What Causes Back Fat
A lack of cardio exercise or a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to back fat. A diet thats high in sodium or sugar can also contribute to inflammation in your body, making back fat and bloat appear to be more significant.
Poor posture and clothing that doesnt fit well can contribute to making your back bulge or appear lumpy.
However, its important to note that most of the time, genetics are the main factor at play in where the excess weight goes on your body.
That means that back fat can fluctuate according to:
- the phase of life youre in
- your total body weight
Weight Loss And Back Pain
Medical research makes a pretty good case for the relationship between back pain and obesity. But it still has yet to confirm that obesity is an actual cause of spine problems. That said, a 2016 study published in the journal Medicine, did find that high-intensity back pain and/or disability was associated with increased obesity in a large sample of men.
More and more, health professionals are directing their patients toward making common-sense choices for the purposes of pain management. These include maintaining a physically active lifestyle and keeping weight in check.
If you are morbidly obese, i.e., 100 or more pounds overweight or a BMI of 40, or you are 35 years of age or older and experiencing obesity-related health issues such as high blood pressure, you should work with your healthcare provider to lose the weight. In fact, it’s best to speak with your healthcare provider before embarking on any weight loss program.
You’re Not Paying Attention To Your Food
Scrolling through your feed over a breakfast bowl? Eating your lunch in front of your desk? Dinner with the TV on? If this sounds familiar, there is a risk you are not paying attention to your food.
“It can take up to 20 minutes for signals to reach our brains to tell us we are full, explains Clarissa. “If we are distracted, we can miss these signals and end up over eating which can lead to weight gain.” It’s the small things.
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You’re Not Eating Enough Protein
Protein is great for fat loss, according to Dr Luke. “It helps build and preserve lean muscle tissue and can increase the amount of calories you burn. It’s also a great source of energy that helps you feel fuller for longer, so you’re less tempted to snack.”
Good sources include:
Remember, though: do opt for the lean sources of protein where possible, as some can be deceptively high in saturated fat, he advises. Need some inspiration for low carb, high protein meals? Look no further.
How Much Body Fat Should You Have
The way in which women could and should lose belly fat is different to that of men. Women need somebelly fat to function fat cells store oestrogen, so having too little can cause your whole hormonal function to go out of whack, causing serious health issues such as irregular periods and even infertility.
To that end, striving to lose fat from your stomach with the aim of getting a six-pack, for most females, wouldn’t be healthy. Instead, aim to sit within the 21-30% body fat category. This is what’s considered a healthy body fat percentage range for women.
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You’re Not Exercising Enough
Nobody said shedding belly fat was going to be easy. If your gut is stretching the tape measure too much — for men, that’s more than 40 inches around the waist, and women, more than 35 — you need moderate physical activity for at least 150 minutes a week, or vigorous for 75, and strength training at least twice a week. Check with your doctor first before starting any exercise program.
How To Lose Fat From Stubborn Areas
I know that you cant spot reduce fat. This means that if you do crunches, its not going to help you get rid of the fat from your stomach. But you can do certain things to help lose fat from stubborn areas, such as inner thighs, hips , lower belly and back of arms. Obviously losing weight overall will help you slim down these areas too and is always a good thing to focus on if you want to lower your body fat. Losing fat overall will come from a combination of a good diet, cardio and resistance training.
In this blog post, I want to tell you about my own experiences with losing fat in these stubborn areas and what works for me .
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Creating A Calorie Deficit
At its root, the whole point of upping your physical activity and moderating your diet is to create a calorie deficit, which means you’re burning more calories than you’re taking in. That forces your body to tap into its stored energy reserves â aka your body fat â for fuel.
Research suggests that quality matters a lot more than quantity in this case in a 2018 trial published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, some subjects were placed on a healthy low-fat diet, while others took part in a healthy low-carbohydrate diet. Ultimately, the researchers found that both groups lost notable amounts of weight, even without counting calories. It was the shift to a healthy diet, as opposed to the type of diet or the number of calories, that mattered the most.
With that said, if you need a “plan” for healthy eating, a Mediterranean-style diet models many of the changes you should make for better health and weight loss, including eating more high-fiber foods like whole grains, plus nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and lean protein.
And Maybe Cut Your Carbs Too
You dont have to go low carb to lose body fat and lower belly fat. But breaking up with bread might help you reach your goal a little faster.
