Reducing Belly Fat Essential for the Best You
The core is the sturdy hub connecting your upper and lower body. Furthermore, it allows you to stand upright, stay steady on your feet, allow you to twist, and turn. In addition, the core contains muscles which allow it to perform these functions. And, along with the muscles, the core area also contains abdominal fats. Also, in moderation, these fats participate in fighting off bacteria, viruses and help the immune system. However, in excess, these fats are harmful to your health. Most of all, the core and abs exercises help strengthen muscles in the core and abs. Consequently, improving their ability to perform the core’s primary role. In addition, aerobic exercises, in combination with core and abs exercises, act as belly fat reducer by reducing excess fat in the abdominal area.
Muscles of the Core
Description of Core Muscles
First of all, the core is made up of two key areas: the inner and outer core.
Also, the inner core comprises the diaphragm, muscles of the pelvic floor, multifidus and transverse abdominis. And, this group is responsible for stabilizing the trunk of the body. Furthermore, the transverse abdominis protects the internal organs.
In addition, the outer core is made up of the rectus abdominis, the internal and external obliques, and the erector spinae. Also, this group of muscles controls strength and range of movement, and helps you with stability. Furthermore, the rectus abdominis is responsible for forward flexion. And, the external obliques are responsible for rotation of the trunk. Also, the Internal obliques are responsible for lateral flexion of the trunk.
Finally, the muscle of the abs and core are shown below. Most noteworthy, these core muscles provide movement in all three planes of motion.
Functions of Core Muscles
- 1Most of all, these are the muscles that run across the body, run diagonally and run from top to bottom. First of all, the muscles that run across the body are called transverse abdominis. Next, muscles that run diagonally are called the external and internal obliques. Also the muscles that run from top to bottom, in the front, are the rectus abdominis. While, the muscles that run from top to bottom in the back are the quadratus lumborum and erectors. And these muscles contain and protect the major organs of the body.
- 2Furthermore, the core muscles provide greater mobility by allowing us to bend forward, backwards, sideways, twist, turn, and combinations of these.
- 3In addition, by stabilizing the top part of the body over the bottom part, they allows us to walk on two feet instead of four.
- 4Finally, they control the position of the pelvis during movement. And, this is important because the pelvis has the capacity to tip forward or back and extreme tipping.
Most of all, there are two types of abdominal fat: subcutaneous belly fat and visceral belly fat.
Subcutaneous Belly Fat
This is the type of fat you can pinch. Furthermore, it’s located under the skin, between your skin and muscles. And, in moderate amounts, subcutaneous fats will not dramatically increase your risk of disease.
Visceral Belly Fat
First of all, this type of fat is located in the abdominal cavity, below the muscles, in the omentum and around your internal organs. Also, those with an apple-shaped body (excess fat in the abdominal area) have a higher risk for certain health problems. And those with a pear-shaped body (excess fat in the hips and thighs) have a lower risk of health problems. Most noteworthy, an omentum with a lot of fat contributes to the apple shape.
Also, a healthy omentum is a thin, pale yellow sheet that contains fat. Furthermore, fat is an essential substance in our body. Most of all, it only becomes dangerous when it’s present in excess. Especially relevant, if the omentum accumulates extra fat it becomes thicker and harder. Furthermore, the omentum contains macrophages, which are a type of white blood cells, which fight bacteria and viruses. And, the macrophages help the immune system to protect us from disease.
When is it Bad
Most of all, excess visceral belly fat, in the omentum, is dangerous. First of all, the fat cells, in the omentum, are metabolically active and release a variety of chemicals. Furthermore, some serve as messengers in the body. While, others trigger harmful inflammation. And, others are linked to metabolic syndrome, health conditions like insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, cancers, and heart disease. Also, some pump out immune system chemicals called cytokines. Example of cytokines include tumor necrosis factor and interleukin-6 that can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Also, these and other bio-chemicals have harmful effects on a cells sensitivity to insulin, blood pressure, and blood clotting.
