Weight loss and particularly fat loss is a top concern for many of us. How to reduce stomach fat naturally or without medical intervention is highly desirable. What can you do in your daily life to lose body fat and optimize health?
The first step is to minimize the storage of fat. Understanding why you store fat in the first place is paramount to your success with fat loss. Fat gets stored in your fat cells in one of two ways.
- The first way is from consuming fat which, upon digestion, gets stored temporarily in the fat cells. The fat is stored temporarily because the body has to deal with blood glucose levels rising from carbohydrate consumption. See point 2 below.
- The second way is by consuming carbohydrates which break down into glucose during digestion. This glucose in the bloodstream is toxic to the body and has to be removed immediately. Insulin is secreted with the purpose of rounding up the glucose and doing something with it. There are three possibilities:
- Burn it as fuel if needed by the body at the time.
- Store it for later use as fuel in the available storage sites. These storage sites are the liver and muscles.
- If the storage sites are full, the glucose is converted to fat and stored in the fat cells
It is important to understand that fat is present in the body in two forms.
- The first is fatty acids which are the type of fat that is burned as fuel. Fatty acids are small molecules that can move across the fat cell membrane. ?Only a fatty acid can move into a fat cell for storage and out of a fat cell for use as fuel.
- The second type of fat is a triglyceride which is three fatty acid molecules combined together. The triglyceride is a larger molecule that cannot move across the fat cell membrane so once formed inside the fat cell, it stays put. A triglyceride must be converted back into fatty acids before it can leave the fat cell and be burned as fuel.
It is also important to understand that fat is constantly flowing into and out of the fat cells. The fat cells are intended as temporary holding tanks for fat to be stored for later use as fuel. Some fat is stored immediately after eating in the anticipation of using it later for energy or fueling normal body functions. The system works well until you start to overload it with too much fat. If you are constantly signally the body to store fat in excess of what will be consumed later in the day, your body will fatten.
If you want to reduce stomach fat naturally, or any body fat for that matter, you must stop signalling the body to continually store fat. The signal for storing fat is insulin. And insulin is primarily secreted in response to carbohydrates. A small amount is released after consuming protein but carbohydrates are far and away the major reason insulin is flowing through your body.
Insulin is why you are storing fat.
Controlling insulin is the primary way to reduce stomach fat naturally.
Not only does the ?fat storage? signal get initiated when insulin is present, the ?burn the stored fat? signal does not get triggered. So, instead of a free-flowing exchange of fat in and out of the fat cells, you get a one way ticket for fat storage when insulin is present.
It?s pretty clear, you need to control insulin levels by limiting carbohydrate consumption. This is needed to both stop the constant storage of fat and start the release of fat from the fat cells to be burned as fuel.?You need both to occur to reduce body fat.
All carbohydrates are not created equal. There are a few things to consider when selecting which carbohydrates should be on your fat burning menu.
The first is glycemic index (GI) which is a measure of how quickly the food will break down into glucose. A higher GI means a faster digestion into blood glucose which triggers a faster release of insulin. You do not want to induce fast spikes of insulin. You can find tables listing the glycemic index of foods everywhere on the internet but the main factors that drive GI are:
- ?Sweet or sugary foods have an elevated GI. Things like cakes and candy and sugar-coated cereals should be avoided.
- Simple, highly refined carbohydrates have a high glycemic index. Foods like pasta, bread, crackers and cookies will trigger a spike in insulin. A slice of whole wheat bread, for example, will spike insulin levels just the same as eating a tablespoon of white sugar (sucrose). And it is does not matter if it is whole wheat or cracked wheat or fully pulverized wheat. It is triggers the same insulin response.
- Liquid carbohydrates like soda, fruit juice, energy drinks and alcohol are rapidly digested causing a spike in insulin levels. Fruit juice should not be considered a serving of fruit. Fruit juice is simply a sugar hit causing a predictable response in insulin. And a beer belly is descriptively accurate. If you consume several beers each and every day, it is almost certain you will form excess belly fat.
The second parameter is the nutrient value and more importantly anti-nutrient effects of some foods. Anti-nutrients are the toxic properties of some foods used as their defense mechanism. Plants have evolved to ensure survival just as animals have and since they cannot run away from predators, their only defense is toxicity. Some food groups are more problematic than others. Of particular note are:
- Grain products have lectins, gluten, phytates and other anti nutrients that can adversely affect your health.
- Beans, legumes and some potatoes have similar anti nutrients as grain products except for the gluten which is specific to wheat.
The effect of eating grains and legumes is that your digestive system gets compromised by the toxicity of the anti nutrients. The lining of the small intestine can be attacked which begins a whole host of autoimmune problems and other adverse health problems. Irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, crohn’s disease, leaky gut syndrome, ulcerative colitis and many other digestive issues are all triggered or exacerbated by eating a toxic diet.
Many of us, in fact most of us, simply live with the adverse effects of these anti nutrients on our systems because we have grown used to the symptoms. Bloating, gas, constipation, lethargy and many other effects are all considered to be just part of growing old. In fact, these?symptoms?are more likely evidence of a compromised immune system and weakened digestive tract caused by years of eating foods you were not designed to consume.
You can reduce stomach fat naturally if you understand the fat storage process.
In addition, you must know how carbohydrates affect?insulin?and the nutrient value of different carbohydrate sources. In summary the key to success is:
- Limit insulin production by controlling carbohydrate consumption
- Pick your carbohydrates carefully to minimize the glycemic index effect and
- Steer clear of grains and legumes to avoid the toxic effects of these foods on your digestive system.