So you might be working out, driving yourself nuts and yet you still cannot manage to have washboard, perfect, flat abs.
It’s frustrating, discouraging and disheartening, especially when it comes time for bikini season.
I know you want to get rid of your belly fat, but don’t get rid of all your belly fat. After all, a little bit of belly fat is actually good for your body. You need it to protect your internal organs, as well as your stomach and intestines.
The key words in that phrase were a ‘little bit’ of belly fat – too much is terrible for you. When you have too much stomach fat, it extends deep into your body, creating “visceral fat” that throws off your blood chemistry and causes inflammation that increases your risk for heart disease and diabetes.
That’s the bad news, but here’s better news: women are actually very good at losing belly fat compared to men – they lose 30% more abdominal fat compared to total fat.
Why are you not loosing those belly fat? Below are 5 reasons to watch out for:
1. Put some more color into your meals
This might seem strange but it’s actually true – foods that are brighter in color (natural color, not artificial!) contain much higher levels of vitamin C, which lowers your stress hormones that cause belly fat to stick around. Plus, a study found that people who ate red, yellow, and orange nutrient rich foods wound up with smaller waists.
So try adding some mango to your meal – like in a salsa on top of a fish dish – or some bright red peppers to that salad and watch your waistline shrink down.
2. Skip the low fat diet
This is counterintuitive – but it’s actually better to eat fats when you’re trying to lose fat. More specifically, it’s better to eat monounsaturated fats. Scientists have found that diets high in monounsaturated fats are much more effective at trimming belly fat off the body – because those “healthy” fats are so satisfying to your body, they curb cravings and stop you from eating junk foods.
Get your monounsaturated fats from healthy sources like nuts, olive oil, or avocado and watch the inches disappear off your waistline.
3. Burgers are bad
Researchers recently conducted an experiment where two groups of people were given 750 extra calories per day. One group got the calories mainly from saturated fats, and the other group got the same calories but from unsaturated fats. Over 7 weeks, the group that ate more saturated fat generated 2 times the amount of visceral fat.
Try getting your fats from fish instead of burgers. Reach for salmon or trout rather than ground beef to up your intake of polyunsaturated fats – and switch out the cheeseburgers for protein that has less saturated fat, like chicken.
4. Knock it off with the diet soda
A recent scientific study published in Obesity found that people who drink diet soda are much more likely to have a higher percentage of belly fat than others – because they overestimate the number of calories that they’re saving by drinking diet soda, and over eat at other meals.
If you don’t want to stop drinking diet sodas, instead, try cutting back on the number of calories you eat per day instead.
5. Pump up the magnesium
People who skimp on magnesium in their diets feel the effects – even if they don’t know what’s causing them. That’s because magnesium serves a crucial purpose in your body… actually, it serves about 300 crucial purposes in your body.
Scientists have found that people who don’t eat enough magnesium have higher blood sugar levels and higher levels of insulin. So at least twice every day, make sure to eat foods that are full of magnesium, like bananas, soybeans, and dark leafy greens.
6. Beer makes a beer belly
Scientists found in 2013 that beer is actually linked to belly fat – just like the saying goes. That’s the bad news, but here’s worse – wine is bad for your belly fat too. All alcohol consumption has been linked to weight gain in women.
Try sticking to 7 or less alcoholic drinks per week to keep the belly fat down and the pudge at bay.
The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé