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Posts Tagged ‘belly fat’

PostHeaderIcon Belly Fat and Muscle, Part III of my series on what to do about belly bulge

Sometimes a large belly can be a sign of excess body fat. The best way to get rid of this body fat is to adapt to a fitness lifestyle of proper nutrition and exercise.  To burn of this fat, you must burn more calories than you are taking in. This doesn’t mean that you should starve yourself. Self starvation can lead to stress which can cause belly fat to be stored in the mid section. (for more on how stress can lead to belly fat check out this post: http://heroestraining.com/?p=417 Starvation can also lead to a lowered metabolism and an inability to burn fat. (for more on how to raise your metabolism, check out this post: http://heroestraining.com/?p=172

The best way to lose fat is to commit to a long term plan where you burn no more than two pounds a week (so your body does not starve) This means you have to burn more or eat around 300-600 calories less than you normally would in one day.  For more on calculating your caloric intake, check out this post: http://pediatrics.about.com/od/obesity/a/06_calpound_fat.htm

People often ask me why the fat is coming off every other part of their body except their belly. Genetics is one factor. Where we lose fat first is different for every individual. For example: I know that when I lose weight, I lose it in my feet first, then my face, then my arms, then my boobs, then my butt, then my thighs, then my belly. If you still have fat in your belly but you have lost weight everywhere else, you simply have to lose a bit more for the weight to come off your belly.

The other factors might be stress or bloating. Stress can ‘cause the body to hold excess fat specifically in the mid-section. To understand how this works check out my post on How Stress Leads to Belly Fat: http://heroestraining.com/?p=417

If you are abusing your digestive organs with stress or improper nutrition, you might have bloated digestive organs and this can cause a protrusion in your midsection. For more on this, check out my post on How Bloating Can Lead to a Large Belly: http://heroestraining.com/?p=421

Can strengthening exercises help flatten the midsection? It can up to a certain point. If you have fat surrounding your muscles, the muscle will not make the fat disappear. However, if you lack the muscles that wrap around your waste like a corset in order to hold your internal organs in, toning the core will help you gain a more streamlined appearance.

A weak abdominal region will cause bad posture that will make your back arch and your belly protrude forward. A weak back will cause your spine to hunch, making you look tired, old or insecure.

Movements that help strengthen the core include: Planking, mountain climbers, leg lifts, dead lifts, crunches, sit ups, back extensions, pilates and balancing.

On top of having wash board abs, having a strong core will build beautiful posture. It will also help to prevent injuries and help you move more efficiently in any athletic endeavor.

PostHeaderIcon How Bloating can lead to a Large Belly, Part II of my series on what to do about belly bulge

The human gastrointestinal tract is over 30 feet long. When it is not functioning properly, along with your digestive organs, this can lead to swelling and bloating in the abdominal region.

Swelling can be caused by overeating, stress, food sensitivities or allergies, poor nutrition, gastrointestinal disorders; or eating too much salt, sugar or msg.

On overeating: When you gorge yourself with food, you are taking in more than your body has time to digest. This can throw your digestive system out of whack and lead to bloating. Remember to eat slowly, as it takes time for the body to realize when it is full. Once you are full, stop eating. Eating too fast can also cause air to build in the digestive organs which can lead to excess gas.

On Stress: As I mentioned in my earlier blog, “How Stress Leads to Belly Fat”  (http://heroestraining.com/?p=417)  when we are under stress, we release certain hormones in our body to help us cope. One of these hormones is ephinephrine which relaxes your digestive organs so blood can go to other parts of the body in case you need to run or fight. If there is food in your body, it stops digesting and throws off your system. This can lead to bloating and other problems. So stress can lead to bloating as well as belly fat? That’s one round midsection! Also, the visceral fat that is stored in the belly section due to stress can slow down the digestive process, leading to more bloating.

Blog Update: Recent research on stress had shown that our attitude towards life’s stressors is more important in determining health. To read up on this new data, click here: Great News About Stress

Poor nutrition: This is the number one cause of belly bloating and belly fat. How do you know if you have poor nutrition? Check out the new USDA food plate here:  http://heroestraining.com/?p=385

Notice that fruits and vegetables take up half of an entire plate. This means that half of the food that you eat should be whole fruits and vegetables. These foods contain fiber, enzymes, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals that are necessary to aid in digestion. These nutrients help to maintain a healthy probiotic flora in the gut. Without these nutrients, your body will have a very hard time digesting. Lack of proper nutrition can lead to very serious gastrointestinal problems over time. Do you keep processed or white bread or rice in your home? Switch to whole grain. Processed grains have been stripped of fiber, vitamins and nutrients necessary for proper digestion. This is why people who eat an excess of processed foods tend towards bloating. Make sure you are drinking enough water. Water is a vital nutrient for health. It also plays a huge role in digestion. Dehydration can lead to water retention and even more bloating. Try to eat from all food groups in the right proportions as we need the nutrients from every group for a well functioning system.

On Gastrointestinal Disorders: Gastrointestinal disorders, usually a result of improper nutrition can include heartburn, reflux, and constipation. These can also be signs of more serious diseases such as crohn’s disease or cancer in the digestive organs, to name a few. The side effect of these diseases is bloating and swelling of the abdominal region.

Salt, sugar and MSG are solvents: Their molecular structure absorbs water. This leads to dehydration and more bloating. Avoid these chemicals in excess.

Food sensitivities such as lactose or gluten intolerance can lead to bloating: These sensitivities come from the body’s inability to digest components of a certain food such as the lactose in milk or the gluten in certain grains. You can usually tell if you are sensitive to these foods if eating them leads to bloating, constipation or diarrhea. Food allergies can also lead to bloating. If you suspect you might have this problem, but you are not sure which food ‘causes it, you can check with your doctor and get yourself tested.

Exercise can help relieve bloating: Take light walks after a meal to help stimulate the immune system and help the body circulate. Yoga poses, deep breathing and other movements help to massage the internal and digestive organs. This helps with detoxification and better functioning.

For more on how to prevent belly fat and exercises for a smooth midsection, check out this post: http://heroestraining.com/?p=428

By Rhea Morales