Sugary Foods And Beverages
Many people consume more added sugar daily than they realize.
Common foods in the diet that can be high in added sugar can include baked goods, pastries, muffins, flavored yogurts, breakfast cereals, granola and protein bars, prepackaged foods, sugar-sweetened beverages , and other processed foods .
In particular, a diet high in SSBs is associated with increased visceral abdominal fat .
SSBs are the largest contributor of sugar intake in the United States primarily due to their low cost, convenience, and ease of consumption. Unlike food, SSBs can be consumed quickly in large volumes since they require minimal processing .
As a result, you experience a large intake of calories and sugar, with little to no nutritional value, in a single sitting. For many, its not uncommon to consume multiple SSBs in a single day.
For example, drinking two 16 fluid ounce bottles of soda in a day adds up to 384 calories and 104 grams of sugar. This, especially if consumed in addition to many other high-sugar food and drinks, can lead to excessive calorie intake in a day and, ultimately, excess visceral fat .
Furthermore, drinking your calories particularly from SSBs can lead to a temporary spike in blood sugar followed by a crash, leading to you feeling hungry quickly and needing to drink or eat soon again .
Cut Back On Carbs Especially Refined
Not all carbohydrates are bad, and you need to keep this in mind when putting together your diet plan. Oftentimes people try to completely eliminate carbohydrates from their diet, but this is not exactly the right approach. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for your body. Weight gain, which is often blamed on carbohydrates, is not due to carbohydrates per se, but due to their excessive content in modern foods.
A distinction is often made between good and bad carbohydrates. Carbs found in sugary drinks and foods, refined grains, white bread, and others are high in calories but low in nutritional value. These refined and simple carbs have been linked to abdominal fat deposition and should be avoided.
Simple carbohydrates trigger a rapid rise in blood sugar levels, often referred to as the blood sugar rollercoaster. This activates insulin, which quickly lowers glucose levels, converting it to fat. This leads to the so-called sugar crash, which aside from weight gain, makes you tired, worsens your mood, and increases your appetite. Not all carbs are simple and refined though. It is recommended to substitute them with complex carbs, which occur in fruits and vegetables, and whole-grain products. Those complex carbs often contain fiber as well, which is helpful for weight loss.
Dietary Makeover For Stomach Weight Gain
You can’t lose weight just in the stomach, but the best path to losing weight overall is to ditch unhealthy foods and to eat a nutritious diet filled with fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes. When you’re cleaning up your diet, sugary drinks like sodas and teas sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup should be the first to go, because they have a direct link to belly fat, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation in 2009. Swap these beverages for water, either plain or sparkling, flavored with fresh lemon, lime or berries.
Lose the refined grains — “white” foods like bread, rolls and pasta — from your diet, too, to shed weight in the stomach. Substitute whole grains such as whole wheat bread and pasta, brown rice, millet and oatmeal, which are associated with reduced visceral abdominal fat, researchers reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2010.
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You’re Doing The Wrong Exercises
Those sit-ups arent enough. You also need weight training to build muscle. More muscle means more calorie burning.
That said, if you can only do one exercise, choose aerobic exercise . It works best for burning fat. Make it a habit, and slowly ratchet up the intensity to get the results youre after.
What Areas Are More Prone To Gaining Weight
According to our experts, the reason you gain weight so rapidly in your midsection and not in, say, your calves and forearms is because the adipocytes , which are found throughout the body, are more plentiful in the hips, butt, stomach, and thigh area for women and stomach for men. Women may be more prone to fat along their hips, thighs, butt, and stomach because of something F-Factor creator Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD, and best-selling author of The F-Factor Diet, calls “sex-specific fat,” or stubborn fat that “serves as an energy reserve for the demands of pregnancy and lactation. It is typically the last place you will lose weight, as your body wants to save it to help fuel the demands of childbearing,” she explains.
For men, there is no “evolutionary purpose” for harboring belly fat, also known as visceral fat, a dangerous type of fat that envelopes your organs and is linked to metabolic disease, she says. The upside: Zuckerbrot says that, overall, it’s the easiest type of fat to lose because it breaks down more quickly. Research shows that fiber intake can help to reduce this dangerous visceral fat.
Wheeler says that genetics also play a large role in how we gain fat and claims that there are four primary patterns of fat storage:
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Processed Foods Can Lead To Inflammation
We’re surrounded by heavily processed foods at the grocery store, our favorite restaurants, coffee shops, and staff lounges at work. Registered dietitian Rachel Fine, RD told INSIDER that a high intake of heavily processed foods, especially those high in high-fructose containing sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup, can cause weight gain in your stomach.
In addition to highly processed sugars like high fructose corn syrup, Fine said trans fats could also increase inflammation that may drive insulin resistance and the accumulation of belly fat.
