Is this something you want to do? Has excess fat on your belly become the bane of your existence? Not only is this type of fat unsightly, it is extremely dangerous to your health. Among other chronic health conditions, excess fat on your belly puts you at increased risk for heart disease, insulin resistance, and high blood pressure. For women especially, abdominal fat- especially on the lower belly area can be very difficult to get rid of. Trans fatty acids or trans fats that are found in most of the processed foods that we eat in such huge amounts today play a major role in excess belly fat. Here are four important steps you can take right now to help reduce your abdominal fat.
Four Steps to Burn Belly Fat
Reduce or Avoid Processed Foods with Trans fats. Trans fats are toxic, man-made fats that clog arteries. They are formed during the hydrogenation process when liquid fats are converted into margarine and shortening. These hydrogenated fats or trans fats block absorption and use of essential fatty acids that the body needs. Because trans fats prevent the body from absorbing many important nutrients, they cause disease in the body. Trans fats are associated with a host of serious diseases including cancer, diabetes, immune system dysfunction, low birth weight babies, birth defects, sterility, and obesity. Virtually all processed foods contain trans fats. Popular fried food, of course such as fast food french fries and fried chicken top the list. However, trans fats are also found in cookies, pastries, breads, doughnuts, and crackers. There is no way to avoid the fact that in order to burn belly fat, you have to significantly reduce or eliminate these foods from your diet.
Exercise. Your exercise should not be focused on spot reduction or in getting rid of belly fat only. The only way to get rid of excess fat on your belly is with exercise that is comprehensive, effective aerobic activity. This will help your body to shed fat.
Get adequate amounts of sleep. Did you know that not getting the right amount of sleep actually causes excess belly fat? It might surprise you to know that getting too much sleep is as bad as getting too little sleep. Less than six hours of sleep is considered too little and more than eight hours is considered too much. Too little sleep (less than six hours) or too much (more than eight hours) causes excess production of cortisol, the hormone your body releases when it is under stress. Cortisol promotes the storage of fat in the belly. So if you have not been getting adequate sleep you should definitely try to get more sleep if you want to burn belly fat.
Take time to Relax. Taking time to relax is as important as eating the right foods, exercising effectively, and getting adequate amounts of sleep. Carving out some “me time” each day whether it be 5, 10, or 15 minutes to do something you enjoy doing can work wonders for reducing stress in your life, which in turn will reduce the amount of cortisol in your body and help you reduce belly fat.