You look at yourself in the mirror when you have only pants on, right before you put on a shirt. Normally you try not to let it bother you, but sometimes you can’t help but notice it: your stomach. Why, why does your stomach refuse to be the way you want it to be?
It’s a frustrating experience that might not seem like that big of a deal to those who do not struggle with it. Some people who do struggle with extra belly fat do not care. Some people say, “It’s not a big deal, who cares? How you look doesn’t matter.”
But I have to say: yes, it is an amazing and positive thing to feel good about yourself, to love how you look and who you are. But if you are not happy with how you look, then this is going to help you.
No doubt about it – extra belly fat sucks. From ruining the look of your favorite jeans to forcing you to remove outfits from your wardrobe, there’s no denying that belly fat can mess with you.
However, there’s something even worse than the aesthetics of belly fat to worry about – and that’s visceral fat. Visceral fat expands deep into your stomach and settles around your organs.
Visceral fat is horrible for you – it’s practically a factory of hormones and substances that harm your body, like cortisol and cytokines. Cortisol is the hormone that controls and regulates stress in your body. Cytokines mess with your body’s ability to produce insulin.
Which all adds up to – obesity, type II diabetes, and heart disease. Bad news bears for visceral fat.
So if you want to get rid of stubborn belly fat for good (and cut down on your visceral fat), follow these 9 tips:
1. Put More Fiber In Your Diet
A study from 2011 found that people who ate 10 more grams of soluble fiber in a day had their visceral fat go down by 3.5% over 5 years (1). That’s only a couple small apples or a cup of green peas – and it will make a huge difference in your body (and help control your appetite).
2. Enjoy A Cup Of Tea
Tea contains antioxidants (called catechins) – and you can find a ton of them in green tea. Studies have shown that people who consume more catechins lose more abdominal fat than those who didn’t (2). Try getting at least 600mg of catechins a day – which is about 16oz of delicious green tea.
3. Keep Your Sleep Cycle Regular
Try going to bed and getting up at the same time each day – yes, even on the weekends. A Brigham Young University study found that women who go to sleep and wake up at consistent times have demonstrably lower levels of body fat (3). It might be because irregular sleep screws with your internal clock and your stress levels, overloading your body with cortisol.
4. Get better Sleep
If you’re getting 5 or less hours of sleep a night, I’ve got bad news for you – a study from 2010 out of Wake Forest University found that amount of sleep will increase visceral fat levels. Try to sleep at least 8 hours a night for the best possible rest.
5. Try Picking Up Yoga
You ready for a crazy study? In 2012, researchers found that women who had already gone through menopause who tried yoga for 4 months had extremely significant reductions in visceral fat. That’s amazing – and yoga is amazing for your body. It’s all about cutting down