Getting in shape for swim suit season isn’t the only reason you should try to lose belly fat. Excess abdominal fat, especially visceral fat (fat around your organs and causes the stomach to bulge) increases risk of heart disease, type II diabetes, insulin resistance and some cancers. Here are some reasons why you may not be reducing fat in your mid-section.
1. Aging- As you age your body changes how it gains and loses weight. Men and women experience declining metabolic rate. The drop in hormones like estrogen and progesterone in women after menopause and testosterone in men can cause fat to be stored in the abdominal region.
2. Doing the wrong workout- Doing just cardio workouts won’t help your waist. Weight training can help the body build muscle, which in turn will help burn fat. So a combination of weight training and cardio each week is recommended.
3. Eating too many processed foods- Processed foods like white bread, chips, crackers, sweetened beverages and desserts can increase the inflammation in our body and can inhibit your ability to lose belly fat. Try eating more natural foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains which have anti-inflammatory functions to help prevent belly fat.
4. Eating the wrong fats- Not all fats are created equal. Saturated fat, mostly found in meat and dairy products, can increase visceral fat. On the other hand monounsaturated, found in olive oil and avocados, and polyunsaturated fats, found in fatty fish like salmon and walnuts, have anti-inflammatory effects in eaten in proper portions.