Tag Archives: belly fat

Spot Fat Reduction: Myth or Reality?

Quite often you come across advertisements like “loose belly fat within 5 days” or “inch loss within a week”. But in reality, there is no such thing as spot reduction. Fat reduction occurs throughout the body, not in specific areas.

According to Refine method founder and exercise brainiac Brynn Jinnett, “There’s no evidence that working a muscle inspires your body to mobilize the fat next to that muscle group.”

Spot Fat reduction refers to the belief, long viewed as a myth, that fat can be targeted for reduction from a specific area of the body. This is a common view, although many people believe that view is misguided. It is not possible to achieve spot reduction through exercise of specific muscles, such as exercising the abdominal muscles in an effort to lose weight in or around one’s midsection. You might have a tendency to put on more weight in a certain area, for eg.; men tend to put fat on the belly while women on the hips.

You will never attain a flat stomach just by performing abdominal exercises. The reason for this is simple: a muscle does not own the fat that surrounds it. Sit-ups, for example, will definitely strengthen your abdominal muscles, but sit-ups alone will not get rid of the layer of fat that is covering the muscles. To lose fat anywhere on your body you need to burn calories by following a program that involves both cardiovascular training and weight training. In doing so, you will decrease fat stores throughout your body; including the problem areas.

So what’s the right way to blast your fat (especially in the abdominal region)? We suggest working your body’s largest muscle groups with multi-joint strength exercises, such as squats, push-ups, shoulder presses, and deadlifts. Besides burning more calories than crunches (one pound of fat equals 3,500 calories, after all), working larger muscle groups is linked with the greatest muscle formation and resulting metabolic after burn possible. What’s more, high-volume, low-rest exercise protocols (such as performing 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps with no more than 60 seconds rest in between) stimulate the greatest release of growth hormone and testosterone—both of which are necessary for building calorie-torching, physique-making muscle. Aerobic exercise helps burn calories and therefore should be encouraged for weight reduction in general. Cardiovascular exercise performed 3-5 days per week for 30-60 minutes per session will help shed body fat.

The ideal program for fat loss would include the combination of proper diet, weight training, and cardio exercise.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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Is Saturated Fat the Reason to Your Stomach Flab?

Have you ever thought that how and why diets high in saturated fats are dangerous to your health?

A recent research from Uppsala University shows that saturated fat builds more fat and less muscle than poly-unsaturated fat. Loss of muscle from your body means higher chances of injuries and diseases.

When we indulge in a high-fat diet it influences not only the cholesterol levels in the blood and the risk of cardiovascular diseases, but it also determines the way the body stores fat.

When you get calories from polyunsaturated fats (like salmon, olives, olive oil, nuts, etc.), you gain muscle weight, but foods with saturated fats (like butter, hydrogenated fats, stearic oil, etc.) will make you gain fat mass. Saturated fat in the diet causes a greater increase in the amount of fat in the liver and abdomen region which makes you obese.

When excessive unhealthy fats are consumed, they start getting deposited or stored in the arteries, which leads to narrowing of the blood vessels and an increase in the risk of heart diseases. Belly fat is closely linked to high blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, and metabolic diseases like cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes, especially Type-2 diabetes. It causes disturbance in body metabolism. It is closely associated with increase in the levels of plasma cholesterol and “bad” cholesterol and significantly lowers the “good” cholesterol level, as storing fat around the organs is associated with increased risk of such conditions. Studies have shown that trans-fats and saturated fats spark chronic inflammation in the body and cause damage to the lining of the blood vessels. And if you cutback on such fats from your diet, then you might be able to prevent metabolic diseases. Replace bad saturated fats with unsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs and PUFAs).

A high consumption of saturated fats in the diet seems to change the characteristics of certain genes in the body. These changed characteristics increase the fat storage in the abdomen and liver. When we consume polyunsaturated fats, the genes work the other way round in the visceral region (fat deposition around the vital organs) and protect the vital organs from shock and damage and also improve the sugar metabolism in the body.

Make sure you get your daily dose of healthy unsaturated fats through nuts, fish, avocadoes, etc. Choose peanut butter or almond butter over normal butter. Choose fish over beef and pork.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Does Belly Fat lead to Breathing Difficulties?

