. Below summarizes obstacles that may be interfering with you and the loss of your belly bulge.
1. You fall into the cycle of fad diets.
"Coconut oil melts away belly fat," "A low-fat diet is best to burn belly fat fast," and "Soluble fiber targets stubborn fat." With so much health information out there, it is hard to sift through what diets work and what do not.
As a simple rule, ask yourself "Does this sound too good to be true?" If the answer is yes, the diet claim more than likely is.
Since losing weight and belly fat is not a magic pill, save money by avoiding those fad diet supplements. Yo-yo dieting can ultimately disrupt long-term fat and weight loss.
2. You are overestimating workouts and rewarding yourself with food.
Any workout is better than no workout. However, sometimes individuals think they work out a little harder than what they actually did and over-consume foods afterward.
Do not defeat the purpose of a workout by treating yourself with multiple scoops of ice cream. A high protein snack paired with a healthy carbohydrate is a good way to properly refuel the body.
3. You are overly and chronically stressed.
Stress can wreak havoc on the body both mentally and physically. And during high-stress, the body stores fuel, slows down metabolism, and dumps out harmful chemicals.
To make matters worse, stress eaters often prefer high-carb and fat foods. This is because they trigger an increase in the brain chemical serotonin that induces a calming effect.
These compounding factors can lead to weight gain, especially in the abdominal region, and make it challenging to rid belly fat.
4. You may be experiencing the natural consequences of aging.
With advancing age, comes changes in the body. Men and women generally experience a decline in their metabolic rate, or how fast and efficient the body can burn calories.
Hormone changes also disrupt the efficiency of belly fat burning, with women particularly experiencing weight gain in their abdominal regions.
5. Your genetics may be playing a role.
Our personal genetics are concrete and engrained. Although this might sound discouraging, do not let it defeat potential success.
Find out how you can burn belly fat, despite unchangeable risk factors.
How to Lose Belly Fat Naturally
Burning belly fat is not one single answer, yet the totality of synergistic factors that work together.
A complete lifestyle change consists of a well-balanced diet, efficient exercise, quality sleep, and controlled stress.
1. Eat a balanced diet.
First and foremost, there is not a select food to lose belly fat. Instead, the diet should be balanced with proper nutrients from a variety of wholesome foods.
Also practice portion control for real weight loss, including by loading the plate up with veggies and drinking water before and with meals.
2. Exercise on a regular basis.
Dismiss a sedentary lifestyle and exercise on a regular basis for countless health benefits, weight loss included.
• Aim for 30 minutes to an hour of moderate to intense cardio should occur most days of the week.
• Pair cardio and strength training to promote fat and weight loss while strengthening and building lean muscle.
• If time is a factor in a busy schedule, studies show high-intensity interval training (HIIT) effectively results in weight loss. This is even despite a shortened workout session such as in this full-body Tabata workout.
• Increase activity in the day by taking the steps and walking whenever possible.
3. Sleep for the recommended 7 to 9 hours each night.
Get cozy in bed and designate time for adequate sleep. Research shows a lack of sleep can cause weight gain.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends sleeping 7 to 9 hours each night. And in addition to quantity, sleep quality is extremely important. To get the most out of sleep, stay away from electronics, fluids, and caffeine before bedtime.
4. Manage stress.
Keeping stress under control is a key component to lose belly fat. To reduce its effects, practice stress-reduction techniques and try to keep a positive mindset. A stress-free environment may be able to reduce belly fat and boost feelings of happiness.
Practice positive coping techniques rather than relying on food, alcohol, and other harmful practices. Stress relief is also personal, so do what works best for you. Here are some stress-relieving ideas to get you started:
• Take a walk or jog in nature
• Practice yoga or meditate
• Do some deep breathing
• Call a close friend
• Lift weights at the gym
• Play with a furry friend
• Read a favorite book
• Listen to music
All-in-all, losing belly fat requires consistency and is not uni-directional. Make a complete lifestyle change to lose weight once and for all. Consult with a doctor and dietitian for further assistance.