You try to eat right… you try to exercise… but, you just can’t get rid of those extra rolls around your stomach. Some refer to this as a spare tire or belly fat. Regardless of how it is called, people want to know how to lose belly fat, especially if it is affecting their health!
Just the Facts:
- In the last 20 years, obesity has tripled and back pain has doubled!
- More weight often means more pain! If you have been classified as “overweight” your chances for back pain increase by 20% and being obese doubles or triples your risk!
There are two types of fat – Subcutaneous and Visceral. Subcutaneous fat accumulates under the skin. A small amount is normal and may even be essential for life. Visceral fat is not visible, and resides deep in the torso, wrapping itself around internal organs – such as the heart and liver. This is the more dangerous type of fat because it can trigger inflammation in the body, which can increase the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, breast cancer and other chronic diseases. Luckily, with diet and exercise, both types of fat are often reduced.
How much belly fat do you have?
If you want to measure how much visceral fat you have on your frame, an MRI or CT scan is the most accurate diagnostic tool. However, other options are available to give you a general idea. By using a tape measure, measure the inches around your waist (at your belly button level). For women a measurement of less than 35 inches is ideal, and for men less than 40 inches is ideal.
If you are experiencing health symptoms and find yourself weighing yourself in an effort to improve your health, there may be another option. A better indicator of health is to have a body composition analysis to determine the percentage of fat, along with other percentages – including percentage of water. A Certified Nutrition Specialist or Medical Doctor can perform this test. A good goal for women would be 20% body fat.
Extra body fat can affect your health!
All those extra pounds:
- Increase the load on your spine, place extra pressure on muscles and soft tissue around vertebrae. This can affect the natural curvature of the lower back, create subluxations and cause health concerns – including lower back pain.
- Belly fat releases inflammatory chemicals that can cause spinal discs to weaken and pain to increase.
If you lose 4 pounds… 16 pounds of pressure is removed from the spine!
Losing fat around the middle… can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels!
Why do you have excess fat around your belly?
As with most health concerns – genetics, diet and lifestyle are the “Big 3” factors. If you were born with good genes and can basically eat almost anything, stay trim and maintain an athletic physique … thank your parents. However, if not then you have to evaluate the food and drink you take in, and your lifestyle choices – stress, exercise, sleep, etc.
Many people today are seeking ways to reduce belly fat naturally, especially if they are looking for a permanent solution and not “yo-yo” up and down. For this, they need help – a Team approach for effective weight loss and a reduction of belly fat.
Weight loss doctors near me can help!
Working with a Medical Doctor, Physical Therapist, Chiropractor, Acupuncturist and/or Certified Nutrition Specialist can offer various treatment options and therapies to address the cause or causes of belly fat. Some recommendations include:
Exercise: Physical activity or exercise is vital to effective and permanent weight loss and reduction of belly fat. With your doctor’s consent, recommendations are for 30-minutes of moderate exercise/activity at least three days a week. This can help to lower cholesterol and slow down the amount of visceral fat you gain. To help with reducing belly fat, intensity and frequency should be increased. Many people find that aerobic exercise (running, jogging swimming, fast-pace walking) helps. Aerobic exercises help to reduce inflammation, lower blood sugar levels and reduce symptoms associated with obesity. Work with a Physical Therapist to determine if high intensity interval training (HIIT) and/or weight training should be integrated into a customized exercise program.
Keep Track of Food Intake: Work with a Certified Nutrition Specialist to help you determine the right foods and right portions – and track your intake!
Most people will benefit by reducing refined sugar, which is loaded with fructose, turns into fat, and can end up around the belly area. Other sugars, such as liquid sugars often result in a desire to consume additional refined sugars and calories. Do not fool yourself into believing that if you substitute soda for fruit juice you are going to be “healthier”. Fruit juice is generally filled with lots of refined sugar! If you substitute soda for diet soda you may find yourself with a reason to consume or overestimate your caloric intake, not to mention possible chemical side effects. Additionally, watch your alcohol intake. There is a reason it is called a, “Beer Belly”.
If you want to reduce belly fat naturally, you may want to consider consuming healthy proteins (25 – 30% of your diet) to reduce cravings and boost your metabolism. In addition, include fatty fish (salmon, trout) once a week. Try to eat the rainbow – colorful fruits and dark green, yellow and red vegetables.
Carbs vs. Low or No Carbs, Fat vs. Low or Fat Free, Packaged and Processed Food, Fiber… how much? The list of questions and concerns can be overwhelming. For this reason, it is vital to work with a professional who can help separate myths and facts.
Sleep: Not too much and not too little according to a recent study. People who sleep for 6 – 7 hours per night gained less visceral fat over 5 years compared to those who only slept less or more.
De-Stress: The result of too much stress is an increase of cortisol secreted by the adrenal glands – which can lead to additional belly fat. Meditate, surround yourself with positive people, participate in activities you enjoy, etc. to help reduce stress!
If you are really ready and want to know how to lose belly fat work with a Team of Professionals in one Center. A Center that offers Medical supervision, along with Physical Therapists to help address any muscular factors, Chiropractors to address any structural factors and a Certified Nutrition Specialist to address chemical factors.