Getting rid of belly fat - is that even possible?
Many people perceive their stomach as a problem area - and if you explicitly want to get rid of belly fat, it is not that easy. It is much more likely that you will also lose fat in parts of the body that you may not want to, such as your buttocks or thighs. Nevertheless, you don't have to bury your dream of a well-formed, flat stomach: With a targeted diet, certain exercises, and discipline, it is basically already possible to get rid of belly fat.
Why is belly fat so unhealthy?
There are two types of adipose tissue:
- Subcutaneous fat: The subcutaneous fat describes the subcutaneous fatty tissue and has, among other things, the task of storing energy and thus keeping us warm. For example, it is found on the thighs and buttocks and is less harmful than belly fat.
- Visceral fat: Visceral fat, i.e. belly fat, has a rather bad reputation. Because it accumulates around the organs and ensures that certain messenger substances are released that have negative effects on us. For example, they cause increased blood pressure and increased insulin secretion, which can trigger inflammation. Therefore, visceral fat increases the risk of various diseases such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, thrombosis, arteriosclerosis, cancer, and Alzheimer's.
Getting rid of belly fat: who does it actually affect?
Sounds strange, but: In fact, men struggle with belly fat more often than women. This is due to the hormone testosterone - it ensures that more fat is stored in the stomach. In women, due to the hormone estrogen, the fat sits more on the buttocks and thighs. But: During the menopause, the production of estrogen slowly decreases - then women also tend to develop fat on the stomach.
But there are also other causes of increased belly fat:
- Too little movement
- Certain medications
- Genetic predisposition
- Unhealthy diet
- Various diseases that affect e.g. metabolism (e.g. hypothyroidism )
How Much Belly Fat is Too Much?
Through various studies, researchers have found out which waist circumference can be harmful to men and women:
- Women: From 80 centimeters one speaks of unhealthy waist circumference, from 88 centimeters the belly fat is considered dangerous and significantly increases the risk of illness.
- Men: Abdominal circumference from 94 centimeters is unhealthy, abdominal fat from 102 centimeters is considered dangerous.
Getting rid of belly fat: the right building blocks for your diet
Unfortunately, it doesn't help: If your stomach is your problem area, you can't avoid adjusting your diet if you want to get rid of belly fat. The main thing is to rely on a good mix of healthy foods. This includes:
- Complex carbohydrates (e.g. in whole grain products, legumes, vegetables, potatoes, quinoa),
- healthy fats (especially unsaturated fatty acids, e.g. in vegetable oils such as olive oil, avocados, nuts, and fish),
- many proteins (from protein sources such as meat, milk, dairy products, and eggs)
- and vitamins and trace elements from fruits and vegetables.
Training helps against belly fat
Unfortunately, even if you can lose weight without exercising, workouts are almost inevitable to get rid of belly fat. Basically, any kind of movement is good. You must have fun doing it - that keeps your motivation high and unfortunately, nothing works without regular exercises. A mixture of strength and endurance training is ideal so that different muscle groups are always used. Tip: try your hand at HIIT. The High Intense Interval Training really brings fat-burning to full speed and you can celebrate real success in just a short time.
Which exercises are best for reducing belly fat?
In particular, targeted exercises for the abdomen help build muscles and thus burn belly fat. But training that engages the whole body is also useful. The following exercises, for example, are good:
- Pelvic raises
What role does stress play in overweight and belly fat
We all know it: as soon as it gets a little more stressful in the office or at home, we reach for chocolate and thus increase our risk of obesity. And the constant snacking is not the only problem: When we are under stress, the hormone cortisol is released, which also supports the storage of belly fat.
Completely relaxed body thanks to yoga and Co.
So that you can prevent this effect for more belly fat, you should definitely make sure to incorporate recovery phases in everyday life. How exactly they look varies from person to person: Some people just want to curl up in a quiet corner with a book and read, while others prefer to sit down with their best friend for a chat. If you want to know what else can help, take a look at our article on reducing stress. Numerous studies also show that yoga, meditation, and autogenic training are particularly effective against stress.
Getting Rid of Belly Fat: Beware of These Mistakes
Even if we take to heart various tips that should help us lose weight on the stomach and get our body in shape, sometimes it still doesn't work out properly. So that you can really lose fat, you should avoid the following mistakes:
- You make sure to eat healthily, but generally, you still eat too much: Losing fat and losing weight only works if you take in less energy than you use. It is best to record everything you eat with the appropriate number of calories in a food diary.
- You eat after exercising: You often have the feeling that you can treat yourself to something once you've gotten through training. Beware of this error! In the worst case, this will destroy the success of the training. If you want to eat something after exercising, it should be a small protein snack, e.g. B. a shake - this will help your muscles grow.