When you stick to a healthy diet and training regime you can get frustrated when the fat from the lower abdomen or love handles refuse to disappear. Most people feel that a great part of their excess weight is in that part of the body. This issue is present among both genders. For men, the problem usually manifests itself in “beer belly”. While women have problems in the lower abdomen or buttocks, or as is more commonly known as “love handles”.
In this article, I will cover the best ways to fight belly fat while eating nutritious foods. But before we get to plan your meal plan it is important to understand what are the different types of fat in our bodies.
Types of body fat
When you trying to reduce the fat percentage in your body you actually dealing with two types of fat. One type of fat is subcutaneous, whereas the other type is visceral fat located around the vital organs such as the pancreas, liver and gastrointestinal tract. The subcutaneous fat is just beneath the skin.
Aesthetically speaking, you want to reduce subcutaneous fat to have a nice and lean abdomen. Most of us are struggling with exactly this when the target area is the abdomen.
However, visceral fat is more dangerous to health and you should not ignore it. As mentioned above, this fat is active, which means that they are not in one place and not inactive. Many studies have shown that these fats produce various hormones and inflammatory molecules, and this is considered as an active endocrine organ.
These are some of the diseases associated with visceral fat:
- Breast cancer
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Colon cancer
- Heart disease
I firmly believe that in order to get rid of the fat in the lower abdomen and love handles you have to deal with both types of fats.
I know you want to know my secret, but I think they will not be as effective if you don’t know why fat is concentrated exactly there.
Why is fat collected in the lower part of the stomach?
Several factors contribute to our fight against belly fat. Some factors such as poor diet, certain hormones and stress are such that we can change. But other factors such as age, gender and genetics are not under our control.
It might be news to you, but stress is one of the biggest factors for gaining weight around the abdomen.
According to a study done at Yale: “Overweight women are more susceptible to the effects of stress and are very likely to have excessive visceral fat and increased levels of cortisol”. The study showed that cortisol is responsible for the accumulation of fat around vital organs. Therefore the more stressed you are, the more cortisol is released and fat is stored. When you can reduce and control the stress, you will be able to reduce the levels of cortisol. However, stress is not the only factor that affects the accumulation of fat. Often poor diet is a factor.
If you consume foods rich in fats or more sugar you sabotage your work in the gym. When people exercise and diet, visceral fat disappear twice faster than subcutaneous fat. Therefore here are some tips from me to remove love handles and belly fat:
- Reduce your stress levels
- Check your hormones
- And try to exercise and eat properly, as you can more often
Below you will find my recommended foods to your menu for burning fat.
Foods that help fat burn in the lower abdomen
It might be hard to believe, but there are foods that you can add to your diet that fights fat around your waist. When you combine these foods with exercise, you will see how weight literally fell from you.
Thanks to their high protein composition and their combination of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats, eggs give you energy, keep you fuller for a long time and boost your metabolism.
Another food that helps fight hunger between meals is spinach. One of its main ingredients thylakoids makes it slower to digest and relieves bouts of hunger. With spinach, you will have fewer bouts of hunger and desire for more food.
Like the eggs, people often relate avocados as unhealthy because of its high-fat content. I hear people say, “Do not eat avocados. They have too much fat. “Yes, they are rich in fat … but these are good fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Also, full of fibre and over 20 vitamins and minerals. Fibre propels your digestive system and prevents you from constipation. Moreover, avocados buffers blood sugar peaks, as a result, your body prevents the storage of fat in places like your belly. Of course, you do not have to overdo eating them. I recommend 2 avocados per week.
Earlier I mentioned that a poor diet can lead to weight gain. I could say that cereals are one of the biggest challenges for many people. Most of us are accustomed to consuming too processed grains, like white bread, add pasta, mostly because we grew up with them. It is time to change that. According to research these types of foods: “They act like sugar in the body stimulating gain in weight, inflammation and blood sugar imbalance.”
Start eating whole grains instead.
According to a study of Harvard University, whole grains are rich in fibre and essential minerals. They leave the feeling of fullness for a long time, lowering cholesterol levels and protect you from certain cancers.
Moreover, can help:
- Aid digestion
- Regulate blood sugar
- Lower cholesterol
- Lower blood pressure
- Redistribute fat
Whole grains may help in the redistribution of fat, so that not only stuck in most common parts.
Why do you need this? To remove the fat surrounding your vital organs. Remember the terrible visceral fat that you mentioned earlier? It has to disappear before removing subcutaneous fat.
Before you ran to the store, keep in mind that the package labelled whole grains do not always mean it is good for your health. You have to buy products that are 100 percent whole grain.
The best whole foods that you can consume are:
- Full grain flower
- Brown or wild rice
- Whole grain oats
Research has shown positive effects of adding blueberry in your diet. Some of them are reduced abdominal fat, reduced cholesterol levels, reduced triglycerides and improved glucose levels.
What makes blueberries so good in the fight against fat?
They are rich in fibre, vitamins and antioxidants. Plus, with fewer calories, given that their content is 83% water. The perfect addition to oats, yoghurt or just eat alone.
As a whole grain food and oats are rich in slowly digesting fibre and maintain your levels of blood sugar stable. It contains an ingredient called beta-glucagon, which has the effect to absorb water and swell like a sponge in your stomach. When oats are in your stomach, it leaves you feeling fuller for longer. In addition, it lowers the cholesterol levels and reduces high blood pressure and the risk of type 2 diabetes. However, you must choose carefully the type of oats in your diet.
Almonds are one of my favourite snacks to have on hand. Always keep one packet of roasted almonds without salt nearby.
Why does it?
I personally feel the difference in my stomach when I consume more almonds. No, the scale does not show five kilograms less overnight, but the difference is enough for me to feel that my clothes fit me better. Moreover, eating nuts twice a week reduces the risk of heart disease by 35% compared to people who did not eat nuts. A protein, fibre and a lot of vitamins and antioxidants give their almonds magic slimming effect.
By now you should have realised that foods rich in protein and fibre are your best option to reduce the fat on your belly. This list would not be complete if the beans are not included. I think the beans are overlooked when it comes to removing stubborn fat on your belly. My favourite way to include beans in my diet is to add to salads or as a side dish for lunch.
Among other benefits, lemons are a good stimulus to lose weight. Lemon water literally gives kick-start your metabolism. Starting the day with warm water and a squeeze of fresh lemon in it, you’ll get an early boost metabolism, which will give you energy and you will wake up your digestive system.
It is no surprise that green tea is on this list, and although it is last on the list, it is not less effective than the other products stated above.
Drinking green tea can help you:
improve energy expenditure
A consistent exercise program is the best way to reduce total fat. But combining lemon and green tea with a healthy diet including the foods I mentioned above, you will see that belly fat and “love handles” are not so stubborn and difficult to remove.
Yes, surely it will take a time to see results, but it is not impossible and that is the best news.
Epel, E.S., McEwen, B., Seeman, T., Matthews, K., Castellazzo, G., Brownell, K.D., Bell, J. and Ickovics, J.R., 2000. Stress and body shape: stress-induced cortisol secretion is consistently greater among women with central fat. Psychosomatic Medicine, 62(5), pp.623-632.