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Visceral fat, commonly known as belly fat, is the layer of fat below the muscles of your abdomen. Due to its crucial location surrounding many of your vital organs, belly fat supplies a constant source of energy but also exposes the body to harmful toxins and hormones. When you have too many fat cells or your fat cells get too large, they can overproduce toxins that increase your risk for chronic inflammation, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. This is why belly fat can be more dangerous than subcutaneous fat—or the outer layer of fat that you can pinch with your fingers. That said, the reason you're having trouble buttoning your pants may not be visceral fat: what we're calling "belly fat" these days could be bloating or water retention rather than a fat buildup. Read on for steps you can take to beat the bulge.
If you feel like you're making smart moves to lose weight but the scale isn't moving the way you want, your diet may contain some sneaky foods that can lead to bloating, water retention (ahem, salt!), and a higher calorie intake. Veggies, fruits, seeds, nuts, fish, whole grains, and other smart choices loaded with fiber and protein will keep you fuller longer, all while working their nutrient-powered magic. When it comes to healthy eating and weight loss, these plant-based foods loved by registered dietitians have your back.
Getting healthier and losing weight is among the most popular new year’s resolutions for good reason, but sticking with it is easier said than done. If one of your goals in 2019 is weight loss, you’re in luck. There are many ways to get motivated to start losing weight and build success that can last a lifetime. Let’s make this year the best yet, by sticking to our weight loss resolutions with help from these tips:
About: Christine’s blog is something really special — and not just because she put herself out there while she works to lose weight, but because she’s overcome a lot to get where she is today. A brain stem surgery survivor, Christine’s blog started in 2012 as a way to stay motivated on her path to an emotional recovery. Recently, it’s morphed into a weight loss blog where Christine is focused on losing weight all naturally and making it a lifestyle change. As she puts it, “I am changing my life for the better, forever – not just my body.”
Top Quote: “I am snarky. I am cynical. I am a twin. I am overweight. I am beautiful. I am a nice girl. I am quirky. I am left handed. I am romantic. I am daring. I am a smart. I am interdependent. I am cultured. I am book smart. I am film smart. I am pop culture smart. I am not good at math. I am an English major. I am sexy. I am a clean freak. I am a perfectionist. I am just me.”
Wow, sharing your journey has encouraged me. I have been overweight since middle school (junior high was what they called it in my day). I have been on many diets, while some worked, some didn’t. I know that I need to get my weight off to improve my health (diabetes) and just to look and feel better. I appreciate your thoughts on losing weight and I am very thankful that you include God in your journey. Thank you for your help in getting me on track. I look forward to reading more of your blog. Hope your day is blessed.
Meal prepping takes a few hours a week, but it's worth it: By getting your meals ready ahead of time, you won't be so tempted to order your go-to Chinese takeout when you're tired and hungry after work. "When you plan an entire week of dinner in advance, you're way less likely to go off course and indulge in foods that aren't good for you," says Pamela Salzman, a certified holistic health expert and cooking instructor. And since you planned things out, you'll actually get the protein, fruit, and veggies your body needs — and you'll lose weight in the process.
About: Tiffany’s blogging officially started in 2009, but it was kind of an off-and-on thing until 2013. Then, Tiffany really amped up her blogging efforts, much to the thrill of her followers. Tiffany’s blog is packed with healthy recipes, weight loss challenges and tips on how to find happiness — all from a girl who is extraordinarily relatable and “loves cheesy dance workout videos, dark chocolate, watching movies, with her husband, and riding my beach cruiser around the neighborhood like a kid.” Enough said.
First, does being in nutritional ketosis necessarily cause weight loss? For individuals who have experienced fairly rapid weight loss with little effort, their answer is usually a resounding yes! But remember that this is typically based on one person’s experience (or one person and a few of his/her friends). This commonly happens in a person who is relatively insulin sensitive, so that when that individual gets to their new stable (‘maintenance’) weight, they probably did not need to remain in nutritional ketosis—i.e., they could eat a wider range of total daily carbs and still remain weight stable. So in that person’s experience, it looks like nutritional ketosis caused their weight loss and it stopped when they ate enough carbs to go out of nutritional ketosis. In scientific terms, we need to decide if this is a causal relationship, or just an association.
