7 Truths and Falsehoods to Remove Belly Fat That You Need to Know
One of the biggest complaints I hear from clients is that they are frustrated with the increase in pounds in their belly. And repeatedly, my clients express a deep desire to regain control of the “middle section”, but are confused about the best way to do it. Well, I’m here to relieve your frustration by breaking down what works and what does not work.
Losing belly fat – Reality vs Fiction:
1. With exercise, you can try to lose weight in a specific area
This is totally false. Abdominal exercises will help tone your belly. And for that reason, you will be grateful to have done them once you started losing weight. However, the part of the body to which the exercise is directed would not determine where your body loses fat first. So it is possible that you may be doing a lot of abdominal work, and notice the weight loss on your face.
I still recommend focusing on your abs in your exercise routine, because you will be left with toned-looking abs once you lose weight. But do not expect to be able to achieve weight loss in your abdominal area just by doing sit-ups.
2. It must specifically reduce the consumption of sugar
The sugar and refined carbohydrates (bread, bagels, pasta, crackers) are foods to avoid when trying to reduce abdominal fat. These foods cause an increase in the fat-creating hormone: insulin. When there is too much insulin, fat begins to accumulate in the stomach area.
Reduce these problematic foods to control insulin and decrease the storage of fat in the abdomen. But do not get frustrated if this does not happen overnight. There will probably be a waiting period between the time you reduce the sugar and the time you begin to see the results. Once the insulin is unbalanced, the body takes time to heal and return to balance. But once you regain your balance, you should start seeing the results.
3. Women’s hormones make them fatten their bellies as they get older
Women older than a certain age will probably see an increase in abdominal fat. As women stop producing estrogen in their ovaries, their bodies often redistribute the weight from the hips and thighs to the belly. This loss of estrogen can also make the body more likely to gain weight in general.
This is because the presence of estrogen in younger women helps the energy of food to become muscle. When the estrogen goes down, less energy from the food is directed to the muscles, and a higher percentage of energy is converted into belly fat.
Also, because fat cells are one of the remaining sources of estrogen production for menopausal women, fat stores are likely to increase to help the body produce more estrogen. Many women feel so frustrated during this time that they go for hormone therapy in hopes of losing belly fat.
My recommendation is that instead, I try to make some more natural choices first. Check with your doctor to see if herbs like Black Cimicifuga, Dong Quai or Chasteberry may be right for you. And of course, you should go towards a positive diet and exercise regime as we get older.
4. Taking pills for swelling and water retention is a good way
Many people feel that water or extra gas retention is a significant contributor to the expansion of their belly. And although this may be the case, relieving the swelling without understanding the root cause of the problem is like putting a plaster on an exploding prey. Because, the same imbalances that are causing inflammation, gas and water retention can also be imbalances that lead to extra weight.
There are many reasons why someone may be bloated or retain water, and some are only temporary (such as a woman’s monthly cycle). But if there is long-term swelling, this is an indication that there is something physically wrong, that needs to be treated.
I would recommend, at least, an elimination diet (a temporary elimination of foods like dairy, wheat and eggs, to see if there is a relief of symptoms in the body), as well as supplementing an excellent probiotic.
5. Eating fat can lead to a direct increase in belly fat
Although eating fried foods is not a good option, many good sources of fat are very useful when it comes to losing abdominal fat. Some examples are coconut, avocado, pumpkin, sesame, chia and hemp seeds, as well as nuts such as walnuts, almonds and cashews. Remember how I mentioned that sugar causes the body to produce too much of the fat-building hormone – insulin? Well, dietary fat has the opposite impact of sugar on insulin.
When fat is eaten with something more sugary, it will reduce the effect of insulin from what is eaten. The fat will also help you feel satisfied after a meal, which will prevent you from robbing the pantry late at night.
I lost my last 3 kilos making only one change. I started reading all the labels to eliminate sugar from my diet while increasing my consumption of healthy fats. Good fats are your friend to lose weight.
6. Substitution of sugar by artificial sweeteners
This is crazy. Many studies have shown that although artificial sweeteners have no calories, the brain still interprets its sweetness as sugar. Therefore, when you eat something that is artificially sweetened, the mind directs the body to secrete insulin in the same way as when you eat sugar. Therefore, although technically you are saving calories, the savings are lost because the effect of insulin is putting your body in fat storage mode.
And of course, as with sugar, the more artificial sweeteners are consumed, the more fat will accumulate in the abdominal area. There are better ways to enjoy something sweet. But substituting sugar with artificial sweeteners would not help you with your goals of losing belly fat.
7. Fish oil helps reduce belly fat
Fish is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids that promote health. And while multiple studies are demonstrating the positive effects of omega-3s on the heart, more recent research shows that they can also help the body burn fat. Fish oil helps improve insulin levels by making the body more sensitive to insulin. And as we have already discussed, better insulin levels will lead to less belly fat.
One study gave the subjects fish oil or safflower oil during the trials. The group that was given fish oil lost weight and gained weight, while the safflower group saw no improvement. Therefore, although I do not think that consuming omega-3 alone solves your stomach problems, eating fish or supplementing it with fish oil can be an excellent addition to your weight loss regimen. Just be sure to choose options with low mercury content!
If you have been struggling with belly fat, there is no magic fix. If someone promises you one, you should run to the other side. A reduction of sugar and refined carbohydrates, a healthy exercise routine, supplements when necessary, and a slow transformation of habits is the way to go. The fact that you have struggled for years with extra weight in your belly does not mean you have lost hope. It is simply a matter of separating reality from fiction, to get the most out of your weight loss efforts.