The Best Ways to Burn Fat
What is belly fat and how is it different than any other body fat? Why does stomach fat seem so much harder to shed?
The trouble with stomach fat is that it's not limited to the extra layer of padding located just below the skin (subcutaneous fat). According to the staff of the Mayo Clinic, what most of us call “Belly Bloat” includes visceral fat, that lies deep inside your abdomen, surrounding your internal organs. Liposuction can't reach inside the abdominal wall, so there is no quick cosmetic fix.
Visceral Fat is a Far More Dangerous Fat
Visceral fat can wrap around major organs, including your liver, pancreas, and kidneys. Regardless of your overall weight, having a significant amount of belly fat increases your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol and even breathing problems. Aging can play a part in the process too, especially for women after menopause as decreasing estrogen levels influence where fat gets distributed in the body.
How do you find your body fat percentage? And, how do you determine your best level of body fat?
Keep track of your fitness progress and your overall health by using a body fat analyzer. There are several expensive and high-tech medical methods out there, but for most people, the best device is the simple and affordable caliper. You can use it in the comfort of your own home, or they are also available at most gyms. A bit of practice will assure accurate results.
According to Jamie Luu, RDN, LDN, “Percentage of fat is the amount of body fat you have out of everything else in your body, such as your water weight, muscles, and bones. Measuring your percentage of body fat allows you to determine how much fat you should aim to lose. You can do this quickly and cheaply with the body fat caliper.
With the help of a friend, pull the fat in your arms or thighs away from your muscles and pinch it with a body fat caliper. Remove the caliper, view the reading in millimeters and compare it to the body fat percentage measurement chart according to your gender and age…”1
Research indicates a healthy range for men of age 20-40 years, is between 14-20%. For women in the same age group, 21-33% is considered healthy.
Although you can target abdominal muscles and tone them with crunches, the best belly fat exercises alone will not get rid of belly fat. The good news is that you can reduce the threats that stem from stomach fat. Visceral fat responds to the same diet and exercise strategies that lower your total body fat. 2
A fast and easy diet to add muscle and lose weight at the same time appears to be a challenge because you need to eat more to gain muscle yet also eat less to lose body fat. Proper nutrition includes consuming enough calories to prevent slowing down your metabolic burn rate. The best diet to lose body fat makes every calorie count.