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How to Lose Belly Fat Without Exercise - Natural and Science-based Approach


  • How to Lose Belly Fat Without Exercise - Natural and Science-based Approach

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    It is widely believed that to lose belly fat, you simply need to do as many abs exercises as possible.

    It's safe to say that this will definitely help build strong abs... which, however, no one will be able to evaluate until you will not remove fat from your belly.

    Strong abdominal muscles not only create an attractive appearance, improve your self-esteem. They also stabilize the spine, relieving stress and reducing the likelihood of back pain, and act as an internal corset that encloses organs, preventing them from moving freely.

    In general, a strong muscular frame makes everyday movement and performing any physical actions easier.

    I am sure that I will not be very wrong if I say that most of us are not interested in the useful functions of the abdominal press. Isn't it? The value is.. appearance.

    OK. Let's talk about appearance.

    Read on and find out how to get rid of belly fat and if it is possible with the help of targeted physical exercises.

    Why do we need to remove belly fat?

    There are two main types of fat in the human body - subcutaneous and internal. They are used to perform various metabolic functions, not all of which are beneficial to health.

    Subcutaneous fat is located on top of the muscles, just below the skin. When assessing the percentage of body fat by the thickness of a fold of skin, the thickness of this particular type of fat is measured. It is he who "shakes" when moving and "pushes" the skin that has lost its elasticity with cellulite.

    Internal fat envelops the organs and is more metabolically active than subcutaneous fat. This means that it is easier to burn.

    Interestingly, even with a normal body mass index and external slimness, a person can have an excess of internal fat, suffer from internal obesity. People with the same body mass index may have a wide range of internal fat levels.

    Although both body fat and subcutaneous fat have been scientifically cited as factors that increase the risk of health problems, [8] the detrimental effects of body fat are recognized as being stronger.

    Researchers call internal fat a "unique, pathogenic fat storage" [7] and recognize it as a factor that increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and heart attack.

    Scientists say that a greater accumulation of fat around the waist (and not the hips or anything else) is associated with a higher risk of diseases: for women, the waist size less than 35 inches (89 cm), for men - less than 40 inches (102 cm) is considered the upper limit of the norm.

    How to remove belly fat?

    Let's figure out why it's growing first

    Today, there are many methods of weight loss that do not involve the risk of harm to health. All of them, without exception, are built on two fundamental principles - limiting calories through special diets and increasing the level of physical activity.

    For what? To create an energy deficit in the body, in which stored fat is used for energy.

    What is the easiest way to do this: through sports or food restrictions?

    Definitely food. This is confirmed by numerous recent scientific studies. The more we eat, or rather the more we exceed the calories we need every day, the more they are stored as fat.

    The stomach is one of the energy stores provided by nature. Its large size is most often a hallmark of people with bad eating habits who eat too much.

    Remember a simple truth: the right diet is the way to success, regardless of the goals you set for yourself (weight loss, health, or building muscle in sports).

    The most common mistake in the diet of most modern people is too much useless fast food in the diet, fast carbohydrates (sweets, flour products), and not enough whole natural products.

    Here's what one of the famous nutritionists Kate Patton says about this:

    "Refined grains like white bread, crackers, and chips, as well as refined sugars in sweetened drinks and desserts increase inflammation in our bodies. Belly fat is associated with inflammation, so eating too many processed foods will hinder your ability to lose belly fat.”

    Interestingly, calories from different nutrients have different effects on the body.

    It is scientifically proven that calories from bread, refined sugar, and processed foods contribute to overeating, while whole (unprocessed) vegetables, protein foods, and fiber are "more satisfying" and reduce hunger. [1]

    Are spot exercises effective for loss of belly fat?

    The term “spot exercises " describes a common belief that it is possible to reduce the layer of fat in a certain area of the body by doing exercises aimed at this area.

    For example, "to lose belly fat" - you need to pump the press, "to lose weight in the hips" - to pump the muscles of the hips, "to lose weight in the arms" - arms. It's simple.

    Such exercises are clearly ineffective in reducing the amount of subcutaneous fat since they very poorly activate the overall metabolism in the body and very few calories are consumed for their performance.

    All they can do is create a visual effect of reducing fat because, with an increase in muscle mass, the terrain is better viewed, which creates a visual effect.

