Most common causes of abdominal fat

New Picture1The waist is usually the first place excess fat goes. Unfortunately, it is also one of the hardest areas on our bodies to lose weight. Having excess belly, or abdominal, fat is worse than having excess fat on most other places on our body. It can put people at an increased risk for common diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, colorectal cancer, and sleep apnea.

Your weight is a combination of how well you balance the amount of calories you consume and how much physical activity you get. Many people think they can eat whatever they want as long as they work out, or vice versa, they don’t have to work out if they eat healthy or very little. But this is not the case. You need to balance a healthy, clean diet with a regular routine of physical exercise.

Here are the most common causes of excess, unwanted belly fat:

  • Physical inactivity. Losing belly fat is not impossible without exercise, however, it is much more difficult.
  • Eating or drinking too much sugar. Avoid sugary drinks like soda and fruit juices and foods high in sugar. Drink water and eat naturally sweet fruits instead.
  • Eating too much fat. Cut back on desserts, fried and processed foods, etc. Load up on healthy carbohydrates and protein instead. It will make you feel fuller for longer.
  • Drinking too much alcohol. The liver does not burn fat when processing alcohol. Alcohol contains empty calories and increases your appetite, causing you to eat more. When drinking, stick to a low calorie wine or liquor.
  • Eating your feelings. People tend to eat more, and less healthy, when they are stressed out or feeling down. Stress can increase your cortisol level which increases belly fat.
  • Eating late at night. Our bodies don’t process food as quickly or effectively when we sleep, which makes it more likely to turn into fat. Avoid eating anything at least 2 hours before bedtime.
  • Not getting enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep increases our cortisol levels, which as we know, increases belly fat. The average adult should get around 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night.
  • Not eating enough protein. Protein helps us feel fuller for longer. It also helps balance our blood sugar levels and maintain a strong metabolism. Grilled chicken, hard boiled eggs, fish, and quinoa are all excellent sources of protein.

In order to lose that unwanted belly fat, there are five things you can do:

1. Eat a clean diet

2. Get four to five days of moderate to vigorous exercise a week

3. Get proper rest

4. Have self-control

5. Stay focused and determined. You can do it.

David Samadi, MD - Medical Contributor

View posts by David Samadi, MD - Medical Contributor
Dr. Samadi is a board-certified urologic oncologist trained in open and traditional and laparoscopic surgery and is an expert in robotic prostate surgery. He is chairman of urology, chief of robotic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital and professor of urology at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. He is a medical correspondent for the Fox News Channel's Medical A-Team. Learn more at Visit Dr. Samadi's blog at Follow Dr. Samadi on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.
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