1. Not Sleeping Makes Your Belly Grow
Sleep-deprivation is a big problem for a lot of people and while you may not realize it, lack of sleep can have a direct effect on the size of your waistline for a couple of reasons.
Being tired makes us more likely to make unhealthy food choices such as drinking too much caffeine or partaking in sweets in an effort to catch and maintain that ‘sugar-high’ to get you through the day.
Not sleeping enough night after night also throws off your body’s metabolism and hormone balance, both of which are required to be in good condition in order to burn any kind of body fat – belly or otherwise.
If you need a little help getting into a regular sleep routine or if you have trouble drifting off once your head hits the pillow, read up on some of these tested and confirmed tips for getting a good night rest every night. Plus, discover how you can use essential oils to help you get restful sleep more regularly.
2. Worrying About Belly Fat Makes It Worse
Stress is probably the biggest hidden cause of weight-gain and retention of fat around the midsection. When we experience stress of any kind, our bodies respond by producing two hormones – adrenaline and cortisol. The former provides a rush of energy which facilitates the instinctive fight or flight response. The latter then instructs us to replenish that lost energy (even if we didn’t really use it) by eating. A lot.
Unfortunately, this stress-eating instinct drives most of use to crave high-fat, salty or sweet foods which not only provide a large number of calories very quickly, but also trigger the release of pleasure hormones in the brain.
So if you’re stressing about losing belly fat, you can stop now and start smiling instead because the information in this article is going to make losing weight a whole lot easier.
3. Poor Digestion Hinders Weight-Loss
A well-rounded diet which includes a good balance of fats, proteins and complex carbohydrates, as well as all of the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs is critical for healthy weight-loss. That said, if your digestive tract isn’t working properly, you very well may have a deficiency in one or more important nutrients which could easily result in the retention of stubborn belly fat.
Check out these warning signs to determine the status of your gut. If you believe that you do indeed have some form of digestive malfunction, you may want to speak with your doctor about getting a professional diagnosis. You can also take steps to naturally improve your gut health by eating naturally probiotic foods.
(Even if your digestion is in perfect condition, probiotic foods are delicious and nutritious! Learn more about them here.)
4. Genetics May Be A Factor
Though it should never be an excuse to live an unhealthy lifestyle, some people do have a genetic predisposition for thickness. Under no circumstances is this a bad thing, nor should it be a reason to dislike your physique. (If your genes are coded to retain fat, just remember that adipose tissue is the animal kingdom’s natural defense against cold weather.)
That said, don’t let genetics prevent you from following through with the other items on our list. Even if you don’t achieve a supermodel flat tummy, you will improve your overall health and feel better as you do.
5. Consistent and Correct Exercise Is Necessary
There’s no getting around this fact. If you want a slim waist, you have to get some exercise. Do it consistently, do it right and most importantly, learn to love it. As previously stated, being stressed out causes our bodies to produce cortisol which is one of the big causes of belly fat-retention, so do everything in your power to make exercising fun.
Go walking with a friend or with your pet if you have a furry companion who’s willing to take a stroll with you.
Force yourself to smile while you get in your daily dose of physical activity. While this may sound utterly ridiculous, the physical act of smiling can actually trick your brain into producing “happy hormones” which will in turn create a positive experience for you.
In terms of ‘correct’ exercise, you’ll want to focus on a balance of cardiovascular activities and whole body resistance-training. (Squats are a great choice for building fat-burning muscle!)
Avoid spot exercises which target the midsection only as these will build muscle underneath existing belly fat and actually cause your waistline to appear larger and increase the amount of time before you notice your stomach begin to trim down.