Also called visceral fat, belly fat is every woman’s nightmare! Not only does belly fat in general make it difficult to fit into your favorite dress, it also puts you at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other disorders. Belly fat can be split into two categories – upper and lower fat. The area above the belly button is called “upper belly” and the region below the button “lower belly.” Though it’s not possible to spot reduce fat from anywhere because you would have to go into a calorie deficit and lose overall weight; experts say, upper belly fat is relatively easy to lose when compared to lower. But before you take up the challenge and resolve to do 200 crunches in a day to trim down the waistline, it’s important to zero on the root cause of what causes belly fat, and weed them out one by one. In this post, we list down 12 Reasons That Cause Upper Belly Fat.
1. Wrong Dietary Habits: Love eating chips, sweet treats, and junk food? All these foods have loads of empty calories that pile up and get stored as fat in the body, mostly around the belly region. To lose belly fat and overall weight, you have to create a calorie deficit inside the body without starving or depriving the body of nutrition, and Rati Beauty diet on the Rati Beauty app helps you to lose inches as well as lower overall fat. Do download the app for more details.
2. Too Much Sugar: Excess sugar in the body, mainly fructose, is turned into fat by the body, and most of it gets stored around your belly. So, cut down sugar and if you have a sweet tooth, try these better alternatives (8 Best Healthy Replacements for Refined Sugar).
3. Too Much Transfat: Transfat is a complete no-no for people who want to lose weight, particularly upper belly fat because studies have revealed that transfat can actually mobilize fat from other areas of the body to the belly area! Transfat is artificially made from vegetable oils by a process called hydrogenation where hydrogen molecules are added to the oil. This is done to increase the shelf life of the oil, to solidy the oil, and make it more appetizing and suitable for frying. Margarine, frozen pizza, cakes, non-dairy creamer, etc. have transfat in them. Here’s a list of “15 Transfat Food Items you should Avoid to Lose Weight Effectively.”
4. You are a Couch Potato: Since “work from home” has become a norm in today’s world, there’s a sharp increase in the percentage of couch potatoes. We spend a majority of the time on the laptop/computer, hardly taking a break, and most of the time when we do actually move, it’s towards the kitchen to get food or a snack. Sitting is the new smoking and leads to build-up of overall fat deposits in the body. To lose belly fat, even though diet plays a bigger role, moving through the day to keep the fat-burning process kicking is essential. Get up from the couch every 30 minutes and take mini stroll around the room.
5. No Exercise at All: Even though crunches alone would not melt way the belly fat, exercise will help burn the excess fat when coupled with the right diet. Keep apart 30 to 40 minutes five times a week to burn away excess fat.
6. Sluggish Metabolism: A robust mechanism torches up excess calories in the body, and on the other hand, a sluggish metabolism stalls melting away of excess fat. Read how you can fix a broken metabolism here.
7. Alcohol Consumption: Have you heard about beer belly? Cutting down on alcohol can help a great deal in getting rid of belly fat.
8. Stress Belly: This would come as a surprise, stress can cause belly bulge even if you are within the normal BMI range and not exactly overweight! High levels of stress hormone cortisol causes buildup of fat around the abdominal area, so do find ways to de-stress, and stay positive.
9. Not Enough Sleep: Just like high stress level, not sleeping well or for good hours through the night, is directly linked to abdominal obesity. Studies have revealed that sleeping for less than 5 hours slows down metabolism, increases stress hormone cortisol, and pushes us to make wrong dietary choices as well. So, do sleep for 7 hours at least every night to allow the body to reset metabolism and burn body fat more effectively.
10. Water Retention: Excess water in the body (increased salt intake and dehydration are two major reasons) leads to water retention which leads to bloating and puffiness in the extremities and abdominal area. Cut down on salt intake and do drink at least 2 liters of water in a day to avoid water retention.
11. Hormonal Imbalance: Perimenopausal women with low estrogen levels experience upper abdominal fat gain and a medical practitioner would be able to correct hormonal imbalance in such a case.
12. Insulin Resistance: Excess sugar, refined carbs, inflammation, can make cells resistant to insulin, which is a hormone which regulates glucose. This hormone also plays an active role in directing calories to be stored as glycogen and fat in muscles and tissues. When there is high amount of glucose circulating in the bloodstream on a steady basis, after a point, body cells become less responsive to the efforts of insulin. When that happens, all extra circulating glucose is directed to be stored as body fat. If you are trying to lose weight, it would do a great deal of benefit to remember that insulin resistance can actually prevent further weight loss and encourage storage accumulation of fat around the waist area, and to overcome insulin resistance, one needs to avoid refined carbs, exercise regularly, cut out junk food, and reduce stress levels.
Weed out these 12 factors and see the belly fat melt away!