    Abs exercises for loss of belly fat do not work

    So, with the help of abs exercises, you can build strong abdominal muscles, but they will be hidden from your and prying eyes under layers of fat until you change your eating habits.

    To see the “cubes” of the press, you need to remove the top layer of fat.

    The given arguments and logic of reasoning are confirmed by scientific research. Scientists claim: spot exercises do not affect the distribution of subcutaneous fat in the abdomen or any other parts of the body [4,9].

    What exercises should I do to get rid of belly fat?

    To lose weight, it is not enough just to exercise.

    Of course, any kind of physical activity is good ... for health. When we talk about losing weight, the main goal is to maximize the internal metabolic rate (see below).

    Maybe running?

    Running is the traditional answer to the question about the best exercises for weight loss. However, scientists say that traditional cardiovascular exercises (running, cycling) are NOT very effective for losing weight and getting rid of fat in the abdominal area.

    Many researchers agree that the best exercises for weight loss is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which burns more fat than when performing the usual exercises at a moderate pace [5].

    At the same time, they require much less time to complete, which is important in this age of haste and chronic time constraints.

    When performing these exercises, a large number of muscles are involved, as well as significantly more oxygen is driven through the lungs and the body.

    The muscles burn three to five times more energy after a workout at rest than the adipose tissue. In other words, the metabolic rate increases at rest (the energy that is needed to ensure the internal functions of the body when it is completely at rest).

    What does it mean?

    The resting metabolic energy is several times higher than the energy spent on physical activity (approximately 70% of daily energy expenditures go to internal metabolism and only ~ 20% to physical activity).

    Therefore, increasing the resting metabolic rate is the most correct and most effective way to lose weight, including in the abdominal area.

    High-intensity interval training allows you to burn more calories and fat with less training time. It requires only 20 minutes a day, two or three times a week. The key principle of these workouts is intensity.

    How to eat right to lose belly fat: less carbohydrates, more.. fat

    A diet with a large amount of carbohydrates leads to a violation of the production of insulin and leptin.

    Insulin is a transport hormone that is directly responsible for storing excess calories in fat stores, including the stomach.

    Leptin also controls energy metabolism: a decrease in its concentration in the body leads to obesity.

    It plays no less important role than insulin in the development of diabetes and other chronic diseases. Our body may stop receiving leptin in the same way as insulin.

    How is it dangerous?

    An increase in the concentration of leptin in the blood is a signal for the body to stop eating food (satiety) and start burning fat.

    With the development of immunity to this hormone, the feeling of hunger is not satisfied, which manifests itself in an uncontrolled desire to eat, including sweets. More calories, more belly.

    What should I do?

    Limit the amount of carbohydrates in your diet as much as possible, especially sweets.

    When you reduce the amount of carbohydrates in your diet, you need to replace them with healthy fats: vegetable oils (olive, coconut), avocado, raw nuts, eggs.

    These fats, getting into the body, give a signal to start the mechanism of fat burning. When the body adapts to using fats as a primary source of energy, it will become very effective in destroying them.

    This is the principle of the ketogenic diet, which is recognized as healthy and one of the most effective for weight loss.

    If your body currently uses mostly carbohydrates as the main source of energy, then a sharp and significant increase in healthy fats in the diet may not provide benefits, but on the contrary, lead to weight gain if you do not give up carbs.

    Act gradually and remember that the key to this metabolic shift is a significant reduction in sugar in the diet: as long as you give the body sugar, it will use it first.

    5 healthy habits for weight loss

    In addition to the above recommendations, consider the following recommendations that are important for weight normalization:
    • Avoid stress

    Under stress, the adrenal cortex secretes cortisol - the "stress hormone". It is responsible for preparing the body for an emergency. In chronic stress, constantly elevated cortisol levels contribute to fat deposition, including in the abdominal area [6].
    • Drink water

    Water is one of the easiest ways to reduce stress and physical stress on the body. More than 60% of our body is made up of fluids. Our kidneys need water to remove toxins from the body. All our organs, including the brain, need water to function properly.

    Researchers have found that when the body is dehydrated, cortisol is "injected", which, as mentioned above, prepares the body for an extreme situation.

    Sufficient hydration increases the body's ability to cope with daily stress 11.