Are you suffering from any breathing difficulties or respiratory problems? According to French researchers, carrying excess weight around your belly may lead to a long list of respiratory and breathing problems. In fact, it was found in a study that people with belly fat had higher traces of respiratory diseases and problems.

Belly fat is the fat which pads our internal organs from shock, and is found underneath the abdominal wall. Excess belly fat may affect breathing by pushing on the diaphragm and chest wall, making it harder for the lungs to fill with air. The weight of the fat on the chest wall decreases the amount of room for air in the lungs. It also pushes up on the diaphragm, restricting its movement, particularly when bending over or lying down.

Being overweight puts a burden on your entire body. More oxygen must be moved around for the excess tissues; which causes the heart to work harder and places a greater burden on the cardiovascular system. It becomes more difficult to breathe when someone is overweight. Dr. Edelman says diseases like asthma tend to be more severe in individuals with higher fat levels. Other respiratory diseases are also found to be more severe in overweight individuals.

The American Heart Association considers a waist circumference of more than 35 inches for women or 40 inches for men to be abnormal. For people of Asian descent, waist circumference should be less than 31 inches for women and less than 37 inches for men.

Being overweight is not good for health. You can overcome a lot of health issues by simply losing excess fat on your body. Losing weight is possible by following healthy eating habits coupled with regular exercise. A good nutritious diet and regular exercise go hand-in-hand.

So, if you are carrying excessive fat around your belly, then start taking steps towards getting rid of it. Not just respiratory problems, but excess fat is the cause of many life threatening diseases. Not only will you look good and feel better, low fat levels will even help you increase your longevity. All it takes is a regular exercise routine and a nutritious, balanced diet.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Which is Better For Weight Loss – A Low Calorie Diet or Exercise?

Losing weight by only cutting back on calories or by only exercising is not the smartest choice. You need to restrict calories in your diet to lose weight—and you need exercise to keep it off or accelerate the process. Exercise and diet go hand-in-hand. Both will help you keep the weight gain at bay.

The key to weight loss is burning more calories than you consume. Because 3,500 calories equals about 1 pound (0.45 kilogram) of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in to lose 1 pound. So if you cut 500 calories from your diet each day, you’d lose about 1 pound a week (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories).

Studies show that people who lose weight and keep it off over the long term get regular physical activity with a balanced diet. Also, since you’re cutting back on calories, regular and proper exercise will make sure that you lose more fat and less muscle. Not only will that give your body a better shape, it is even a healthier way to lose weight. Low muscle mass will make it difficult to keep the fat off in the long term and it even affects your health adversely.

If you are looking to lose weight and get fit then seek out a healthy weight management course where the plan is made according to your lifestyle. A successful plan should be able to offer you flexibility as well as a structured routine to compliment your fitness level. This should be the key to keep you motivated. Your goal should be fitness and not simply weight loss because the main incentive to lose weight is to be healthy. Going after only weight loss might deprive you of key elements like exercise and nutrition that might make you look thin on the weighing scale but not fit.

Also, quite often BMI is not the best measure of your fat levels. You might be in the perfect BMI range, but it might be giving you a skewed picture. You may be thin all over with fat only around your belly, which is the most dangerous place to store fat in terms of long term health. Exercising regularly will help keep the belly fat at bay. So exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet to lose weight the correct way.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

4 Foods to Fight Belly Fat

Most people are not overweight but have a slight belly. While some work hard to get rid of it the others get comfortable with it and accept it as a part of their appearance. Before you get too comfortable you should know belly fat is the worst kind of fat and it puts you at increased risk for many health problems – diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.

There are easy ways to get rid of your belly fat. One of which is eating the right food. Here are 4 simple foods to fight your belly fat -

Yogurt: Latest research shows that yogurt can even help you lose weight. The calcium in yogurt not only helps to make your bone stronger, a study at University of Tennessee found that participants who consumed 3 daily servings of fat free yogurt on a 12 week basis gained less fat around their mid-section than those who didn’t consumed dairy products containing less calcium. The mineral appears to help curb production of the stress hormone cortisol, which has been linked to the accumulation of abdominal fat.

