This is how you get rid of your belly fat

If the belly bulges forward, that doesn't only look unfavorable. Belly fat is also unhealthy. How to shed those excess pounds

Briefly tense your stomach and is it gone? Unfortunately it's not that easy ...

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Belly fat is unhealthy. In contrast to the fatty tissue that is just under the skin, the visceral fat is a fairly active tissue. It surrounds internal organs such as the liver or pancreas - hence the technical term visceral fat - and increases the circumference of the abdomen. In addition, the tissue releases fatty acids, secretes inflammatory messenger substances and releases hormones. Possible consequences: The blood pressure increases, the blood lipid values ​​are adversely affected and the blood sugar level rises.

Causes of Belly Fat

Anyone who has accumulated a few kilos too much on their stomach usually also knows why. Age plays a role and genes influence whether someone prefers to gain weight on the stomach or buttocks. The two decisive factors, however, are: a lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet that is too high in calories. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends physical activity for at least two and a half hours a week. But who can do it anyway? We usually try to go to the closest parking lot in front of the supermarket. Driving to the bakery or to work. Our everyday life is just terribly comfortable.

Many people do not pay attention to the right amount when it comes to food. Fat doesn't seem to be the only culprit here. "Most people consume far too little fiber, but an excess of sugar," says Erik Frank, fitness economist and sports and health trainer from Worms. Sugar, for example from sweets, gets into the blood particularly quickly. The blood sugar level skyrockets. The body reacts by increasing the amount of the blood sugar lowering hormone insulin. "High insulin levels in the blood mean that the body stores a lot of fat," explains Frank. In addition, food cravings can easily follow the sweet snack. In contrast, a high-fiber diet will fill you up longer. It makes the blood sugar level rise more slowly.

Can I lose weight specifically on my stomach?

Losing weight is only possible with more exercise and a balanced diet. "Losing weight specifically on the stomach is almost impossible," says Frank. With this, the fitness economist takes a little wind out of the sails. But he knows from numerous weight loss courses that he has led that overweight people often come to him with false expectations. After all, the fat on the stomach disappears more easily than that on the buttocks or hips. The body prefers to gain energy from belly fat, as it is a metabolically active tissue. "It also responds particularly well to physical activity and is therefore easier to mobilize," says nutritionist Dr. Stefanie Gerlach, board member of the German Obesity Society.

Combine endurance sports and strength exercises

The organism needs a lot of energy - and therefore calories - when we move. Anyone who does sports several times a week and brings more exercise into their everyday life - for example by climbing stairs or walking the dog - burns calories. There is no need to achieve top performance in sport. Nordic walking, cycling or water aerobics do not get amateur athletes completely out of breath, but they do stimulate the metabolism and train the muscles. Fitness expert Frank advises: "I would also include exercises for the abdominal muscles and strength training." Newcomers over 35 years of age and people with previous illnesses are best checked in advance by a doctor. Frank doesn't think much of "belly fat removal methods", such as belly wraps made of plastic or vibration devices that shake the body: "The effect is limited."

Just as important as exercise: change your diet

Although every step of walking is beneficial, exercise is only one component of weight loss. The other is diet. Visceral fat is more sensitive to changed eating habits than subcutaneous fat, writes the German Nutrition Society. So whoever consumes fewer calories causes the body to preferentially tap into the energy stores in the stomach.

Most of all, fewer calories means eating less fat and easily digestible carbohydrates. Instead, plenty of vegetables and fruit, which contain vitamins as well as the important fiber. The healthy substances can also be found in whole grain bread. White bread, on the other hand, contains mainly easily digestible sugars that do not fill you up for long. It can also help to eat fewer carbohydrates overall and more protein in return. In addition, the following applies: Drink around one and a half to two liters of water a day, unless medically speaking against it.

Create nutrition log

Expert Gerlach advises to start with a meal log: "It often helps a lot to list what you eat." The list can be used, for example, to discover high-calorie dishes or unfavorable eating habits. Then it is important to make eating "easier".

If you are overweight and manage to lose five to ten kilograms in a healthy way, your health will benefit immensely. Because the risk of dangerous cardiovascular diseases and diabetes drops significantly.