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How Do I Get Rid of Stubborn Belly Fat?

Losing weight, in general, is difficult, but losing belly fat and regaining the flat stomach you once possessed can feel unattainable.

You have scoured the internet searching for "how to lose belly fat” and tried every trick and tip or even a quick fix available in the fitness world. You begin to see results everywhere in your body, including your arms, thighs, and buttocks, but it just doesn’t seem to budge.

While you should never feel compelled to lose weight, losing belly fat is a worthwhile goal. But why is it so difficult to get rid of stubborn belly fat? And how do you find the right kind of treatment for it?

We have to think beyond crunches and planks and focus on losing fat as a whole. In this article, we find out.



How much belly fat is too much?

While many of us do have a little belly bulge, the best way to tell if you have excess belly fat is by correctly measuring it.

Place a measuring tape around your waist, just above the hip bone. This is the right place to measure your belly fat.

You might have excess belly fat if you are a man and your belly fat measures more than 100 cm or more than 90 cm if you are a woman1.

belly-fat-measuring

Why can’t I lose my belly fat?

To better understand why you are not losing belly fat, let’s start by understanding the fatburning process in the body.

There are three crucial stages in the physiological fat-burning process in our body2.

Lipolysis

The first step is the release of fat from the fat cells through complex hormonal and enzymatic pathways. The fat cells release triglycerols in the form of free fatty acids (FFA). Each molecule of triglycerol splits into glycerol and three fatty acids.

A. When the fat is released from the fat cells, the cells shrink. Because the fat cells are emptied, this gives the lean appearance associated with weight loss.

Transport

The released FFA are then transported through the bloodstream into cells where they are needed.

Oxidation

The fat-burning process takes place inside the mitochondria, the powerhouse of our cells. The released fatty acids enter the mitochondria from the circulation, where they get oxidised.


It is important to understand here that when the fat is released and broken down (lipolysis) it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will get burned (oxidation). Fat can be returned to fat storage areas in the body if you consume excessive calories or if you have insulin resistance.

Another factor influencing fat release is the presence of receptors in the fat cells known as the Adrenergic Receptor (AR). There are two types of fat AR, alpha and beta.

Alpha-adrenergic receptors slow down the release of fat and beta receptors speed up the process of fat release. Additionally, more alpha receptors are associated with tissues that receive less blood flow, and beta receptors with tissues that get more blood flow to the area.

Fat loss in the belly area occurs at a slower rate than in other areas, and there are multiple reasons behind this3,4:

1. The belly area contains more fat cells as compared to other parts of the body.

2. The fat cells in the belly area do not respond easily to the fat breakdown process (lipolysis) like fat cells in the other part of the body.

3. Belly fat cells have a higher number of alpha receptors. This is why when you start working out or sticking to a weight loss program, you see results in the arms, face, and thighs before you lose the fat around the belly.

4. The stubborn belly fat cells receive less blood flow.

5. Female belly fat is more stubborn than male belly fat.


Also, why are my diets not working?

Sometimes even when you think you are eating right, results don’t seem to show up on the belly. This could be due to the food that you are eating and avoiding, and your dietary habits.

Many people tend to shun fat in their diets because of the notion that all fat is bad fat. However, good fats such as unsaturated fats found in avocados, salmon, and olive oil can help you reduce belly fat.

They can also help lower the risk of heart disease, blood cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.

Diets may also not work if:

  • You are eating healthily but eating too frequently or in larger portions
  • If you are eating mindlessly out of boredom
  • If you are not eating enough proteins to build muscles
  • Eating low-fat food that is high in calories
  • You are stressed out and emotionally eating
  • If you are overeating to compensate for a rigorous exercise
  • If you are not getting enough sleep
  • If you have hormonal disorders, for example thyroid
  • If you are genetically inclined to have a higher body fat percentage

So, how can I get rid of my belly fat?

As mentioned, losing fat from this area can be difficult. However there are several adjustments that you could make to your lifestyle in order to reduce the excess abdominal fat.

Here are 3 effective tips to lose belly fat:

1. Avoid Foods that Contain Trans Fat

Unsaturated fats are transformed into trans fats by having hydrogen added them. The purpose of this process is to change the consistency of an oil so that it is more solid, or 'spreadable'. Margarine and spreads contain these ingredients, and packaged foods frequently do as well.

A 6-year study found that monkeys who ate a high trans fat diet gained 33% more abdominal fat than those eating a diet high in monounsaturated fat5. Other studies have also linked a high intake of trans fat to increased belly fat gain.

It is a good idea to limit your intake of trans fat, whether or not you are trying to lose weight.

trans-fat-0g

2. Perform Resistance Training (lift weights)

Muscle mass can be preserved and increased by resistance training, also known as weightlifting or strength training.

Based on studies involving people with prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, and fatty liver diseases, resistance training has shown to be beneficial for belly fat loss6. Strength training can be an effective weight loss strategy and may help reduce belly fat. Research suggests it's even more effective when combined with aerobic exercise.

3. Combine Your Resistance Training with Aerobic Exercise

Several studies have shown that aerobic exercise, when combined with resistance exercise, can actually accelerate your results. Exercise that burns calories and improves your health is aerobic exercise (cardio).

Studies have also shown that this is one of the most effective forms of exercise for reducing belly fat7. However, it is important to note that the frequency and duration of your exercise program are more important than its intensity.

Exercise and diet may be the right steps towards weight loss. However, they cannot guarantee that they will get rid of stubborn belly fat, nor are they a sustainable plan for many people.

aerobics-group-workout

How to find the right belly fat removal treatment?

If you have tried out every possible way to lose belly fat and they still cling on to you for dear life, it’s time to find the right way to remove them.

CoolSculpting and SculpSure are FDA-approved, non-invasive body contouring solutions that focus on fat loss. There are many fat removal and body contouring techniques available in the field of cosmetics but not all have a favorable safety profile8. So why choose FDA-approved fat loss solutions?

coolscultping-fat-freezing

The US FDA regulates cosmetics and medical devices for use on humans, apart from food, vaccination, medication, and supplements. These regulations also prevent device-makers and products from making unsubstantiated claims that encourage people to undergo the procedure in hopes of getting a specific result. Devices recognized by the FDA have proven clinical records of safe and successful use.

CoolSculpting and SculpSure are non-invasive and painless procedures that remove fat without surgeries like liposuction or bariatric surgery. Both procedures remove stubborn belly fat but are different in the ways they achieve it.

CoolSculpting uses cold temperatures to freeze the fat cells to death. In this procedure, also known as cryolipolysis, fat cells are subjected to extreme cold which triggers cellular death. With time, the body flushes these fat cells out.

SculpSure uses laser heat energy to melt the fat cells away. Like with CoolSculpting, the dead fat cells are eliminated by the body.

The takeaway

Belly fat loss is more than just creating a calorie deficit. This is a stubborn pocket of fat that refuses to go away even with the most rigorous exercise programs and dietary habits. If you have tried everything else and failed to lose your belly fat, non-invasive body contouring treatments might just be the right option for you.

If you are struggling with stubborn belly fat, book an appointment at Ensoul Body Medical Clinic today.


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