Most of us have belly fat to some extent or another. However, when it gets excessive, it can begin to cause health issues; some can be serious or even deadly. So to keep from getting too much belly fat, you have to know what causes it. Here are three main causes of excess belly fat:
Bad Genes Can Cause Excess Belly Fat
I listed genetics first because it is the hardest to control. If you are pre-disposed to accumulate belly fat based on your DNA structure, all you can do is try to control it the best you can through healthy eating and vigorous exercising. It will mean you’ll have to work a little harder than other people to see the same results, but it can be done through diligence and dedication.
Poor Diet Can Cause Excess Belly Fat
Today, most people do not eat properly by choice. We rely too heavily on processed and fast food, both of which are not good for us.
Instead, we should focus on a high protein/low carb diet by mainly eating these foods:
- fresh fruits – berries, apples, melons and peaches
- fresh vegetables – asparagus, cauliflower, cucumbers and cabbage
- whole grains – whole wheat, oats, brown rice and quinoa
- lean protein – chicken, turkey, tuna, fish, eggs and lean cuts of meat
The type of food we eat is not the only reason we get fat; how much we eat (i.e. portion control) is also important. One trick many people use is to put food on a smaller plate. It tricks your mind into thinking you ate more than you did. Remember these four simple “rules of thumb” when it comes to portion control size:
- 3 ounces of lean meat = deck of cards
- 1/2 cup of fresh fruit = 1/2 baseball
- 1 cup of salad = 1 baseball
- 1 cup of cereal flakes = a fist
Lack of Exercise Can Cause Excess Belly Fat
Not only is a poor diet the cause of us gaining excess belly fat; a sedentary lifestyle is a major contributor also. When combined with a diet that relies heavily on processed and fast food – both high in saturated fat and calories – your body will store the extra calories it doesn’t need as fat. In many people that fat gets stored as belly fat – the worst kind of fat.
Fortunately, belly fat is one of the first fats to burn off once you start exercising. Just 30 minutes a day of vigorous activity, such as walking, running or swimming (and eating healthy) will start burning off excess belly fat. Done diligently, you should start to see results in two weeks.
Because excess belly fat is so dangerous, it is imperative that you start eating healthy and exercising. As in other types of weight loss, it comes down to burning more calories than you take in over a period of time; burn 3,500 more calories per week than you eat, you’ll lose a pound. Eventually healthy eating and exercising will become part of your lifestyle and you won’t think twice about it.
You can find more “Belly Fat Success Tips” in our weight loss category found at http://myfitnessnut.com and while you’re they, be sure to subscribe to our monthly fitness newsletter and be kept up to date on the latest developments in the world of health and fitness.