This is how you get rid of your belly fat

If there are bacon rolls lined up around the middle of the body, it doesn’t just look ugly. Belly fat is also dangerous. The best way to get rid of your fat

When it comes to difficult decisions, we should listen to him so that he can show us the right way with a good feeling: Our guts are trusted with a lot. Often, however, a lot was expected, especially during the corona pandemic: fitness studios were closed for a long time, and the temptation was great to literally swallow the stress in the home office. In the meantime, trousers or skirts are stretching, and there is no longer any question of feel-good weight.

“Gaining weight in the abdomen in particular is by no means just an aesthetic problem,” says Professor Anja Bosy-Westphal, President of the German Society for Nutritional Medicine. “We now know that there are different types of fat. For your health, the point on the body where fat is stored is crucial. ”Although it is annoying on the buttocks and thighs, it is rather harmless.

“More worrying is the fat on the abdomen: the subcutaneous fat under the skin and the visceral fat around the internal organs. These fat deposits increase the risk of fatty liver disease, ”says Bosy-Westphal, head of the Institute for Human Nutrition at the University of Kiel. For a long time, the visceral fat in particular, which is freely located in the abdominal cavity, had a significantly poorer reputation. “It is now clear that the subcutaneous fat tissue also has a very unfavorable effect on the fat content of the liver and the risk of diabetes.”

What does belly fat do in the body

However, unnoticed inflammatory processes in the body, also known as “silent inflammations”, are ascribed to visceral fat in particular. Sick people often feel weak or suffer from joint problems and insomnia because the immune system is weakened by the fight against permanent inflammation.

In addition, too much belly fat stimulates the release of messenger substances that increase blood pressure and have a negative effect on blood fat values ​​and blood sugar levels. The result: As the stomach grows, the risk of cardiovascular diseases, i.e. arteriosclerosis , heart attacks and strokes, increases, as does diabetes mellitus.

How Much Belly Fat is Risky?

How do you know how things are going with your own belly fat? At least not just in terms of body weight and body mass index ( BMI ), for which body weight and height are put in relation. It does not provide any information about the amount and distribution of fat in the body. For example, a sporty, muscular man scores significantly worse on the BMI than a rather gaunt, less active man with a belly base.

Surprisingly, slim people in particular often have too much visceral fat in them. With these “thin thicknesses”, the problem is often noticed by derailed blood lipid values ​​(triglycerides) as part of a blood test. “A comprehensive health check-up or a simple measuring tape provide more security,” explains Bosy-Westphal. To measure the waist circumference, place the tape in the middle between the lower costal arch and the iliac crest while standing and measure after exhaling. The green light is given to women under 80 centimeters and men under 94.

The question still arises as to why our stomach is actually so susceptible to debauchery. “The decisive factors are malnutrition and lack of exercise. But genes, hormones and age also play a role, ”summarizes nutritionist Bosy-Westphal. For example, as early as the 30th birthday, muscles are increasingly reduced and body fat is built up.

Where does the belly fat come from?

While the stomach tends to show up as a problem area in men quite early on, many women lose their slim waist at the latest by the menopause: the new hormone ratios also change their fat distribution. At the same time, the metabolism slows down and the energy requirement drops.

Anyone who continues to eat as before will inexorably become rounder. Especially if you snacks and eats high in carbohydrates, i.e. you like to eat sweet drinks and snacks, potatoes, bread, rice and pasta. They don’t just bring calories. Your basic building block sugar must also be transported from the blood into the cells. To do this, the pancreas has to secrete the blood sugar lowering hormone insulin.

Continuous stress increases the risk of insulin resistance, which means that the body no longer reacts properly to the insulin. At the same time, however, this slows down fat burning. Bosy-Westphal recommends eating high- protein and high-fiber foods with fats from healthy sources. ” Carbohydrates are not always bad, but they should be consumed especially in the whole grain variant.”

Get to grips with belly fat

The best way to reduce belly fat is through a change in diet and more exercise in everyday life. “Losing weight just on the stomach doesn’t work. Such promises are pure marketing “, says the sports scientist Dr. Ellen Freiberger from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. Nobody can specifically break down fat in just one place. The energy is obtained from all fat deposits, including those on the stomach.

The good news: Visceral fat thins out quickly when your sugar and processed carbohydrate intake is cut back. Such an adapted diet has proven to be more effective than saving fat.

Targeted training

Physical activity is essential. Movement mobilizes the fat on the stomach faster than the “visible” fat. Freiberger advocates targeted training: “Endurance training in particular has not only physical but also emotional effects. Endorphins are released and self-confidence is built up. ”Well-trained abdominal muscles also tighten the stomach.

A study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine highlights another risk for belly fat: stress. When tense, the adrenal glands produce more of the stress hormone cortisol , which promotes the build-up of abdominal fat. There are very different programs to reduce stress: one swears by working out physically, the other finds peace with yoga. One thing is certain: a lot helps a lot. As with food, of course, to a healthy extent.

Eat not less, but differently

With these small changes, losing weight will be easier:

  • Lentils, yummy! Protein acts like a natural appetite suppressant. Ideal: legumes, nuts, dairy products, lean meat.
  • Always happy: Tomatoes & Co. Vegetables add volume with few calories. Plus fiber. Eat at least 400 grams of greens a day!
  • Away from snacking: Do not eat anything for at least twelve, better 16 hours straight. Eliminate between meals.
  • Drink sugar-free: Sugar quickly floods the blood from sweet drinks – bad for your weight. Better: water, fruit and herbal teas, pure coffee.
  • Little bread in the evening. Depending on the time of day, the same food has a different effect on the body. Eat little and low-carbohydrate food in the evening to avoid insulin peaks.

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