Cheese: Its a good source of calcium, protein, phosphorus and fat. Having a moderate amount of cheese will not add up to your calories as it only takes a little cheese to make you feel full. A 30-gram serving of Cheddar cheese contains approx 7 grams of protein and 200 milligrams of calcium. Cheese not only keeps you full for longer but also supplies your body with essential nutrients.

Nuts: They are little powerhouse of nutrition and provide a good variety of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to the diet. Nuts contain high amount of monounsaturated fatty acids that are considered to be good fat for the body and helps in managing the level of cholesterol and even help in fighting the bad fat in your body. Add nuts to your daily diet for better health & weight loss.

Fish: Eat fish to fight belly fat. Fish contain a fatty acid known as omega-3 that may also help reduce fat storage by lowering cortisol levels. Fish is also good for building muscles – and the more muscles you have, the more calories you burn.

Besides food one must exercise to fight belly fat. Doing at least 20 minutes of exercise three times a week can help trim the waist line and also slow down the accumulation of fat around the waistline. Get at least 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep and reduce stress to naturally manage your healthy and keep belly fat under check.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Being Thin Does Not Mean Being Healthy

Increased body fat percentage and being overweight result in lifestyle disorders that cause heart disease, hypothyroid, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. Excessive saturated fat consumption increases the cholesterol levels in the body. Certain types of fat are bad for health and some are  equally important which are commonly referred to us essential fat without which the body will fail to absorb and process nutrition in the body. Read here to know more about this.

The distribution of fat varies between gentics and gender. Women tend to store more subcutaneous fat which is under their skin. Distribution of fat in women is generally in their hips and thighs area while men tend to store more fat in the middle area or the abdomen. Once the person enters adolescence the fat cells don’t increase in number instead they only increase or decrease in size. Its the male and female hormone that decide the fat deposit destination in the body. For example women with big bellies are considered  to have higher levels of testosterone ( male hormone) in their system that causes fat accumulation on the stomach. While if men have large hips its due to the high levels of estrogen (female hormone) in that body part.

We presume that fat people are more prone to metabolic disorder ( also known as lifestyle disorders) but a study by Ruth Loos at the Medical Research Council in the U.K. found that lean people with a specific genetic variant were equally at risk of diabetes, heart disease even though the reports confirmed lower fat percentage in the body. (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Five Best Exercises For Weight Loss

Exercise is a weight loss booster as it accelerates burning of calories and the fastest mean to burn fat and lose weight. You can choose exercise according to your body type for losing weight from specific areas like glutes, thighs, belly etc. Playing sports or lifting weight is equivalently beneficial in dropping some extra pounds from the body. More muscles induce higher metabolic rate and exercise helps build muscle for you to burn more calories while resting.

Man exercising(Cr/freedigital)

The idea behind losing weight with exercise is to cut down on accumulated fat. As our body needs fuel for daily functioning we have to eat a certain amount of calories to meet the requirement. Diet can make us lose weight but exercise accelerates the weight loss process. Balanced diet with exercise is the best combination for weight loss. Start your exercise plan
according to your body type and shape up your self from losing the hanging belly to bulging biceps and a toned body.

Shake yourself and get started with your exercise plan for quick weight loss and define your own body. Here are some exercises for weight loss.

Planks: Start your exercise routine with plank exercises as it warms  up the body while stabilizing the muscles. Planks are one of the best exercise for building abs and building core strength. Core is required in anything that we do from lifting, walking etc. Strong core with help  move the body with ease and be active for intense workouts. Most of us have hanging bellies which start getting conditioned and toned with plank exercise. Include side planks to further increase the benefits.

Squats: Toned legs get many eyeballs rolling down and squats is a super exercise to work the legs. Less people work on their lower body which makes the body look uneven. Toned legs will give you are better and confident walk. Squats work the entire body and can be done in variations. It tones and burns fat in the glutes, thighs and hamstring areas. You can use weights to make squats intense or can do it using body. Check whether you are doing the right posture otherwise you could complain for back ache.

