We all know that obesity is becoming a world-wide pandemic and that this disease can have a number of health implications. So if you have been gaining weight and fat, especially around your stomach, besides turning that six-pack into a keg, you may have even more reason for concern.This is because carrying too much stomach fat can actually put you at a higher risk of developing chronic diseases, which include diabetes, cardiovascular disease and dementia. To understand how to combat this, we first need to understand how it is caused. Here are the main reasons you are storing stomach fat…


1. POOR DIET AND STOMACH FAT

The modern lifestyle is hectic, but that is no excuse for what you put in your mouth. Neither are genetics or a slow metabolism. It is up to you to decide what you are able to eat and what makes you fat. An excess of calories and foods which contain refined grains, sodium, trans fats and added sugars all contribute to weight gain. Diet soda can also be a leading cause in storing stomach fat according to researchers. Alcohol is another one of the major culprit for excess stomach fat. To combat this, make sure you consume a calorie appropriate diet which consists of nutritionally-dense wholefoods which contain all the nutrients that your body requires to function optimally. You will find it difficult to overeat if you are consuming these types of foods.


TOP FOODS TO AVOID TO PREVENT STORING STOMACH FAT

  1. Soda’s
  2. White Bread
  3. Alcohol
  4. French Fries
  5. Hamburgers

2. INACTIVE LIFESTYLE

If you are the type of person who goes from sitting behind their desk all day straight to their couch for the rest of the evening, then you may be at risk of gaining excess stomach fat. This inactive lifestyle means that you are not burning off enough of the calories which you are consuming. In fact, a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology in 2005 found that without any dietary changes, just 30 minutes of exercise 5 times per week was able to prevent stomach fat accumulation and more than that actually led to weight lossaround the stomach area. When it comes to training, weight training seems to be superior in helping to control belly fat according to studies. So to prevent this, quite simply get moving.  Exercise doesn’t mean you have to go to gym, what is does mean is that you need to be active and get your heart rate up at least 30 minutes per day.



3. SMOKING AND BELLY FAT

We all know the dangers associated with smoking, but what you may not know is that smoking creates a greater risk for central fat distribution. This was found in a study which was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. What this means is that even if a smoker is of normal weight, they tend to have a disproportionate amount of fat stored in their midsection The fix, STOP SMOKING! Plus, you will save money and improve your general health.


4. STRESS AND STOMACH FAT

Stress, stress, stress! We all experience on a daily basis, but did you know that extended periods of chronic stress can lead to stomach fat accumulation? This is caused by a hormone which is released when we are stressed called cortisol. Cortisol can increase cravings for high-fat, high-calorie foods and it causes your body to store the excess fat in your abdominal area. Even if you manage to resist your cravings for these fatty foods, cortisol will still cause fat storage to occur in the midsection. To fight off stress, try to eliminate any areas which cause stress in your life, and if you can’t, then learn to deal with it more effectively. Life is always going to have certain stressors; it is how we handle it that can make the difference. Take a day off, do things you enjoy, spend time with family; all of these will help to alleviate stress.


5. LACK OF SLEEP

Lack of sleep really does make you fat according to research!  This was seen in a 2010 study published in the Journal of Sleep. The researchers found that too much or too little sleep correlated with increased belly fat in individuals under 40. Test subjects who slept less than 5 hours per night gained an average of 19% more visceral stomach fat than the individuals who slept 6-7 hours per night. To get more sleep, make sure that you plan your day and are ready for the day to come. You don’t want to be up late at night preparing food for the next day or finishing work. Rather get to bed, get a good night’s rest and I can assure you that you will be more efficient the next day, plus you will ward off belly fat gains.


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