Noisy Abdomen / Rumbling
A noisy gut does not always mean youre hungry. There may be other reasons why your stomach is churning and gurgling. The digestive system causes belly noises, known as borborygmi when fluids or air moves around your small and large intestines.
Borborygmi Definition: The term for the gurgling or rumbling noises made by the movement of gas and fluids in the intestines. During the process called peristalsis, the small intestine and stomach muscles contract and move contents forward in your gastrointestinal tract. These gas noises in stomach can occur both when the stomach is empty and when its full.
Peristalsis Definition: A series of wave-like contraction and relaxation of stomach muscles. Two hours after the stomach contents are emptied, the brain signals the digestive muscles to begin peristalsis again. The belly noises and contractions of an empty stomach can make you hungry. A noisy gut may be louder in this case because the intestines and stomach are empty the stomach noises and pain are not muffled. Take note that you may swallow a lot of air because of eating too fast or talking while eating. This can lead you to have louder stomach rumbles after eating.
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I Carry Most Of My Weight In My Stomach Is There Such A Thing As Spot Reducing
The way fat is distributed in the body is determined by genetics. Its also affected by hormones, including chronic exposure to the stress hormone cortisol. Individuals who are chronically stressed tend to deposit more fat in the tummy area above the waist .
Numerous studies have shown that its not possible to spot reduce,or lose weight just in one particular problem area. One interesting study of men trying to flatten their stomachs compared three groups one that primarily did sit-ups, a second group that did aerobic exercise, and a third group that dieted. The dieting group lost the most inches around the waist, followed by the aerobic group, with the sit-up group in last. We recommend a combination of all with particular emphasis on dietary changes.
Fat and muscle are two different kinds of tissue. Exercise will not change fat into muscle or the lack of exercise change muscle into fat. Physical exercise can only tone or increase muscle tissue. To reduce the amount of unwanted fat in certain areas of your body, you must reduce the size of the existing fat cells in these areas. When exercising, fat is released from various fat storage cells throughout the body, not just one area, and converted into energy used by the muscles.
Why Lower Stomach Fat Is So Hard To Get Rid Of
When it comes to losing fat, there are certain areas that can seem particularly tough to eradicate.
And for many men, one of the most challenging areas is their lower stomach fat. For women, the hardest areas tend to be around the hips, butt, and thighs. So, what causes these areas of fat to be so stubborn and hard to eradicate?
In this article, Im going to reveal why fat from certain areas of your body, like your lower stomach, hips, butt, and thighs, can seem tougher to lose than others, and some of the most effective tactics that you can use to lose it.
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You’re Doing The Wrong Type Of Workout
Listen up here. “Only doing abdominal-focused workouts, like crunches, won’t help,” Luke emphasises Belly fat is simply where your body stores energy, so you need to take a whole-body approach to tackle it, he reckons. Try HIIT training he says it’s “a great way to burn fat and get your heart rate up”, with squats, burpees and treadmill sprints all being examples of moves to try.
Emily agrees, saying that, in its simplest form, training abs alone, won’t get you abs. “Focus on the staple movements and progressively getting stronger at them over time. I’m talking about your planks, crunches, twists, holds and v-ups.”
She also points out that compound movements such as squats, deadlifts, overhead press and pull-ups are all effective at activating and working your core. Her final two cents on it? “Moving your body in a way that feels good, and keeps you moving consistently.” Hear, hear.
You’re Consuming Too Much Sugar
“If your diet consists of lots of sports drinks, sugar-sweetened drinks like fizzy coca cola and flavoured waters, or sugary foods like chocolate and cakes, it will make losing weight harder,” Dr Luke reckons. He also explains that while whole fruits and vegetables are undoubtedly good for you, they can also sometimes cause weight gain if you eat too much, as they have high levels of natural sugars in them. “Low-fat food options might have high amounts of added sugar in there too, so make sure to check the food label”, he warns.
Plus, cutting back on the amount of simple carbohydrates you eat, like pasta and bread, and substituting for healthier alternatives, like courgetti, could help with weight loss. “It wont be easy, but by dropping your overall carbohydrate intake , you will have the best chance of tackling your belly fat,” shares Dr Luke.
However, Emily has a slightly different take on this one. She explains that, while Dr Luke isn’t wrong in saying that, nutritionally speaking, the above foods aren’t as nutritionally-dense, they won’t ultimately affect weight loss if you’re still maintaining a calorie deficit. “I’m a big believer that you don’t need to cut out foods or become consumed with ‘good’ and ‘bad’ labels when it comes to your nutrition,” she shares.
See, you don’t have to cut out the foods you love. It’s all about moderation.
