Belly fat isn’t just unsightly to look at, but it can also have detrimental effects on health. In fact, fat accumulated in the belly has been linked with a number of health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, and is even been said to cause insulin resistance. What’s more, belly fat doesn’t discriminate, it can affect anyone regardless of genetics, age, etc. However, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t a solution to tackle this problem. Eating the right kinds of foods is one of the best and easiest ways to counteract this “growing” problem, pun intended. Thankfully, there are a plethora of foods that you can reach for to ensure that your body gets the nutrition it needs and looks good. But before we delve into the types of food that burn belly fat, it’s important that we understand the factors that allow fat to accumulate around the belly.
Factors that Lead to Belly Fat
Hormonal Changes and Genetics
Hormonal changes are one of the main reasons for the accumulation of belly fat. This can be largely due to the fact that hormones play a large role in fat distribution in the body. A hormonal imbalance can wreak havoc in the body and lead to slow metabolism, increased hunger and stress levels. Another culprit that may play a role in fat accumulation is genes. Genetics can largely influence your health, in fact, if obesity run in your family, there’s a high chance that you might be prone to belly fat.
Stress and Lack of Sleep
Stress is notorious for being detrimental to our overall health, unsurprisingly it also increases the risk of belly fat. High-stress levels essentially lead to an increase in cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that controls your motivation, mood and fear. It’s renowned for triggering the body’s fight-or-flight instinct during a crisis. Stress can also lead to binging and other kinds of unhealthy habits. Sleep deprivation is another factor that leads to belly fat. The lack of sleep basically spikes the production of stress hormones in the body, these rise in cortisol leads to weight gain.
Unhealthy Foods and Inactivity
It goes without saying that the food we consume impact the health of our bodies. Additionally, it also affects the way we look and feel as well. Foods that are processed and are high in sugar, salt, fat are the main causes of belly fat. In addition to the foods you eat, it is also important that you limit your alcohol intake. Drinking alcohol on a regular basis can easily cause you to get out of shape. After the alcohol breaks down into sugar, the excess sugar in the body converts to fat. Additionally, too much sugar can lead to inflammation and inflammation-induced abdominal obesity. Moreover, long periods of inactivity can also lead to belly fat. Adopt a more active lifestyle to avoid the accumulation of fat and to prevent obesity. If you are working a desk-bound job, ensure that you take some time to stretch your muscles or walk around. Scheduling in some exercise and leading a healthy lifestyle will keep you healthy and fit.
Foods for Belly Fat
Rich in vitamins and minerals, fruits provide essential nutrients for the body. Although you should include a daily diet of fruits to burn belly fat, try not to overdo it. Even though they are nutrient-dense, they still contain a lot of sugar. Lemon, kiwi, orange, fresh limes, and tangerines are great for burning fat and boosting your metabolism. Other fruits that help you burn fat are watermelons, grapes, apples and strawberries.
Fish are a great source of protein, they are extremely high in omega-3 fatty acids. Consuming fish builds muscle, helps to lower inflammation in the body and increases the metabolic rate. Moreover, lower inflammation is linked to lower chances of stress and inflammation-related weight gain. Fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon and herring are the best source of omega-3 fatty acids. These kinds of fishes are loaded with nutrients such as vitamin E that protect the skin from free radical damage and inflammation.
Beans and Legumes
High in fibre, vitamins, protein and minerals, beans and legumes are great for nourishing the body. In addition to its impressive nutritional profile, consuming beans and legumes on a regular basis will help to curb cravings and hunger pangs. This, in turn, helps to prevent binging, which aids in weight loss. What’s more, if you are a vegan or a vegetarian, beans and legumes are great plant-based foods that you can substitute with meat, which are high in various kinds of nutrients.
Raspberries and other types of berries such as blueberries, strawberries, etc are packed with dietary fibre and polyphenols such as anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid which contain a class of compounds steeped in antioxidant effects. Anthocyanins are essentially the pigments that give these fruits their rich purple, red and blue food pigments. Additionally, besides its antioxidant properties, raspberries combat the harmful effects of free radicals and prevent oxidative stress which may accelerate age-related skin issues such as wrinkles, fine lines and saggy skin.