The problem with belly fat, also known as visceral fat, is not just unsightly; it can be a real danger to your overall health. When you age, your body produces more insulin and more insulin production can lead to Type Two Diabetes. There are a number of things you can do to reduce this fat. One recommendation is to do moderate exercise. My wife and I are by no means over weight, but even slender people like us, need exercise. Since neither one of us drive any more, me because of my issues with vision and her brittle diabetes, we walk every where. Another way to fight off this type of fat is to increase the amount of protein in your diet. When you metabolize protein it causes your body’s ability to burn fat at a much more efficient rate and hence, your weight comes down and the fat around your mid-section is reduced.
Another option, according to a recent Swedish study, is to increase your intake of polyunsaturated fats instead of saturated fats. You can find these in sunflower or safflower oil, fish, nuts and seeds. What they also recommend is a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar every day. The acetic acid in vinegar causes an increase in proteins and proteins burn up fat. I recently wrote an article about yoga and yoga is recommended to burn up these fats, as well. The tightening of your abdomen fights off the stress hormone cortisol and when you over produce cortisol, you also have an increase in belly fat.
One overlooked area in the production of belly fat is sleep. I have a big problem with sleep. It is interesting to note that if you get less than five hours of sleep consistently every night or if your sleep is chaotic, like mine is, you run the risk of an increase in belly fat. You need to get at least eight hours per night of REM sleep to help ward off belly fat according to a Wake Forrest University study in 2010. Another major problem is sleep on the weekends. A lot of folks tend to sleep in on the weekends and this can confuse your metabolism because of the lack of consistency and on the weekends, we tend to over eat, over drink and become lazy. Anti-oxidants are really great at fighting off the fat producing qualities of cortisol. Cortisol also tends to stress out the cardiovascular system by increasing blood pressure and heart rate. Try green tea because the catechins burn up unhealthy fats.