Push ups: The exercise works the upper body and increases the strength of forearms, wrist, upper arms, shoulders and chest. They accelerate the blood flow in the body and improves heart health. Using various grips like diamond pushups, close grip, wide grip benefit and work different muscle in the upper body. If you are a women you can do women pushups to slowly strengthen your upper body.

Russian Twist: If fat on your sides and belly is troubling you and you want to increase your enduarance  then do Russian Twist. This exercise works the core and obliques working for a flat and defined waist and stomach. Include the exercise in your routine and burn fat around you belly. Use swiss balls or snay thing to hold between your hands to increase the intensity of the exercise.

Bur pees: It is a great aerobic exercise that works the entire body and tests your guts too. It involves your legs, back, torso, neck and arms. It involves in jumping, squatting and stretching in one exercise. It accelerates the calorie burn as it involves many muscles and involves lots of fast movements. To intensify the exercise set time limit to perform a definite number of repetitions.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

6 Steps to a Flat Stomach

Getting restless seeing your belly fat? Well you should be a concerned (see how belly fat is harmful). But since you’ve decided to take action, here are 6 simple steps you can take to reduce flatten your belly.

Flat Stomach- 6 pack abs

To reach your goal there are certain factors you should take into consideration while on your quest to a perfect flat belly. Follow the following guidelines to kick start your efforts.

Wake Up and drink water:
Rehydrate your body with 500 ml of chilled water as soon as you wake up in the morning. Research shows that following this routine will boost your metabolism by 24% for an hour and a half afterward. Body performs well when it is hydrated. What’s more, a previous study determined that muscle cells grow faster when they’re well hydrated. You know what more muscle means…. higher
metabolic rate, and more fat burning.

Eat Your Breakfast: A recent research shows that people who miss their breakfast are more likely to have bulging belly by about 4 & 1/2 times to a person who has regular breakfast and breakfast size is inversely proportional to waist size. So have a good breakfast before heading out for the days work: have some oatmeal, fruits, yogurt, eggs, … or anything that you enjoy

Track it:
Monitoring your diet and exercise is important as it keeps you focused towards your objective. Research says that people who tracked their diet and exercise are more likely to reach their goal, than people who do not.

Carry Your Lunch: Practice the habit of carrying lunch. This helps you in two ways. If you’re busy, you can eat at your desk, and avoid skipping meals. And when you’re hungry, you don’t have to eat the unhealthy options available in the cafeteria.

Pick the Right Exercise
: You have abs, but they are under that layer of belly fat which needs to be burnt off for your abs to show. So doing 100 crunches a day will not work. You will have to spend as little at 20 minutes a day to follow a proper exercise plan, and see the belly fat melt away. The perfect exercise plan is a combination of active (like cardio) and passive (weights, yoga, etc).

Get the 7-8 hours of sleep: Sleep well and schedule your sleep because research says that lack of sleep might disrupt the hormones that control our ability to burn fat. It says that the muscle cells become resistant to insulin which results in storage of fat around your belly.

So, start your flat belly plan now, and see how this 30 year old client went from flabby to flat in less than a month.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Watch cricket, get a six pack

In our previous article, we showed you how watching cricket can make you fat. With just a simple changes, you could fix, completely fix that:

Breaks: During the ad break, walk around. Get your chores done. Move around, burn some calories! Get some water and drink it- water can help you lose weight.

Read below how to make muscle during the game..

Photo- Cricket and Beer (neil-san@flickr

Build muscle, burn calories: For every 4 or 6, crank out 10 pushups. It will help to build muscle and get you a six pack. While they score runs, you could be scoring a six pack, and much more..

Easy on beer: No brainer, but seriously.. go easy on the beer. You know its got empty calories, and it does all this damage to your belly. Limit yourself to say 2, and minimize the damage. Or better yet, skip the beer completely. Instead, have this to drink- fresh lime soda unsweetened or lightly sweetened. Get some vitamin C and build your immunity.

Healthy Game Grub: Skip the chips. Make a veggie platter, and make a healthy dip. Eating the veggies gives you minimal calories, vitamins, fibre and promote weight loss, since they fill you up. In our next article, check out our yummy recipe for healthy dip.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo