Healthy Living

Get the Skinny on Belly Fat [INFOGRAPHIC]

I’m sure you heard the phrase “stubborn belly fat,” right? Whether you have 5 pounds to lose or 50 pounds to lose, it always seems that stubborn belly fat is the last to go! We conducted a survey to get the “skinny” on belly fat.

Get the Skinny on Some of the Biggest Belly Fat Questions

Is belly fat is worstworseyou than fat elsewhere on your body?

  • Excess accumulation of belly fat is more dangerous than excess fat around your hips and thighs. Belly fat is associated with serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Your genes can contribute to your being overweight and help determine where you carry this extra fat, but poor lifestyle choices are likely to worsen the issue.

Does stress increase the likelihood of increased belly fat?

  • Stress is probably the biggest hidden cause of weight-gain and retention of fat around the midsection. When we experience stress of any kind, our bodies respond by producing two hormones – adrenaline and cortisol. The former provides a rush of energy which facilitates the instinctive fight or flight response. The latter then instructs us to replenish that lost energy (even if we didn’t really use it) by eating. A lot.

Can a positive body image improve body composition?

  • Studies show that having a positive body image aids in weight loss. This is the mental aspect of weight loss that often gets overlooked. Remember to always keep a smile on your face and celebrate the little victories!

Are fatty foods, such as butter, cheese, and fatty meats, the biggest cause of belly fat?

  • There is no single cause of belly fat. Genetics, diet, age, and lifestyle can all play a role. Changing dietary habits can help you fight the battle of the bulge and fight belly fat. Read labels, reduce saturated fats, increase the amount of fruits and veggies you eat, and control and reduce your portions.

Are calories from alcohol worse for belly fat than other calories?

  • Our bodies need calories, yet gram for gram, alcohol has almost as many calories as fat. When you drink alcohol, your liver is too busy burning off alcohol to burn off fat, leaving you with a beer belly. Studies show that alcohol can cause you to feel hungry by affecting hormones that regulate a sense of satiety.

What can your bowel moments tell you about your weight loss?

  • Poop… not really the kind of thing you hear a lot in normal adult conversation, but it is one of the keys to weight loss. Getting rid of your extra waste on a regular basis helps maintain weight loss and maintenance.

Why are fast food options often detrimental to a slim waistline? 

  • Many fast-food options are typically high-fat, calorie-dense foods that are eaten in large portions — all of which contribute to overconsumption of calories, weight gain, and an increase in belly fat when eaten frequently.

How much will consuming fruit juice, vegetable juice, alcohol, soda, energy drinks, etc. lead to increased belly fat?

  • Remember that juice is not fruit! Think sugar overloads in every sip. Now to alcohol. While it’s true that beer is one of the worst (it’s basically liquid bread); in all of its myriad forms, alcohol, in general, is not your BFF when it comes to trimming your tummy. Sugary liqueurs and sweet wines also rank at the top of the list as far as being bad for belly fat.

Is substituting diet soft drinks for regular soft drinks a good way to trim belly fat?

  • According to the American Heart Association, “soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages are the No. 1 source of added sugars in the American diet.” Added sugars mean added calories — something you want to avoid to help with weight loss and cut down on belly fat.

To help trim your waistline, should you eat a diet high in fiber?

  • To trim your waistline, add whole grains to your diet. For example, choose brown or wild rice instead of white rice. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that a calorie-controlled diet rich in whole grains can trim extra fat from the waistline of obese subjects.

Is belly fat harder to lose than fat elsewhere on your body?

  • When you lose weight, you’re much more likely to lose it in your midsection. Losing weight on a well-balanced plan will melt body fat, including belly fat. The best way to decrease your waist size is through healthy eating and regular exercise.

Can you target belly fat with spot exercises such as crunches or sit-ups?

  • Doing sit-ups, crunches, or other abdominal exercises will strengthen your core muscles and help you lose fat, but they don’t specifically work on belly fat. In other words, spot exercise won’t decrease belly fat. The only way to lose belly fat (or any kind of fat) is through dieting and exercise.

What is the best way to reduce belly fat?

  • Most scientific evidence suggests that a calorie-controlled diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, beans, nuts, seeds, lean meat, fish, eggs, and poultry is the foundation for a diet that provides all the nutrients you need while helping to whittle your waistline.

Whoa! That’s a ton of belly-busting busters! Cheesy line, but I kinda like it 🙂

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Kami Price

Kami Price

Head Trainer & Nutritionist

Kami Price is the Head Trainer for IdealShape. She is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, a Pn.1 Certified Nutrition Coach, and Certified Yoga Instructor. Kami has been in the fitness world for over 10 years and prior to joining IdealShape owned one of the biggest private gyms in Utah.

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