Stomach fat increases with age and weight gain in many people. You have probably found this is the most difficult fat to get rid of. Coincidentally, stomach fat is also one of the most dangerous fatty areas on your body. While some of the fat is below your skin, some is around or in the your organs, known as visceral fat. All of this “belly fat” is associated with higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and even some cancers.
Fat accumulation is a complex phenomenon in most people. While most people blame “poor diet”, modern medicine has discovered many brain pathways that drive hunger and fullness (satiety).
Most common causes of stomach fat include:
- Genetic factors and metabolism that increase hunger and reduce satiety,
- Medications that increase appetite,
- Diets with excessive calories, carbohydrates or fats (depending on your body type),
- Consuming too much alcohol
- Lack of exercise
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
Tips to Reduce Stomach Fat
Having a good diet and drinking less alcohol can help you reduce belly fat. For example, eating soluble fiber promotes weight loss by helping you feel full. You can also consume foods that are high in fiber every day, such as:
- Dietary and exercise changes
- Flax seeds
- Brussels sprouts
Additionally, eating a high protein diet also helps. As high protein intakes increase the release of the fullness hormone PYY. Foods with a good source of protein include items such as eggs, fish, whey protein, and beans.
At times, a complete medical assessment may be necessary to thoroughly understand your health and past medical history to determine your best options. We also recommend:
- Dietary and exercise changes, and
- Medical consultation to look for hormonal changes or other causes
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