Visceral or belly fat is more than skin deep, it also includes visceral fat that’s stored within the abdominal cavity, surrounding your internal organs such as the intestines and liver.
While subcutaneous fat is easier to notice and poses cosmetic concern, visceral fat is linked with far more dangerous health risks. The good news is, you can lose weight and get rid of belly fat without going on a special diets or exercises.
A healthy lifestyle that includes eating a well-balanced diet, increasing physical activity, managing stress and making other lifestyle changes can help you lose or maintain weight.
Health Risks Associated With Belly Fat
Carrying excess belly fat, especially visceral fat, has been linked to several health problems, including:
- Type-2 diabetes
- Heart attack and heart disease
- High blood pressure and cholesterol
- Breast cancer
- Fatty liver disease
- Colorectal cancer
- Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia
Research also suggests that too much belly fat can increase the risk of premature death – regardless of your overall weight.
You’re more likely to gain unwanted weight or belly fat if you eat too much or have poor eating habits such as consuming high amounts of sugar, fatty foods and drinks.
A lack of exercise, high stress levels, poor sleep are some common causes of excess belly fat. Experts said a person’s genes may also play a role in the development of obesity-related conditions.
Research suggests that women tend to gain belly fat as they get older due to decreasing level estrogen, which may influence where fat is distributed in the body, as per the Mayo Clinic.
How To Lose Weight And Belly Fat Naturally
Fortunately, you can get rid of belly fat by making simple lifestyle changes. Yet, for some people, losing belly fat can be a challenge.
And if you feel you’re not seeing results despite your efforts to get leaner, here are a few tips to help you lose belly fat:
Opt For Plant-Based Foods
Eat a healthy, balanced diet consisting of plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose lean sources of protein, complex carbs, and low-fat dairy products.
Include moderate amounts of healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) found in fish, nuts and certain vegetable oils, etc. Avoid or limit intake of saturated fat, added sugar and refined carbs that are low in nutrients.
Drink plenty of water to increase satiety and boost metabolism, both of which can promote weight loss. The health benefits of drinking enough clean water go far beyond weight control, it improves your health in numerous ways – from cleansing your system of toxins to treating and preventing headaches.
Make sure that you replace sugary beverages with water for optimal results. ALSO READ: 5 Habits That Are Making You Gain Unnecessary Weight
Check Portion Sizes
You should keep in mind that calories can add up even when you’re making healthy food choices. Hence, practicing portion control has a crucial role in weight loss as it is a quick fix that may help prevent overeating.
One of the easiest ways to control portion sizes is simply using smaller dishes or glasses, which will lower the amount of food or drink you consume.
Move More Or Avoid Sedentary Lifestyle
You should try to include good amount of exercise in your daily routine if you’re trying to lose weight. Being sedentary can lead to unhealthy weight gain and other serious health issues.
Experts said a combination of aerobic exercise and strength training can help people battle belly fat. Most healthy adults are recommended to do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity – such as brisk walking – a week or vigorous aerobic activity (such as running) for at least 75 minutes a week.
Keeping stress in check is as important as eating healthy and staying physically active, if you want to burn fat faster. Cortisol, a stress hormone released by the adrenal glands, can contribute to accumulation of visceral fat.
Take steps to reduce stress in your life to prevent gaining weight and belly fat – yoga, deep breathing and meditation are excellent stress management tactics.
Remember, slow and steady with consistency win the race, so, aim for slow weight loss to prevent the weight from coming back.