Belly fat by any other name is still belly fat.
How do we get belly fat and how do we get rid of it?
There are 2 types of belly fat – visceral and subcutaneous. Visceral fat is the fat that is deep within our abdomen surrounding our organs. This fat can affect sugar levels in the blood, cholesterol, digestion, etc. Generally, it’s the first fat you lose when you diet. Subcutaneous fat is the layer of fat just under the skin. This fat stores energy. Way back in the days of the cavepeople, food was not a 3-times a day event and they needed to store fat against the days there was no food. Even though we’ve evolved in many ways, we still store energy like cavepeople.
So, what causes it.
As we evolved to homo erectus – our skeleton keeps us balanced and in line with gravity. When poor posture pulls the skeleton out of balance, it will try to compensate. Shoulders get hunched, the spine gets rounded, and hips get pushed forward causing the abdomen to push out. There may not be a lot of belly fat, but it certainly looks like it.
While heredity plays a part in where we store fat, it doesn’t make us fat. We learn what to eat and how to eat from our parents. I’m sure the food is delicious but the nutrition in food has changed since our parents were young. The amount of food we eat in a meal has changed. Food is around us all day in snacks and fast food makes it easy to overeat. The food our parents and grandparents ate no longer exists, so we have to change how and what we eat.
SEX and AGE
Females tend to store fat in the chest, hips and thighs during most of their lives. Pregnancy stretches the abdomen and weakens the muscles making it easier to get muffin top. Men tend to store fat in the abdominal area due to the male hormone, androgen. At menopause, women will have more of the male hormone and store fat in the belly. Age causes loss of muscle mass for men and women alike and slows the rate of metabolism. So, it’s easier to store fat and harder to lose it.
STRESS and LACK OF SLEEP
When we don’t get enough sleep or don’t sleep well, our body doesn’t rest and repair. This can cause stress. There are so many causes of stress that we may not even realize. It’s more than just the kids, the parents, the spouse/significant other, the coworkers, the bills, the traffic, etc. We see hundreds of advertisements each day. We are beaten with news. We’re online all the time on computers, phones, etc. It’s overwhelming! Our brain releases adrenaline and cortisol when we’re stressed – which, of course, means we store sugar in the form of fat.
EATING HABITS and DIGESTION
Fast foods, processed foods, sugary drinks, etc. all contribute to bad eating habits. We store excess calories – and sugars and fats are the easiest to store. Food portions are too large and there is food everywhere. Going to sleep on a full stomach contributes to belly fat. We shouldn’t eat for at least 3 hours before we go to bed so that we have a chance to burn some of the calories. Improper digestion can be (and usually is) caused by stress. It causes gas and bloating and affects the process of digestion and our ability to metabolize calories.
LET’S GET RID OF BELLY FAT!!!
We can’t do sit-ups and crunches to get rid of belly fat. There is no such thing as “spot reducing” exercises. Strengthening the muscles will help hold the fat in but won’t get rid of it.
Get moving! We have to burn fat from the whole body. Depending on health and physical abilities, get moving. Start with walking, then move on to more strenuous activities like dancing, power-walking, cycling and aerobics. Add in weight-training to strengthen core muscles and burn fat faster.
We need good, restful sleep to give our body time to repair itself. We have less energy, slower metabolism and more hunger when we’re sleep deprived.
We can’t get away from stress, but we can learn to manage it. Do things that you enjoy – listen to music, meditate, practice yoga, breathe deeply. Have some time to yourself – even if it’s just a few minutes. Managing stress is harder than it sounds and takes practice, but the results are well worth it.
Nutritious, healthy foods that are low in sugars and fats are the best choices. Processed foods are out. Portion size is important. Carry healthy snacks so that hunger is under control. Don’t eat late at night.
What about “spot reducing” with Light Technology?
LED and infrared light technology can be used to target trouble spots like muffin top, back fat, saddlebags, etc. – anywhere there is fat on the body. This technology can release fat from the cells and the cells will shrink. That fat is converted to energy and is ready to be worked off.
It may seem impossible, but it’s very possible.
Set your goals, make a plan, and don’t give up.
For help reaching your goals, drop us a note. We’d be happy to help!