Habits to Lose Belly Fat

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Habits That Blast Belly Fat

You are what you eat. Regardless of what you eat, be it, white bread or sprouts; meat or pasta; protein, fat or carbohydrate; if you do not burn the calories that is ingested, your body will turn the rest of the calories into triglycerides and store them in fat cells.

In terms of location in the human body, there are three types of fat. Intramuscular fat is found interspersed in the skeletal muscle. Subcutaneous fat is found underneath the skin. Visceral fat (VF) is also known as organ fat because it is stored in between the internal organs and the torso, inside the peritoneal cavity. An excess of visceral fat is known as central obesity, abdominal obesity, pot belly and beer belly. VF includes epididymal white adipose tissue (EWAT) and perirenal fat. Subcutaneous fat can be easily pinched between the fingers but VF lies deep inside and can be found in thin people too. It is associated with apple shaped body. Men have fat stored in the abdomen while for women fat is stored in thighs and hips. After menopause as the estrogen production falls, fat is stored in the abdomen. Point to note is fat cells remain the same throughout the life span. What changes is the size of fat cells.

According to several studies including the MESA study published in Journal of American College of Cardiology (2014), higher VF was associated with cardiometabolic risk and coronary artery calcification, regardless of body mass index (BMI). It is the VF rather than subcutaneous fat that is more strongly associated with incident metabolic syndrome irrespective of age, race, or BMI. Metabolic syndrome is series of risk factors that occur together as a group, raising risk of coronary heart diseases, stroke and diabetes. The five risk factors include large waistline or abdominal obesity; elevated triglycerides; low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C); high blood pressure ; and elevated fasting glucose.

Habits to Lose Belly Fat

How Is Fat Processed?

Most of the fat we consume through our diet, that is, as saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fats are all types of triglycerides. They are a major source of our energy at rest and during low-intensity exercise. The digestion of fat is mainly processed in the small intestine. As chyme enters the duodenum, bicarbonate ions are secreted by the pancreas to neutralize the pH of the chyme, lipases and enzymes that break down fat. The gall bladder contraction allows bile to be released from the liver.

Fats, monoglycerides and diglycerides are hydrophobic, and do not dissolve in water. Bile prevents fat molecules to clump together to form one big fat molecule. Bile molecules have a hydrophobic end and a hydrophilic end. The hydrophobic end sticks to each fat molecule. The hydrophilic end protrudes and prevents the molecules from sticking together. The combined structures of fat molecules and bile molecules are called micelles which are small spherical water-soluble droplets.

As fat molecules become micelles, lipases break down fat molecules into free fatty acids and monoglycerides, which are easily absorbed through the small intestine. After they pass the intestinal wall, fatty acids and monoglycerides recombine to form triglycerides. The triglycerides combine with cholesterol, phospholipids and protein to form a structure called chylomicron. Chylomicron has a protein coating which makes it water soluble and it easily travels through the lymph vessels and then the bloodstream. These compounds are metabolized and used as a source of energy by the muscle fibers and the unutilized compounds are broken down and stored as free fatty acids in the liver or as body fat. Thus right habits can help to lose belly fat in men and women.

Calorie Intake Should Be Less than Calorie Burn

All the unutilized calories consumed from protein, fat or carbohydrate, get stored as fat and triglycerides which gets evident in the form of belly fat. Pot belly means your calorie intake is more than what you need as an energy source. Thus reducing the calorie intake or increasing the amount of calories burned is vital to belly fat reduction.

Balance of Macro Nutrients

The workable balance would be protein <35% to 40%; fat = 25% to 35%; and carbohydrate 35-40% of total daily calorie intake. A low-fat diet or low carbohydrate diet both have their share of cons.

According to American Heart Association (AHA), fat should comprise only 25 to 35 percent of the total daily calories from foods like fish, nuts, and vegetable oils. Saturated fats should be less than 7 percent of your total daily calories. Thus cut out the fried foods, saturated and trans fats completely to blast belly fat. Coconut oil and omega-3 fatty acids should be part of the diet. A low-fat diet can lead to reduction of HDL, testosterone producing cholesterol and healthy fatty acids while high-fat diet can lead to increase in fat deposits specially saturated fats.

Protein quotient should be increased as they have high thermic value than fats and carbohydrates. The thermic effect of food, associates, energy expenditure to different foods, due to the energy required to digest, absorb and metabolize the nutrients. Thus more energy is required to process proteins. Substituting fries, pasta, with boiled or raw sprouts; meat with legumes and omega-3- rich sea food is the best way to burn belly fat. Do not increase the protein intake over 40% as it may result to osteoporosis, impaired kidney function and other health issues.

Reduction of carbohydrates may lead to fatigue, mood swings, nausea, dizziness, loss of muscle tissue and bone calcium. A low-carbohydrate diet leads to intake of excess fats. A moderate intake of carbohydrates especially foods with low glycemic index (GI) are preferred. Foods with low GI prevents a spike in blood sugar and their sudden depletion. High GI foods make one feel hungry soon. Foods with high satiety level are highly recommended. Brown pasta or whole wheat bread provides 50% more satiation than white bread or pasta. Boiled potatoes offer 3 times more satiation. Thus, conquer your mid meal hunger pangs with boiled sweet potato and sprout chaat, tomato salsa, fruits, green tea. Read your way through insulin index and choose the food that rate better on all 3 indexes in order to get a slim waistline and to manage weight.

Drink Lots of Water

Are you thirsty or hungry? Both tend to camouflage the other. Thus when we tend to feel hungry, it is actually water or fluids that the body wants. Drinking at least 2 liters of water or as and when one is thirsty, makes one binge less and keeps the belly slim and flat.

