Belly fat is a very common problem for a lot of people. Everybody wants to loose its belly fat, mostly because aesthetics reasons.
However, the abdominal fat can lead to some serious health issues like diabetes or even heart diseases. Many of us follow a simpler approach and try to hide the belly, by wearing large clothes. But you cannot hide it forever and you need to do something about it.
What’s belly fat and how can it influence our health?
Like we’ve mentioned before, the abdominal fat is not just about aesthetics and it can generate a series of health problems. If right now you’re worried that your last year clothes don’t fit you anymore, you should know that you have many other problems to deal with.
Before explaining you how to get rid of the belly fat, we have to present the two main types of fat, that are pressing our body.
The first type of fat is the subcutaneous one. It’s the fat that bothers you and makes you feel uncomfortable with your body. It’s located under the skin and it’s distributed in the entire body. The other type is the visceral fat or the “internal fat”.
It usually located on the vital organs like liver or heart, and it stops them from functioning properly. Surprisingly, the internal fat can be present even at a relatively fit person, which cannot be cataloged as obese. That’s because, this type of fat is influenced mostly by our metabolism and by cortisol (the stress hormone). Visceral fat comes with a series of manifestations like insulin resistance and random inflammation.
There are many “miracle solutions” available on the internet, which promise to remove your belly fat in the shortest time, with no side effects whatsoever.
But really, how effective are they? A lot of specialists wondered the same thing and in order to get to a conclusion, they developed a small-scale experiment.
The study involved 35 volunteers, which took part at the test of diet and exercise. They had a waist size which put them at risk 2 of diabetes. Two professors from 2 different prestigious universities (Oxford and Bath) were assigned to provide 2 different methods of solving the problem, according to their area of expertise.
Incipient tests of the trial
All the volunteers were submitted to some investigations like an X-Ray check and a Dexa scan, in order to identify the exact amount of fat. Blood glucose, heart resting rate, weight and many other features were investigated as well. The volunteers were divided in four groups and every professor was responsible for two groups, in the further development of the trial.
The professor from Bath, told the volunteers to eat as they normally would. The first group was instructed to do some minor lifestyle changes like walking more and the second group had to follow a popular method from the internet: 10 minutes of abdominal workout for 6 weeks.
The professor from Oxford, took a different approach for his first group and instructed them to follow a popular method, available online: drink 3 glasses of milk per day, without changing their regular eating habits.
His second group had to reduce their food portions and to eat just a fist-sized portion of food, for every meal. They were also instructed to cut the snacks between meals.
Results of the trial
After six weeks, the results presented an interesting outcome. The exercise group did not loose any fat but instead, they improved their overall health. Their blood pressure and glucose were significantly dropped and they presented a better mood. The 10 minutes sit-up group didn’t get healthier or lost weight, but their waist size was reduced with 2 cm on average. However, this was because their muscles developed and they were able to keep the fat better.
The volunteers who drank 3 glasses of milk per day didn’t lose any weight and they didn’t became healthier. However, the 400 calories per day from milk didn’t add up and they didn’t gain any fat.
The conclusion of this trial is simple. If you want to get rid of the belly-fat, you should combine a good diet with an effective physical activity. The old methods are still the best and a combination between diet and exercise is the key to success.