One of the biggest complaints I hear from customers is that they are frustrated with the increase in kilos in their belly. And repeatedly, my clients express a deep desire to regain control of the “middle section,” but they are confused about the best way to do it. Well, I’m here to relieve your frustration by breaking down what works and what doesn’t work.
Lose Belly Fat – Reality vs. Fiction:
1. With Exercise, You Can Try to Lose Weight in a Specific Area.
This is totally false. Abdominal exercises will help tone your belly. And for that reason, you will be grateful to have done them once you started losing weight. However, the part of the body to which the exercise is directed would not determine where your body loses fat first. So it is possible that you may be doing a lot of abdominal work, and notice the weight loss on your face. I still recommend focusing on your abs in your exercise routine, because you will stay with toned-looking abs once you lose weight. But don’t expect to be able to achieve weight loss in your abdominal area just by doing sit-ups.
2. You Must Specifically Reduce Sugar Consumption:
The sugar and refined carbohydrates (bread, bagels, pasta, crackers) are foods to avoid when trying to reduce abdominal fat. These foods cause an increase in the fat-creating hormone: insulin. When there is too much insulin, fat begins to accumulate in the stomach area.
“Reduce these problematic foods to control insulin and decrease fat storage in the abdomen”.
But don’t get frustrated if this doesn’t happen overnight. There will probably be a waiting period between when you reduce sugar and when you start to see the results. Once insulin is unbalanced, the body takes time to heal and return to balance. But once he regains his balance, he should start seeing the results.
3. Women’s Hormones Make Them Fat in the Belly as They Age:
Women older than a certain age will likely see an increase in abdominal fat. As women stop producing estrogen in their ovaries, their bodies often redistribute weight from the hips and thighs to the belly. This loss of estrogen can also make the body more likely to gain weight in general. This is because the presence of estrogen in younger women helps the energy of food to become muscle. When estrogen drops, less energy from food is directed to the muscles and a higher percentage of energy is converted to belly fat. In addition, because fat cells are one of the remaining sources of estrogen production for menopausal women, fat stores are likely to increase to help the body produce more estrogen. Many women feel so frustrated during this time that they go to hormonal therapy in the hope of losing belly fat. My recommendation is that instead try to make some more natural choices instead. Check with your doctor to see if herbs such as Black Cimicifuga, Dong Quai or Chasteberry may be right for you. And of course, you should go towards a positive diet and exercise regimen as we age.
4. Taking Pills for Swelling and Water Retention is a Good Way:
Many people feel that the retention of extra water or gas is a significant contributor to the expansion of their belly. And although this may be the case, relieving swelling without understanding the root cause of the problem is like putting a band aid on an exploding dam. Because, the same imbalances that are causing inflammation, gas and water retention can also be imbalances that carry extra weight. There are many reasons why someone might be bloated or retain water and some are only temporary (such as a woman’s monthly cycle). But if there is long-term swelling, this is an indication that there is something physically wrong, that needs to be treated. I would recommend, at least, an elimination diet (a temporary elimination of foods such as dairy, wheat and eggs, to see if there is a relief of symptoms in the body), as well as complementing a good probiotic.
5. Eating Fat Can Lead to a Direct Increase in Belly Fat:
Although eating fried foods is not a good option, there are many good sources of fat that are very useful when it comes to losing abdominal fat. Some examples are coconut, avocado, squash, sesame, chia and hemp seeds, as well as nuts such as nuts, almonds and cashews. Remember how I mentioned that sugar causes the body to produce too much of the fat-building hormone – insulin? Well, dietary fat has the opposite impact of sugar on insulin. When fat is eaten with something more sugary, it will reduce the effect of insulin on what is eaten. Fat will also help you feel satisfied after a meal, which will prevent you from assaulting the pantry late at night. I personally lost my last 3 kilos making only one change. I started reading all the labels to eliminate sugar from my diet while increasing my consumption of healthy fats. Good fats are your friend for weight loss.
6. Substitution of Sugar by Artificial Sweeteners:
This is crazy. They have done many studies that show that although artificial sweeteners have no calories, the brain still interprets its sweetness as sugar. Therefore, when you eat something that is artificially sweetened, the brain directs the body to secrete insulin in the exact same way as when eating sugar. Therefore, even if you are technically saving calories, the savings are lost because the effect of insulin is putting your body in fat storage mode. And of course, as with sugar, the more artificial sweeteners are consumed, the more fat will accumulate in the abdominal area. There are better ways to enjoy something sweet. But replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners would not help you with your belly fat loss goals.
7. Fish Oil Helps Reduce Belly Fat:
Fish is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids that promote health. And although there are multiple studies that demonstrate the positive effects of omega-3s for the heart, more recent research shows that they can also help the body to burn fat. Fish oil helps improve insulin levels by making the body more sensitive to insulin. And as we have already spoken, better insulin levels will lead to less belly fat. One study gave the subjects fish oil or safflower oil during the trials. The group that was given fish oil lost weight and gained weight, while the safflower group saw no improvement. Therefore, although I don’t think that consuming omega-3 alone solves your stomach problems, eating fish or supplementing it with fish oil can be a good addition to your weight loss regimen. Just be sure to choose options with low mercury content!
If you have been struggling with belly fat, there is no magic fix. If someone promises you one, you should run to the other side. A reduction of sugar and refined carbohydrates, a healthy exercise routine, supplements when necessary, and a slow transformation of habits is the way forward. The fact that you have struggled for years with extra belly weight does not mean that you have lost hope. It is simply a matter of separating reality from fiction, to get the most out of your weight loss efforts.