In a 2014 study, participants who ate a low carb diet lost more weight than those who ate a low fat diet. Bazzano LA. . Effects of low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets. Going low carb also seems to help people lose more fat while preserving calorie-torching lean muscle tissue.
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Add Some Acidic Foods
Don’t buy your tickets to Bonnaroo just yet the kind of acid that will help you slim down is the stuff right inside your cabinet. A 12-week study published in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry revealed that obese study subjects who made vinegar part of their diet dropped more belly fat than a control group, and other research suggests that acidic foods, like vinegar, can increase the human carbohydrate metabolism by as much as 40%.
Change Your Lifestyle And Combine Different Methods
Just doing one of the items on this list wont have a big effect on its own.
If you want good results, you need to combine different methods that have been shown to be effective.
Interestingly, many of these methods are things generally associated with healthy eating and an overall healthy lifestyle.
Therefore, changing your lifestyle for the long term is the key to losing your belly fat and keeping it off.
When you have healthy habits and eat real food, fat loss tends to follow as a natural side effect.
Losing weight and keeping it off is difficult unless you permanently change your dietary habits and lifestyle.
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You’re Into The Wrong Foods
Unhealthy eating is the biggest driver of big bellies. Too many starchy carbohydrates and bad fats are a recipe for that midsection to expand. Instead, get plenty of veggies, choose lean proteins, and stay away from fats from red meats. Choose healthier fats in things like fish, nuts, and avocados.
Even a moderate cutback on carbs can help, too.
What Is The Best Exercise To Lose Belly Fat
Before you ask about the best exercises for a flat stomach, let’s get clear on why crunches and sit-ups alone not going to be the thing to help you lose belly fat. ‘While crunches will help strengthen your abdominals and core muscles, theyre not enough in isolation to burn calories,’ Luke Hughes, Origym PT says.
Instead, Hughes recommends a rounded bodyweight or free weights workout routine done at a higher intensity as the best exercise to lose belly fat. These sessions will help to burn calories and increase muscle mass, which will, in turn, tap into your body fat stores even within a limited time period.
Do note though, too much HIIT can elevate cortisol in your body, which could hinder how effectively you lose stomach fat . Aim for three to four sessions per week and make sure you’re allowing your body plenty of time and space to recover.
‘Burning calories through cardio exercise like this helps to burn belly fat, particularly when we operate at a calorie deficit,’ says Hughes. ‘Try adding star jumps and mountain climbers into your workouts.’
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What Causes Stomach Overhang
A stomach overhang can be caused by a number of reasons, including:
- Weight changes
One things for sure no-one should have to suffer the distress caused by stomach overhang. The good news is that there are things you can do to either remove stomach overhang completely or considerably reduce it.
The primary cause of stomach overhang is excess fat gathered in the area around the midriff. If you wish to remove this fat, you need to reduce the fat both on the surface and also around your organs.
The ideal scenario is to reduce or remove the fat, then tone the stomach area.
The best way of getting rid of stomach overhang is a surgical procedure known as abdominoplasty at our London clinic, which will remove it completely.
This procedure tightens the stomach muscles and removes excess skin and fatty tissues from the middle and lower abdominal region. Liposuction is often performed alongside abdominoplasty for the best results.
Abdominoplasty cant be performed on very overweight patients, so if you are considerably overweight you will need to lose weight until you are within several pounds of your ideal weight before the procedure can be carried out.
Opt for CoolSculpting
For a non-surgical approach to getting rid of stomach overhang, consider a course of CoolSculpting treatments.
CoolSculpting is also ideal to treat stubborn areas such as the upper arms, inner and outer thighs and even under the chin.
Count your calories
Avoid Foods That Contain Trans Fats
Trans fats are created by pumping hydrogen into unsaturated fats, such as soybean oil.
Theyre found in some and spreads and also often added to packaged foods, but many food producers have stopped using them.
These fats have been linked to inflammation, heart disease, insulin resistance, and abdominal fat gain in observational and animal studies .
A 6-year study found that monkeys who ate a high trans fat diet gained 33% more abdominal fat than those eating a diet high in monounsaturated fat .
To help reduce belly fat and protect your health, read ingredient labels carefully and stay away from products that contain trans fats. These are often listed as partially hydrogenated fats.
Some studies have linked a high intake of trans fat to increased belly fat gain. Regardless of whether youre trying to lose weight, limiting your intake of trans fat is a good idea.
Alcohol can have health benefits in small amounts, but its seriously harmful if you drink too much.