Most noteworthy excess visceral belly fat is so harmful is because it’s located near the portal vein. Also, the portal vein carries blood from the intestinal area to the liver. Therefore, substances released by visceral belly fat, including free fatty acids, enter the hepatic portal vein. Consequently, they travel to the liver, where they can influence the production of blood lipids. Also, visceral belly fat is directly linked with higher total and LDL cholesterol, lower HDL cholesterol, and insulin resistance.
Belly Fat Reducer
First of all, exercising your abdominal muscles will strengthen them. However, the muscles cannot be seen if they are covered by a thick layer of subcutaneous fat. Most of all, people consider abs exercises as a belly fat reducer. However, abs exercises alone is not the answer. Furthermore, several studies have shown that abs exercise alone do not reduce subcutaneous belly fat. Also, one such study found that neither fat cell size nor subcutaneous belly fat thickness decreased. And this is true for all subcutaneous fat all over the body.
Finally, one study did find that no matter how intense the exercise, blood flow and fat breakdown were higher in subcutaneous fat close to active muscles. Most noteworthy, muscle cells cannot use the fat contained in the fat cells directly. Most of all, fat has to be broken down before it enters the blood stream. Also, this fat can come from fat cells anywhere in the body.
Most noteworthy, doing sit-ups and crunches isn't particularly an effective belly fat reducer. So instead of focusing on abs and core exercises, whole body exercises are an effective belly fat reducer. Most noteworthy, whole body exercises speed up your metabolism and burn fat.
Especially relevant, moderate or high-intensity aerobic exercise are indeed effective belly fat reducer. In particular, they are effective at burning visceral belly fat. On the other hand, low-intensity aerobic or resistance exercises, on their own, aren't good belly fat reducers. Because they don't reduce belly fat well.
Also, the more muscle mass you build, the more fat you will burn. And, High intensity interval training (HIIT) is known to reduce body fat more efficiently than low-intensity aerobic exercises. Furthermore, HIIT is effective because it suppresses appetite and burns fat during and after the exercise. Therefore HIIT is a very effective belly fat reducer. However, HIIT should be done gradually by beginners, seniors, and others with health conditions.
On the other hand, combining resistance exercises and low-intensity aerobic exercises is a more effective belly fat reducer than low-intensity aerobic exercises alone. And, combining resistance exercises with HIIT would be the best belly fat reducer. Because, the combination would burn fat the best.
Especially relevant, do a 10 minute StairMaster cardio workout that burns calories fast. Furthermore, it can be used for a low-intensity aerobic exercise.
Difficulty Reducing the Belly Bulge
Most noteworthy, there are many reasons why it’s hard to get rid of the belly bulge.
- 1First of all, processed foods (such as white bread, chips) increases inflammation in the body. And, belly fat is associated with inflammation. So the best way to reduce belly fat is to reduce intake of processed foods. Rather, eat foods such as fruits (or, if you prefer home made fruit juices) and whole grains (which are full of antioxidants). Furthermore, these have anti-inflammatory properties to prevent belly fat.
- 2And, studies show high intake of saturated fat (such as meat and dairy) increases visceral fat. On the other hand, monounsaturated fats (olive oil, avocados) have anti-inflammatory effects on the body. In addition, polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 in walnuts, sunflower seeds, salmon) also have anti-inflammatory effects on the body. However, eating too much of any kind of fat will increase your calorie intake and result in weight gain.
- 1Furthermore, while aerobics (such as running or spinning) help your heart, they by themselves are not the best belly fat reducers. Most of all, resistance exercises are needed to increase muscle mass. Because, the larger muscle mass helps your body burn more calories, in turn, by burning fat.
- 1First of all, a decrease in both men’s and women’s metabolic rate as they get older. The metabolic rate is the number of calories the body needs to function normally.
- 2Also, menopause slows down production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, along with testosterone levels. Consequently, women, after menopause, experience weight gain around their abdominal area.
- 3Most noteworthy, stress increases the amount of stress hormone, cortisol, in the body. Furthermore, cortisol clings to and enlarges fat cells. Also, studies show that the higher levels of cortisol increases visceral fat.