Close the Kitchen at Night. Establish a time when you will stop eating so you won't give in to the late-night munchies or mindless snacking while watching television. "Have a cup of tea, suck on a piece of hard candy or enjoy a small bowl of light ice cream or frozen yogurt if you want something sweet after dinner, but then brush your teeth so you will be less likely to eat or drink anything else," suggests Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, WebMD's "Recipe Doctor" and the author of Comfort Food Makeovers.
In a way, moderate-intensity physical activity is that "magic pill" a lot of people are looking for, because the health benefits go beyond keeping your waistline trim: Not only can it reduce your risk of cancer, stroke, diabetes and heart attacks, but studies have shown that physical activity can significantly improve the moods of patients with major depressive disorders.
The secret to a slimmer stomach in no time? A whole lot of fiber in your diet. Although many people are loath to add carbs to their diet when they’re trying to lose weight, adding the right, fiber-rich ones can have inches off your belly in a hurry. In fact, researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center found that every 10-gram daily increase in soluble fiber was associated with a 3.7 percent decrease in dangerous visceral fat over five years. Those who were active got even leaner, shaving off twice that much fat in the same amount of time. To start ditching that extra belly fat today, add the 30 Best Foods For Fiber to your menu!
While you can get tests to evaluate the cortisol level in your blood, only you can determine your own innate level of stress. Take some time to evaluate if you are living in a constant (or close to constant) state of stress. You might also notice increased anxiety levels, mood swings, trouble sleeping, fatigue (including feeling tired but unable to wind down) and high blood pressure.
About: On March 1, 2014, a visit to the doctor’s office really brought things home for Bobby. At 6 feet tall, Bobby weighed in at 345 pounds. To be at a healthy weight, his doctor said he needed to weigh 177 pounds, 168 pounds less than the weight he was at. In essence, Bobby realized he was essentially carrying around another person. The moment was the catalyst he needed to change. Rather than set any unrealistic expectations, Bobby decided to set the small, attainable goal of losing 2 pounds a week. So began his blog. And, guess what? It worked. Two years later, Bobby weighs in at 214 pounds (he looks great, by the way), and continues to take those small baby steps that are helping him achieve a healthy body. Bravo.
One study from the University of Adelaide in Australia suggests you may lose more weight when you work out towards the end of your menstrual cycle, as opposed to right when a new one begins. That’s because the hormones estrogen and progesterone tell your body to use fat as an energy source. "Women burned about 30 percent more fat for the two weeks following ovulation to about two days before menstruation," study author Leanne Redman says.
For us ladies there is a dreaded week each month that we hold onto water weight (and usually a bar of chocolate) and guess what, you will be much more forgiving at the end of the week weigh in if you know once a month you just happen to be 5 pounds heavier. You’ll say to yourself, yep that’s my pattern, it’s OK and it will be gone next week. See… sometimes homework can be beneficial.
Sleeping for more than five hours a night might seem like a luxury for some, but it can have a serious impact on your overall health. Not getting the recommended 7-8 hours of shut-eye a night puts you at risk for fatigue the next day, which means you’re more likely to crave and snack on high-calorie comfort food. Try to go to bed sooner so you can get a little more sleep, which will help you eat less. And to blast fat even faster, don’t miss these essential ways to boost your metabolism.
Your body stores up fat for later, but if you eat a balanced amount of healthy fats your body will stop storing it because it knows you will be having it everyday. Kind of like that age old diet tip, don’t put yourself into starvation mode, it will make your body hold onto fat for later, same is true here. Feed your body healthy fats and it will release excess fat from your body.
Leah Campbell is a writer and editor living in Anchorage, Alaska. She’s a single mother by choice after a serendipitous series of events led to the adoption of her daughter. Leah is also the author of the book “Single Infertile Female” and has written extensively on the topics of infertility, adoption, and parenting. You can connect with Leah via Facebook, her website, and Twitter.