Research suggests that too much alcohol can also make you gain belly fat.
Observational studies link heavy alcohol consumption to a significantly increased risk of developing central obesity that is, excess fat storage around the waist .
Cutting back on alcohol may help reduce your waist size. You dont need to give it up altogether, but limiting the amount you drink in a single day can help.
One study on alcohol use involved more than 2,000 people.
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Aging And Increased Visceral Fat
As a person ages, it is common for the body to start holding more fat around the stomach than in other areas of the body. Certain life changes, such as menopause, are associated with weight gain and
12 lb of body weight per year. This rate of weight gain may lead people to develop overweight or obesity as they age. Obesity comes with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, among other health conditions.
People can classify belly fat as either subcutaneous or visceral, depending on where the body stores it. Subcutaneous fat sits right under the skin all over the body, and a person can pinch it. Meanwhile, visceral fat is located in the abdominal cavity between the organs.
Studies have linked visceral fat to an increased risk of several diseases. This fat releases more detrimental hormones and proteins into the body than fat elsewhere. These substances can trigger low level inflammation, which is a risk factor for heart disease, and cause blood vessels to constrict and blood pressure to rise.
In a FUPA, the fat is just under the skin, so it is subcutaneous fat rather than harmful visceral fat. However, developing a larger FUPA may indicate general weight gain, which could include visceral fat. The presence of visceral fat may also cause the lower belly area to protrude, making a FUPA appear more prominent.
Strength Flexibility And Back Pain
It’s well-known that strengthening and stretching trunk muscles and muscles around the hips provides support for upright body posture and for the spine itself. Regular practice of yoga, Pilates or other mind-body workouts can help you do just that. These types of programs help develop balanced strength in the muscles that control the pelvis and trunk. This, in turn, can protect your back by facilitating an even wear and tear on your joints and by taking the load off your spine. See above for a few ideas.
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Consume A Combo Of Calcium And Vitamin D
Say cheese! Adding some extra calcium and vitamin D to your diet could be the best way to get the flat stomach you’ve been dreaming about. Over just 12 months, researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville found that obese female study subjects who upped their calcium intake shed 11 pounds of body fat without other major dietary modifications. To keep your calcium choices healthy, try mixing it up between dairy sources, calcium-rich leafy greens, fatty fish, nuts, and seeds.
You’re Feeling Stressed Or Anxious
Feeling stressed can wreak havoc on your body, according to Dr Luke. “It can cause our body to produce the steroid hormone cortisol, which can make you crave sugary foods that provide instant energy and pleasure. Short-term bursts of cortisol are necessary to help us cope with immediate danger, but our body will also release this hormone if we’re feeling stressed or anxious. When our cortisol levels are high for a long amount of time, it can increase the amount of fat you hold in your belly,” explains Dr Luke.
So, what does Clarissa think? She agrees, adding that by calming your stress levels, you are much less likely to crave energy dense foods.
“Try and notice if you reach for foods when you are stressed,” she advises. “Spot this habit and ask yourself, ‘Am I actually hungry, or am I eating for another reason, like stress, boredom or excitement?'”. If your answer is the latter, try a non-food related habit, instead. Why not go for a walk, call a friend or make a cup of tea? Simple.
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Eat More Berries Loaded With Antioxidants
Instead of satisfying your sweet tooth with refined sugar, turn to berries and enjoy a slimmer waistline in no time without exercise. Berries are loaded with antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation throughout the body, and research from the University of Michigan reveals that rats given a cherry-rich diet shaved off a significant proportion of their belly fat when compared to a control group. Berries like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries are also loaded with resveratrol, an antioxidant pigment that has been linked to reductions in belly fat and a reduced risk of dementia, to boot.
Ways To Tone Your Lower Abdomen According To Experts
Briana Bain, DPT, PT, is a physical therapist based in Virginia Beach. She works as a Physical Therapist at Adler Therapy Group and a BodyPump Instructor at OneLife Fitness
Westend61 / Getty Images
Important disclaimer: there’s no reason you need to reduce belly fat unless you’ve been instructed to do so by a doctor. For many people, belly fat is perfectly healthy and it’s extremely common to have belly fat in the lower abdomen, just below the belly button.
That said, we understand some people are looking to tone their midsection. If that’s you, follow along for some of our favorite tips from fitness and nutrition experts, including a super core-strengthening video how-to from fitness trainer Traci Copeland for healthy ways to target your lower abdomen.
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