Why is Belly Fat So Hard to Lose?

Belly fat expands your gut and hangs over your waistband. Get rid of it not just to look fit and trim, but to save your health. This fat is particularly insidious as it acts like an endocrine organ, increasing inflammation and making you more susceptible to chronic diseases, including heart disease, some cancers, and type 2 diabetes.

You know this, so you exercise and diet – but that belly fat just doesn’t budge. It’s not easy to lose, and here’s why. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep trying, however.

1)     You’re not doing the right exercise

You’ve added more physical activity to your life, but, to lose belly fat you have to make sure it’s the right kind. If you’re spot training with lots of planks and crunches, you’re working the muscles of your abdomen, but these exercises do almost nothing to burn the layers of fat covering them.

Even if you’re doing cardio, it may not be enough. To lose significant weight, kick up the time you spend working out to an hour or more most days. If longer cardio workouts aren’t possible, consider high-intensity interval training.

High-intensity interval training involves alternating short bouts of very hard work with bouts of easy effort. For example, warm-up with five minutes of walking and then alternate one minute of all-out running with two minutes of walking for eight rounds. Research shows that workouts done in this style need only last 20-30 minutes, but turn on specific fat-burning mechanisms that whittle away visceral – or belly – fat. Since the intensity is great, do these types of workouts just three times per week and save your steady-state walks for the other days.

2)     You like your wine…or beer…or vodka

Alcohol has a lot of calories and, if you’re not counting it in your daily totals, it could be the reason you’re packing on the pounds. Plus, your body always prioritizes burning alcohol calories before belly fat or your last meal. Why? Your body can’t store those calories, so your metabolism has no other choice but to burn it off first, store other calories, and skimp on burning belly fat. If you do choose to regularly imbibe, stick to just one serving, and make it a lower-calorie option, such as light beer or white wine.

3)     You’re not sleeping

The National Sleep Foundation recommends you get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night to preserve your health and your weight. Research shows that skimping on sleep has a direct correlation to weight gain in the abdomen, especially in people younger than 40. When you get inadequate sleep, your body produces fewer hormones that make you feel full and increases those that make you hungry. This makes keeping your munchies under control to lose weight almost impossible. Not to mention, if you’re tired, exercise isn’t very appealing. So, do your best to get to bed early and keep your bedroom cool and dark.

4)     You’re stuck on processed foods

You’ve reduced calories, but the ones you are eating come mostly from packaged foods. For example, if you’re doing instant oatmeal for breakfast, a hot pocket for lunch and a frozen diet meal for dinner, you’re missing out on essential nutrients that helps your body feel nourished and ready to let go of extra fat. Plus, these foods have a lot of sodium and, often, added sugars, which undermine your weight-loss efforts.

Reduce your intake of processed foods and focus instead on plain lean proteins – such as grilled or baked poultry and fish – fresh produce, and whole grains. A simple day might involve a slice of whole grain toast with two scrambled eggs and a handful of berries; a salad made with romaine, chicken breast, raw veggies, and walnuts with lemon juice and olive oil dressing; and grilled shrimp wrapped in corn tortillas with chopped mango and jalapenos.  Snack on raw nuts, fresh fruit, cut-up veggies, and plain, low-fat yogurt.

5)     Your fat focus is wrong

You’re counting fat grams, but all fat is not created equal. Saturated fat, such as that found in full-fat dairy and red meat, correlates with higher levels of body fat. Monounsaturated fats, however, fit right in with your belly fat-loss efforts. These fats are found in nuts, olive oil, avocados, and fatty fish – including salmon. When eaten in moderation, they help reduce inflammation while providing your body with important fatty acids to support vitamin absorption and healthy skin and hair. A thumb-sized serving at most meals, or an occasional serving of salmon at a meal, makes for a healthy intake that won’t blow your calorie budget.

And, always consider the possibility of addressing that last bit of belly fat with non-surgical fat reduction methods available at Impressions MedSpa. The BTL Vanquish ME™ complements your lifestyle efforts so you get the body you want.

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