As we reach our forties we find that some of the muscle that we have worked so hard to achieve starts to be replaced by fat. For many of us, this fat normally accumulates around our bellies. The concerning factor is that we see little difference in our actual weight yet we begin to notice the start of ‘belly fat’, usually in the form of a ‘spare tyre’ or, ‘love handles’.
It is widely acknowledged that when younger, our bodies produce hormones that regulate how fat is stored, spreading it evenly around our bodies. The female hormones are called estrogen and the male hormones testosterone. The problem is that as we grow older these hormones become fewer in number and in some cases stop being produced, when this happens fat will start to accumulate more noticeably, especially around our bellies.
Surprisingly, body fat is vitally important to our health, as it is essential in regulating body temperature, it also offers a natural form of shock absorption, protecting our bones and organs. As well as those functions, body fat also supplies us with an emergency food source that is used to provide vital energy which is used to maintain our bodily functions at times when food is scarce and the body is forced to fast.
Most people, even those who are extremely fit, will have a layer of fat just under their skin, this layer of fat is called subcutaneous fat and it poses no immediate health risk whatsoever, unless obesity becomes an issue.
The other type of fat commonly found within the body is called visceral fat, and it can cause serious damage to our health. It is visceral fat that collects around our bellies, thighs and hips.
So.., now you have belly fat, how to lose it is the next question!
Although the reduction in the number of fat managing hormones is partly responsible for the body being unable to cope as well with fat, it comes as little surprise that the major contributing factor is still the types of food we eat.
Let’s be honest here, the amount you eat is not as important as what you eat!
There are certain foods that will actually help you lose weight the more you eat them, so for people who have a healthy appetite it is a case of eating differently rather than eating less.
Changing how we eat would seem relatively easy advice to follow except that there is much more to it than just putting down the cookie jar and picking up a carrot (although that’s not such a bad place to start!).
The science of healthy diet planning isn’t as simple as it used to be. Research has shown that combining different types of food produces better fat burning results than when these foods are eaten on their own, it has also been found that different foods also contain different types of calorie all of which burn at different rates and at different times of the day.
These two reasons, among a few others, highlight the need for a properly formulated healthy diet plan that uses the results of diet research to produce a eating plan that will burn fat much more efficiently, healthily and quickly than regular low calorie diets do, without the added bonus of starving yourself!
Changing your diet is just one side of the coin and is the easier part of getting rid of belly fat. The flipside involves regular exercise, at least to a moderate level. Strength training and aerobic exercise are required if you are to effectively stem the increase of belly fat.
Combining a healthy diet with exercise is the best way to lose belly fat, and the more exercise you do, the more it will work.