- 4In addition, studies show that women who slept less than five hours were 30% more likely to gain 30 or more pounds. Especially relevant, the National Institute of Health recommends adults sleep seven to eight hours a night.
- 5Furthermore, genetic predisposition may mean it would be harder to get rid of the belly fat.
- 6Finally, high testosterone levels makes it difficult to lose weight. Most noteworthy, women with polycystic ovary syndrome have high testosterone levels, making it hard for them to lose weight.
Losing Belly Fat
Most of all, a combination of diet and exercise can help reduce belly fat. And, here are some evidence based ways to lose belly fat.
First of all, avoid sugar. And, added sugar has a uniquely harmful effect on metabolic health. Most noteworthy, sugar is half glucose, half fructose. Furthermore, fructose can only be metabolized by the liver. So, when you eat a lot of refined sugar, the liver gets overloaded with fructose and is forced to turn it all into fat. In addition, many studies have shown that excess sugar (via the fructose) leads to increased accumulation of fat in the belly. Also, the increase in belly fat and liver fat can lead to insulin resistance and a host of metabolic problems. Furthermore, liquid sugar (as in sweetened beverages and fruit juices) is even worse because you end up getting more total calories.
Rather, eat whole fruits or drink juices made from fresh fruits, which are extremely healthy and have plenty of fiber to mitigate the negative effects of fructose.
Also, eat more protein. Especially, relevant, protein is the most important macronutrient for losing weight. In addition, protein will help you lose weight as well as avoid regaining it. Furthermore, studies show that people who ate more and better protein had much less belly fat. Therefore, eating more protein is an excellent belly fat reducer.
In addition, cut carbs. Many studies have shown that low-carb diets lead to two to three times more weight loss than low-fat diets. Also, low-carb diets lead to quick reductions in water weight, which gives people near instant results. Furthermore, studies show that low-carb diets specifically target the fat in the belly and around the organs and liver. In conclusion, a high proportion of fat lost on a low-carb diet is the dangerous and disease promoting abdominal fat. Therefore, a low-carb diet is an excellent belly fat reducer.
Also, eat foods rich in fiber, especially viscous fiber. Most noteworthy, dietary fiber is mostly indigestible plant matter. However, not all fiber is created equal. Most of all, soluble and viscous fibers have a beneficial effect on your weight. Because soluble and viscous fibers bind to water they form a thick gel in the gut. And, the gel dramatically slows the movement of food through the stomach and small bowel. Furthermore, this slows down the digestion and absorption of nutrients – resulting in a prolonged feeling of fullness and reduced appetite. Therefore, soluble fiber is effective at reducing the harmful belly fat and is hence an excellent belly fat reducer.
Therefore, the best way to get more fiber is eat lots of plant foods like vegetables and fruits. And, legumes are a good source as well as cereals like oats. In addition, you could take a fiber supplement like glucomannan –which has the most viscous dietary fibers and has been shown to cause weight loss.
Finally, track what you eat. Also it’s hard to do by instinct how much proteins, carbs, sugar, etc. you are ingesting. Furthermore, there are free online tools and calorie calculators to help.
- 1Aerobic exercises reduce inflammation, blood sugar levels and other metabolic abnormalities.
- 2Most of all, high-intensity workouts result in more loss of belly fat than low-intensity workouts. High-intensity workouts burn more calories and hence they are excellent belly fat reducers.
- 3Functional exercises that use muscles in your core (abdominals, back, pelvic, obliques) burn calories at a higher rate than say crunches. Planks are great because they don’t just use your core muscles but also your arms, legs and butt muscles.
- 4Finally, reducing belly fat requires a low-calorie diet that is high in fiber and low in carbohydrates and sugar along with aerobics and strength exercises. The combination is an excellent belly fat reducer recipe.
In conclusion, people focus on the core because of its fat content which in excess some find disagreeable. However, the fat in moderation plays an important role in supporting the body’s immune system. Yet, in excess, abdominal fat is not healthy. Therefore, aerobic exercises combined with resistance exercises act as excellent belly fat reducer. Consequently they will help control or reduce excess abdominal fat, thereby improving your fitness and appearance.