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Belly Fat: The Harmful Effects and Ways to Lose It

Belly fat is a real issue. While it mostly bothers us for reasons related to ideal body image, belly fat is undoubtedly harmful to our health. 

There are several factors that contribute to excess abdominal fat, including unhealthy eating habits, a sedentary lifestyle, and stress. 

To understand its harmful effects, you must first understand that there are two types of belly fat. 

The types of belly fat

The first type of belly fat is visceral fat which surrounds the organs. The second type is subcutaneous fat which is found right beneath the skin. Visceral fat produces more toxic substances than subcutaneous fat. Thus, it is more dangerous. 

Various research has suggested that visceral fat is a major risk factor for heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, liver damage, and other health conditions. 

Read More 5 Cholesterol-Lowering Foods That Also Taste Great

How to get rid of belly fat 

Okay, now we all agree that belly fat is not just a matter of not fitting nicely into our skinny jeans, let’s make some lifestyle changes to avoid the health risks of belly fat. Here are our top four science-backed tips that we believe are not hard to implement. 

  • Eat more protein! 

Protein is an essential nutrient for weight loss, or in this case, to get rid of belly fat. Basically, consuming protein-rich foods can boost your metabolism as your body needs more energy to digest foods high in protein. 

Plus, according to a report in the Cell Metabolism in 2006, researchers have found that a higher protein diet increases the release of the hormone peptide YY (PYY). This hormone is responsible for the feeling of fullness. In other words, protein-rich foods, such as lean meat, fish, eggs, and dairy, can help you feel full while eating less. 

  • Cut back on sugar! 

Do you need a reminder of why sugar is bad for your health? The National Health Service (UK) states that consuming too much sugar can contribute to people having too many calories, which can lead to weight gain, increasing your risk of heart disease, certain types of cancers, and type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, various studies have proven that too much sugar increases abdominal and liver fat. 

Now we have refreshed your memory of why to avoid sugar, be mindful that liquid sugar or sugar-sweetened drinks are even worse. A study published in the medical journal The Lancet in 2001 indicated that with every additional daily serving of sugar-sweetened drinks, children were 60% more likely to develop obesity. 

So, replace your fruit juices, sports drinks, sodas, and other sugary drinks with sugar-free ones or water. You can thank yourself once you start getting rid of your belly fat. 

  • Add more fiber to your diet! 

A study published in Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that consuming 30 grams of fiber daily can help you lose weight, aside from other health benefits. Fiber slows the speed of food moving through your digestive system, which makes you feel full for longer. 

That is how fiber can help you eat less. So, to get rid of your belly fat, start eating more plant foods, such as vegetables, fruits, berries, and legumes today! 

  • Stay active! 

Experts have suggested that aerobic exercise is effective in reducing abdominal fat. Think walking, running, and swimming! And if you think the excess of abdominal fat you are experiencing is related to physical inactivity, make sure to fix your sedentary lifestyle too! 

May 2023 be a happier and healthier year for you in all ways. But if you ever need medical care, our English-speaking team at Prime Plus Medical in Canggu is ready to assist you 24/7.

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