Drink Adequate Amount of Water to Prevent Overeating

High-Intensity Exercise

High-Intensity Interval Training means alternation between very intense bouts of exercise and low intensity exercise. There are short periods of intense anaerobic exercise and less-intense recovery periods. It is also called high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE) or sprint interval training (SIT). It blasts belly fat, treats obesity, lowers insulin resistance and easily fits into the busy schedule. A common formula is a 2:1 ratio of work to recovery/rest periods. According to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015, short bursts of high-intensity exercise improved weight, cholesterol and blood sugar parameters among Type 2 diabetes patients more than 30 minutes regimen of sustained, lower-intensity exercise. Burst exercise patients experienced a 2.3 times more improvement in HbA1c levels and a three-fold reduction in body mass index. Aerobic exercises like running, cycling or rowing, becomes anaerobic when performed in excess of 85% - 90% maximum heart rate.

Strength Building

A resistance training program involves infliction of micro-trauma or tears and pulls on the muscles. It leads to reduction in muscle size and muscle soreness after exercise. Calories are burnt to rebuild muscle to original size and further add to it. So muscle building through weight lifting or use of resistance bands helps to build muscles and burn more calories. More calories are burnt while maintaining muscle than maintaining fat. The more muscle you build, the more calories your body will burn each day on its own. Thus both muscle building and muscle maintenance burn lots of calories and it is the quickest way to belly fat removal. Muscle tissue burns more calories than body fat even when one is at rest. Strength building helps to increase calories burned more than calories intake.

Strength Building Helps Reduce Belly Fat

Say NO to High Fructose Corn Syrup

Calories are not created equal. For example, fructose and glucose have same chemical compound but they are not metabolized in the similar manner in human body. The end process of fructose metabolism is uric acid and triglycerides. HFCS has 55% fructose and 45% sucrose. The added sugar comes in form of soft drinks, diet soda, fruit juice, maple syrup, molasses, sorbitol. Therefore do not store unnecessary sugar in your pot belly. The AHA has issued new recommendations for added sugar. One teaspoon holds around 4 grams of sugar.
  • For women, children and adolescent 25 grams – 100 calories – 6 teaspoon
  • For male 37 grams 150 calories – 9 teaspoon

Foods to Lose Belly Fat

Spice – Cumin, cinnamon, black peppercorns, Cayenne. Spices help to increase metabolism and body heat, cinnamon reduces cravings and balance the calorie intake. According to a study in Iran''s Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, cumin group reduced body fat percentage three times more.

Fruits –Apples, banana, tomatoes, guava, blueberries. Avocado is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and fiber. Fruits provide satiation, antioxidants and fiber.

Nuts – Almond, walnuts, pine nuts. Researchers from Penn State University proved that those who had almonds had better lipid profile.

Omega-3 fatty acids – Walnuts, flaxseeds, soybeans; fish with low mercury like salmon, sardines.

Fiber – Fruits, oats, barley bread, barley pancake and other whole wheat items. Foods with high-fiber content makes consume less calories.

Low GI – Whole wheat products, fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, nuts.

High Satiation food – Boiled potatoes, apples, low sugar Porridge/Oatmeal; brown rice; eggs; whole meal bread, pasta, noodles, lentils, fresh baked beans, fish; apples, cucumber, banana gives a sense of fullness.

Probiotics – Yogurt supports gut bacteria.

Switch from: White bread, pasta, kulcha, pizza, noodles to whole wheat ones; fried fingers, burgers, junk food to food of high satiation and low GI; fried snacks to sprouts or fruits; juice with added sugar to whole fruits.

Unsaturated fats – Nuts, omega-3 fatty acid rich foods, coconut oil, avocado,

Others – Dark chocolate, green tea, vinegar or apple cider vinegar; According to a 2009 Japanese study, a tablespoon or two of vinegar daily for eight weeks showed significant decreases in body fat. Dark chocolate with more than 75% cocoa is full of calories but its consumption helps to reduce cravings, increases HDL and supports the heart. It has low GI.

Foods to Lose Belly Fat

Tips To Lose Belly Fat

Drink hot water to prevent visceral fat. However there is a caveat. According to IARC researchers drinking beverages at or above 149 degrees Fahrenheit (65 degrees Celsius) can cause cancer.

Get up and move. Desk workers walk, or execute some movement after every couple of hours. Fetch your own things. Get up and put off the switches. Get your hand dirty in the garden, laundry, car, pet or house cleaning or at dishwashing.

Do not avoid breakfast as it gets the metabolism working after the overnight fast. In a study conducted by Turkish University, eating dinner late or just 2 hours before sleep have adverse effect on blood pressure. Dinner should be had before 7 pm.

Sleep for maximum 8 hours a day and do not oversleep on weekends.

Apply surya mudra 45 minutes per day, to remove extra fat from the abdomen.

Drink adequate amount of water before meals to prevent overeating.

Keep sprouts, sweet potato chat, fruits, nuts, salad in sight to satisfy the mid meal hunger. Keep limited food on table to discourage a second helping. Keep the television and other connecting devices off while eating.

Say no to soft drinks, diet coke or juice with added sugar and other HFCS drinks.

Avoid Sugary Drinks to Lose Belly Fat

Say no to white bread, or refined carbohydrates; fried proteins like meat, chicken; pizza, batura, burger; trans fats and saturated fats.


Be aware of the source of the calorie been consumed. Follow the recommendations to create the balance of fat, protein and carbohydrates intake. Be aware of the amount of calories consumed from saturated fat, and high GI food. Proteins require more energy to burn. Study the 3 indexes GI, Satiety index and Insulin Index. These habits, home remedies, and tips will help you to lose stubborn belly fat.

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