Everyone has some belly fat (yes even that person with the six pack), but if you have too much deep belly fat, also known as visceral fat, you may be more likely to get high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and certain cancers, including breast cancer and colon cancer.
Here are some of the steps you can take to rid yourself of visceral fat and get a healthier lifestyle.
Moderate amounts of exercise can reduce the inflammation in belly fat, even without a change in diet. Exercise also helps to prevent re-gaining abdominal fat after weight loss. Cutting calories alone, will not substantially lessen your visceral fat.
What to do: Find a fun moderate aerobic activity that you enjoy doing, such as running, walking, swimming, cycling, etc. And if you want to take it up a notch, engage in high-activity sports like tennis, racquetball, basketball and surfing.
The amount of calories adults get from sweetened beverages has almost doubled over the past 37 years, contributing significantly to bigger waistlines. So skip the sodas and other high calorie sweetened beverages, and over time this will reduce your belly fat.
What to do: Substitute sweetened beverages for water, unsweetened tea or pure fruit juice diluted with at least 80% water.
Diet sodas are not a good substitute for regular sodas. Research has found an association between the consumption of diet sodas and a wider waist circumference. Research has found that the widespread use of no-calorie sweeteners found in diet beverages may actually make it harder for people to control their food intake and body weight. One study has found that diet soda drinkers have a higher percentage of belly flab compared to those who don’t drink diet soda. Recently, a new study has also linked diet soft drinks to an increased risk for stroke and dementia.