No matter who you are or what sort of body you have, we all have to deal with belly fat sooner or later. Even slender people with clearly defined abs have abdominal fat. Yes, really! It’s a fact of life, and a certain amount of fat is completely normal. However, when your waistline starts to grow beyond its usual limits, it can indicate rising problems, so take note.
Maybe you’ve noticed you’re carrying more weight around the middle than you used to. You’re hardly alone. You may be dealing with deep visceral fat located around your organs, which complicates things. This fat is totally normal and typically used as cushioning by the body, but when it starts to build up, it can cause health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and much more. Visceral fat is a whole different ballpark than what we typically think of as “fat,” and it’s caused less by fatty foods and sweets (though diet is definitely a factor) and more by genetics and activity level. Inactivity is a top contender in your likelihood of having excess visceral fat.
Here’s some advice for keeping yourself fit and making sure your organs aren’t building up too much padding.
Get out and exercise.
Increasing your activity level is the absolute best way to trim excess belly fat and ensure you’re staying healthy. A sedentary lifestyle makes it different to get into “exercise mode,” so it’s important to take it slow and start with reasonable goals that feel manageable to you. You don’t have to jump immediately into serious cardio to get active. Start with a few brisk walks. Even a 30-minute walk five days a week can help reduce fat!
Keep an eye on your stress levels.
Stress is a part of life for most of us, but when our stress levels start to peak, it can cause a whole host of mental and physical issues. Digestive trouble and weight gain is hardly uncommon when stress levels are high, particularly because we’re more likely to eat poorly or skip exercise when we feel overwhelmed. Exercise will actually help you unwind by releasing endorphins. Reward yourself for a job well done by letting yourself relax once in a while.
Take a good look at your diet.
There’s never been and there never will be a miracle diet that will specifically target your visceral and belly fat, no matter what all the fancy blogs and advertisements say. However, maintaining a balanced diet and increasing your fiber intake will help a great deal to increase your overall health and reduce fat. Studies show people with good fiber intake tend to have less belly fat, so make sure you get enough!
Get a good night’s sleep.
Getting a full night of rest doesn’t make you lazy — it makes you healthy! Your sleep habits can affect your weight, and multiple studies show that people who get 6-8 hours of sleep a night have less visceral fat than people who get more or less. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking less sleep is better — it’s not!
By following this advice, you’re already well on your way to decreasing your body’s excess fat, including that stubborn belly fat. Looking for more advice and guidance? Follow this blog or reach out to our team at St. Joseph Health Medical Group!