We all know that eating too much and moving too little is the foundation upon which BELLY FAT is built. But there’s more to the belly fat equation than ‘calories in and calories out’. Certain stressors, for example, will see you scaling your belt notches with very little effort. Here’s what you should look out for.
1. You’re Consuming too Many Trans Fats
If antioxidants are the good guys of the gut, trans fats are the super-villains. Such sly fats actively contribute to your rising waistline – not only by adding new fat, but by transferring fat from other parts of your body to your stomach. During a six-year analysis at Wake Forest University, monkeys fed 8 per cent trans-fat diet had 33% more belly fat than monkeys fed 8 per cent monounsaturated fat.
There are currently no legal requirements for food producers to mark trans fats, according to the British Dietetic Association, so you need to review the list of ingredients for hydrogenated fats and hydrogenated vegetable oils.
2. Are You Stressed?
When the cortisol output goes through the roof, it causes the release of insulin, and that’s when things go wrong. Initially, the ‘fight-or-flight’ reaction shuts down the digestive system so that you can deal with the ‘threat,’ like a really hungry lion or, more realistically, a presentation at work. When the danger has passed, your body tries to replenish the hundreds of calories that you burned to death / sweat in the thought of speaking in front of your colleagues, leaving you ravenously hungry.
Since your blood sugar levels are now super low (thanks to insulin) and your reward centers are blinkered (thanks to cortisol) you end up planting a biscuit tin rather than a fruit bowl. To make matters worse cortisol helps to release myostatin, a protein that breaks down the muscle.
3. You’re Consuming Way Too Much Alcohol
Could one of the so many pints give you a beer belly? Well, yeah. When you sip your beer, your body turns the alcohol into an acetate that your liver can’t contain. It is your main source of energy, and proteins, carbohydrates , and fats floating through the digestive tract are transformed to fat by nature.
Factor in excess calories from your drinks (about seven per gram) – with the kebab you pick up on your way home (‘drink hunger’ is a real, proven thing) and suddenly you look at excess fat storage.
Not only does a night on a sauce send your cortisol levels through the roof, it saps your testosterone, which means that you will find it more difficult to build a lean muscle and burn fat as a fuel.
4. The Type of Gut Bacteria
Most of the bacteria in the intestines are extreamly beneficial. They produce hormones, regulate your immune system, digest food, collect nutrients, monitor your mood, monitor your appetite, and more.
Two classes of protective bacteria that are prevalent in the gut are, the bacteroidetes and the firmicutes. Nevertheless, according to studies, the number of bacteroidetes in obese people is decreased relative to lean individuals.
In another study , scientists took stool samples from 1,300 twins and discovered that the less varied your intestinal bacteria, the more likely you are to get stomach fat.
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