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Have you noticed the fat around your midsection steadily increasing over the years? Doctors warn that fat in the abdominal region can be dangerous and lead to serious health conditions. “The issue is health, not cosmetics,” says Dr. Garth Davis, bariatric surgeon at Houston Methodist. “The presence of visceral fat is a good predictor of the development of chronic metabolic disease, whether it’s hypertension, heart disease or diabetes.” Here are five ways to get rid of belly fat, ASAP. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
Get Serious About Overall Weight Loss
Losing weight is one of the most effective ways to target belly fat. “The heavier you are, the fuller the standard areas to store fat become, meaning that the fat ends up being deposited around your abdominal organs and your heart,” says Dr. Davis. “In surgery with these patients, it’s a very short distance from the skin to the belly, but then the belly is just filled with fat — fat in the liver, fat lining the intestines, fat everywhere.”
Be Mindful About Your Meals
Studies show that people are increasingly eating their meals on the couch or in the bedroom, compared to an actual dinner table. “Learn to eat properly again!” says Dr. Sara Kayat. “Have a table, a plate, learn to chew, learn to appreciate the tastes on your plate rather than shoveling it in on your way to work or at your desk, or in front of the TV. Not feel so restrictive when it comes to dieting, you can actually eat more. So it’s eating more of the right foods, the lower calorie, higher nutrient foods, found in a lot of plant-based foods. The restrictive aspect of dieting can really put people off. An ideal snack is something like nuts – they’re really high in healthy fats, high in fiber and protein – everything to help stabilize blood sugars so you don’t get these massive cravings, and to help you feel fuller for longer.”
Time-restricted eating or intermittent fasting can help blast belly fat, experts say. “So you eat within an eight hour window,” says Dr. Mark Hyman. “So let’s say you eat dinner at 6:00, you can eat the next morning at 10:00. It’s not that terrible. If you eat at 8:00, you can’t eat till 12, whatever, but you really need a break from eating. And if you really have a lot of belly fat, the eight hour window to eat is really effective. And it turns on all the signals that repair your body, reduce insulin resistance, get rid of belly fat, build muscle, reduce inflammation, increase your antioxidant enzymes, improve your brain function and cognitive awareness. So it’s really beneficial.”
Regular exercise can help prevent insulin resistance, a health condition strongly linked to excess belly fat. “One of the things that I find that people don’t realize is, what happens when they start to lose lean muscle mass as they get older,” says Elizabeth Boham, MD. “So, we might be exercising a good amount every day, but if we’re not working really hard to maintain that good lean muscle mass, what happens after the age of 25, is we slowly lose lean muscle mass. And then it’s just so much easier for the body to put on excessive fat. And we know that having good lean muscle mass and exercising, really keeps our insulin sensitive. And so, that’s one thing that slowly catches up with people and they become more insulin resistant over time.
Give Sugar the Shove-Off
Sugar is particularly bad for belly fat, doctors warn. “To make a serious impact on your belly fat, cutting out sugar-spikes is key,” says Dr. Michael Mosley. “A surprising number of ‘diet’ snacks and drinks are high in sugar and are marketed as diet foods because they happen to be low in fat.” And to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.
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