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Undigested Carbohydrates Can Cause You To Look Pregnant When You Are Not
Here we will talk about one more cause that can make you look pregnant even though you are not. Sometimes you may have a big belly because of the undigested carbohydrates. Some people usually have a difficult time digesting specific types of carbohydrates which are commonly referred to as FODMAPS or Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-Saccharides and Polyols. These FODMAPS are present in certain fruits, vegetables, artificial sweeteners, fructose insulin fiber, dairy and in wheat. These types of carbohydrates are difficult to break down and in case they make their way in partially digested or an undigested manner through your digestive tract then they may cause a lot of problems which include pain and bloating of the stomach. So, you may look pregnant even without being so if you have undigested carbohydrates.
Solutions: Avoid taking foods that contain undigested carbohydrates and which can bloat your stomach or make you look pregnant even without your pregnancy.
You’re Not Lifting Weights
While bodyweight resistance training is highly effective, pumping a little iron pays dividends when it comes to blasting belly fat.
A few weight training sessions a week will set you on a path for a speedier metabolism, as according to the NHS muscle burns more calories than fat, thus the more muscle you have, the more fat you torch, and the benefits continue after youve left the gym too, as resting metabolic rate improves, meaning that you burn more calories throughout the day.
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Changing Fat Cell Type
One particular area of menopausal weight gain popped up in my search for answers recently: Changing fat cell type.
According to the two 2015 studies found, bone marrow in a womans body is more apt to produce cell-derived fat cells than in a mans body. Thats not good news for us.
Science just so happens to suggest that estrogen is the main culprit behind this fact because of the fat cells production drastically increasing with age.
The fat cells are more common in a womans body plus a womans age increases production that process equals weight gain for us.
As my research on the changing fat cell type went on, I found that the specific bone marrow produced cell, in turn, produces cytokines. Whats worse is that cytokines inhibit insulin sensitivity almost automatically, increasing the risk for Type II diabetes and additional weight gain.
What Is Stubborn Fat Anyway
While you may have fat all over different parts of your body, it isnt all the same.
As you lose weight, most people find that they tend to lose it from certain areas much more quickly than from others.
For guys, it tends to be hardest to lose lower stomach fat and lower back fat, whereas it is easier to lose fat from the arms, chest, and legs.
For women, the hardest areas tend to be around the hips, butt, and thighs.
Now, many people will try to reduce fat from these areas using targeted exercises.
So, in the case of lower stomach fat, this might involve doing lots of hanging leg raises or leg lifts.
Unfortunately, you arent going to reduce the fat in these areas by doing a whole bunch of targeted exercises
This is the myth of spot reduction, which is the mistaken idea that you can reduce fat from a specific area.
However, this simply isnt the case, as Ive
Instead, when your body loses fat, it does so in a certain order that you cant easily change.
This is because the fat in different areas of your body is actually physiologically different meaning that it is more difficult for your body to properly mobilize and burn fat from these stubborn areas.
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You’re Eating Too Much Sugar
It’s not new information that sweet treats can result in belly fat.
“A high sugar diet can cause belly fat to stick fast even if youre restricting calories and trying to lose weight, thought excessive calorie restriction isnt something I would recommend,” says Libby.
To make a serious impact on your belly fat, cutting out sugar spikes is key, says Dr Michael Mosley, founder of The Fast 800 Diet. “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.
“Limit your intake of any food or drink containing more than five per cent sugar to no more than twice a week,” Dr Mosley advises. This includes sweet fruits such as mango and pineapple and sugary smoothies and juices, he continues. Likewise, replace processed carbs such as white bread, chips and pasta with slow-release energy sources, such as brown rice or quinoa.
“Two things will surprise you: the amount of sugar you were consuming unawares and the speed at which your belly fat will begin to tame itself when you cut it out,” says Dr Mosley.
Your ‘healthy’ Protein Shake Is Making You Put On Weight
There’s something that feels ever so virtuous about sipping on a protein shake post-workout to supercharge your efforts, but it could be doing you more harm than good.
“Protein powders that contain added sugars can drastically increase your daily calorie intake without you even realising,” warns Shivraj Bassi, founder of supplement brand Innermost. Look at the sugar content in your protein powder to make sure it’s not a secret saboteur.
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Hormonal Changes Can Make You Gain Weight In Stomach Area Only Causing You To Look Pregnant When You Are Not
There can also be some hormonal causes for the bloating of your stomach. You may have a lower tummy bloat because of changes in hormones especially after baby birth, or if you have been using birth control pills for long etc. A bloated stomach can be mostly seen in the menopausal women because a lot of hormonal changes occur with menopause and that can be the culprit. Estrogen hormone plays a big role here. This hormone helps in water retention that occurs naturally as a part of menstruation cycle in women. However, as the estrogen hormone level comes down during or after menopause there is also a reduction in retention of water and this leads to bloating. Moreover, estrogen also helps in bile production that helps is proper digestion. However as there is a reduction in estrogen production after menopause, the bile production also reduces and so also decreases the proper functioning of digestive system. This leads to constipation and can be another reason for a bloated stomach and make you look pregnant without you actually being so.