    It is very easy to determine whether you drink enough water by the color of your urine: it should be transparent, light color.
    • Full 8-hour sleep

    Getting a full night's sleep can help you control your stress. Lack of sleep affects the production of hormones and cortisol, in particular, reducing the ability to cope with daily stress. During sleep, the level of cortisol in the blood drops, the body recovers and recharges.

    Insufficient sleep leads to a significant 45% increase in cortisol levels [3], which compromises your immune function, leads to metabolic disorders, mental activity, and obesity.
    • Monitor your blood insulin levels

    The body produces insulin in response to carbohydrates. Insulin regulates blood sugar levels by delivering sugar inside cells for use as fuel, and to fat stores when there is a lot of sugar and the need for cells is low.

    Thus, a lot of sugar and a high level of insulin are ideal conditions for fat deposition.

    Cortisol also affects insulin levels: an increase in cortisol leads to a decrease in the body's sensitivity to insulin, increasing the risk of diabetes [10,11].

    Avoid stress and eat less sweets - this will reduce the level of insulin, and, accordingly, the amount of subcutaneous and internal fat.
    • Consume enough vitamin C

    High levels of vitamin C in the body make it more resistant to stress.

    Vitamin C also helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and, consequently, cortisol levels.

    If you eat a large variety of vegetables, you are likely to get enough vitamin C. Keep in mind that fresh and raw vegetables contain more vitamin C.

    Let’s sum up:
    • Even with a normal body mass index and external slimness, a person may have an excess of internal fat
    • Researchers call internal fat a "unique, pathogenic fat storage" and recognize it as a factor that increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and heart attack
    • The right diet is the way to success, regardless of the goals you set for yourself: weight loss, health, or building muscle in sports
    • Calories from different foods are not equal: carbohydrate-rich and processed foods promote overeating, and whole, natural foods contain fewer calories and are more satisfying
    • Abs exercises for loss of belly fat do not work
    • Traditional cardiovascular exercises (running, cycling) are one of the MOST ineffective for weight loss
    • Increasing the resting metabolic rate is the most correct and effective way to lose weight
    • The best type of weight loss training is high - intensity interval training
    • To lose belly fat, it is recommended to reduce the amount of “harmful " carbohydrates in the diet (primarily sweet), replacing them with healthy fats: vegetable oils (olive, coconut), avocado, raw nuts, eggs
    • Habits that are useful for weight loss: the ability to control stress, drinking enough water, proper sleep, controlling insulin levels, sufficient amounts of vitamin C

    Scientific sources

    1 David S. Ludwig, Joseph A. Majzoub. High Glycemic Index Foods, Overeating, and Obesity. Pediatrics vol.103. No.3, March 1999

    2 Tanja C. Adam Rebecca E. Hasson. Cortisol Is Negatively Associated with Insulin Sensitivity in Overweight Latino Youth. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 95, Issue 10, 1 October 2010, Pages 4729–4735

    3 Leproult R, Copinschi G. Sleep loss results in an elevation of cortisol levels the next evening. Sleep. 1997 Oct;20(10):865-70.

    4 Vispute SS, Smith JD. The effect of abdominal exercise on abdominal fat. J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Sep;25(9):2559-64

    5 Stephen H. Boutcher. High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss. Journal of Obesity. Volume 2011 (2011)

    6 Moyer AE, Rodin J. Stress-induced cortisol response and fat distribution in women. Obes Res. 1994 May;2(3):255-62.

    7 Fox CS, Massaro JM. Abdominal visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue compartments: association with metabolic risk factors in the Framingham Heart Study. Circulation. 2007 Jul 3;116(1):39-48. Epub 2007 Jun 18.

    8 Simona BertoliEmail author, Alessandro Leone. Metabolic correlates of subcutaneous and visceral abdominal fat measured by ultrasonography: a comparison with waist circumference. Nutrition Journal201615:2

    9 Frank I. Katch, Priscilla M. Clarkson. Effects of Sit up Exercise Training on Adipose Cell Size and Adiposity. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport. Volume 55, 1984 - Issue 3

    10 Michael Randall '12. The Physiology of Stress: Cortisol and the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis. Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science. February 3, 2011

    11 Nader Shakeri , Hojjattolah Nikbakht. The effect of different types of exercise on the testosterone/cortisol ratio in untrained young males. Annals of Biological Research, 2012, 3 (3):1452-1460

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