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Aside from aesthetics, belly fat is the most dangerous type of fat. Large waistlines are indicators of multiple conditions and diseases.
But how do you lose it? Unfortunately, it does take more than just crunches. But to get rid of it, it may help you to understand a little more about where it comes from in the first place:
- One source of belly fat is obvious: lifestyle. A poor diet and/or lack of exercise can influence the accumulation of fat cells.
- Another source of belly fat are genes – look at your parents/relatives. If they tend to have more belly fat, you probably will, too.
- Yet another source of midsection weight gain is a fat-inducing hormone called cortisol. Stress is one of the primary culprits for high levels of cortisol secretion. When you’re stressed, cortisol breaks downs lean muscle (the type of tissue that burns calories most efficiently) and also holds on to fat storage in the abdominal region. Things can even get even worse with poor lifestyle choices mixed in.
So how can you fight back?
If you want to work late at night, think again. When your biorhythms are off, you end up eating more. When you’re tired you produce more ghrelin, which triggers cravings for sugar and other fat-building foods. Losing sleep can also alter your hormone production, affecting your cortisol levels that cause insulin sensitivity, prime reasons for belly fat! Getting about 7 hours of sleep a night is one of the best things you can do for your body shaping goals.
2. Perform short bursts of exercises
1000 crunches a night may get you strong abdominal muscles, but with a full layer of fat on top, you will not get the results you really want. Instead of all those crunches, do exercises that engage multiple muscle groups and work your cardiovascular system. Try planking, where you hold yourself in a push-up position, resting your forearms on the ground. Try 3 or 4 sets of holding for 30 seconds each. Getting up and moving throughout the day by going for walks will also help.
3. Reduce your sugar intake
Fighting belly fat is 80% healthy diet. Reduce calories by filling yourself up with protein, vegetables, whole grains, and replacing bad habit snacks with good ones. For example, if you have a sugar craving, replace your calorie laden latte with a Muscle Milk lite, which has zero sugar and is a great source of craving-busting protein.