We live in a time when women are obsessed with being skinny and having a flat stomach. This is an unrealistic expectation. Having some belly fat is important as it helps protect vital organs. Our expectations about our body should revolve around how we feel.
Are you healthy?
Do your clothes fit comfortably?
Are you living a life that you love?
If you are retaining some belly fat that is causing issues look at the following factors so you can adjust your lifestyle.
1. Eating too much processed foods that are high in sugar or trans fats. Trans fats promote inflammation causing fat to be stored in the abdomen. Sugars are hidden in a lot of foods so pay attention to food labels.
2. Consuming too much alcohol. Alcohol can make it harder to burn fat. Many of the drinks are high in calories and tend to stay in the abdomen. Consider either, stop drinking or reducing to 1 or 2 per week.
3. Going on any sort of fad diet can cause you to retain belly fat. One diet suggestion is to eat low protein. Unfortunately, this type of diet will cause you to retain belly fat. Our bodies need protein to feel satiated and we will consume less calories.
4. Are you eating enough fiber? As we explored in the article Benefits to Eating More Fiber, fiber is a key component to a healthy diet. A healthy intake of fiber is between 25-45 grams a day.
5. Not consuming fat or consuming the wrong type of fat. Nowadays store shelves are full of no fat foods, but some fat is an important part of a healthy diet. You want to make sure you are eating monounsaturated fat.
Take some time to review your diet choices and make adjustments. Focus on a good clean diet full of whole foods and water. Also, consider intermittent fasting as this allows the digestive system to fully process everything you have consumed.
Now let’s look at some other things that can cause you to hold on to belly fat.
6. Hormone imbalance as we age our hormones shift which can cause our system to not function properly. There may also be issues like polycystic ovarian syndrome that are throwing your hormones off.
7. Your gut bacteria may be out of balance. When you don’t have the proper balance, it can cause you to absorb more calories. In the article Support Your Digestion we review some ways to ensure you are supporting your digestive system.
8. Stress – your probably tired of hearing how stress can impact different things, but the truth is stress is a major factor in many health problems. In the article Stress we cover some foods and other suggestions for dealing with stress.
9. Sleep is vital to our wellbeing. If we do not allow our body to rest it adds to our stress levels and causes our system to not function properly. Learn more about sleep hygiene in our article.
10. Lacking magnesium. There are many nutrients that are important to our health. Magnesium is responsible for around 300 different chemical reactions in the body. Proper magnesium levels can help lower your blood sugar and insulin levels helping to reduce belly fat.
11. The wrong exercise. You are always told exercise is the answer to everything. Unfortunately, if you overdo it, you can do more damage than good. If you are training at an intense level like for a marathon this will raise your cortisol levels significantly. This can be good because it will help repair exercise related muscle damage. When you are trying to have healthy weight loss or maintain your weight though it is important to have a moderate exercise routine. In Ideal Weights we offer simple exercises that can support your body.
12. Stay off the scale! Focus on the above suggestions and living your ideal life. How you feel in your clothes and in general is more important than a number on a scale.
You can lose your belly fat, sustain your weight goals, and improve your life when you take it one day at a time. Also, if you are making changes and still struggling see your doctor and talk about the issues, there may be an underlying concern that you need to get checked out. No matter what, be gentle on yourself. Create a lifestyle you want and you will have an ideal life and weight!