【Reduce Body Fat】Live |Belly |Ways |

Maintaining a trim midsection does more than make you look great—it can help you live longer. Larger waistlines are linked to a higher risk ofheart disease, diabetes and even cancer. Losing weight, especially belly fat, also improves blood vessel functioning and also improves sleep quality.

Adding even moderate strength training to aerobic exercise helps build lean muscle mass, which causes you to burn more calories throughout the entire day, both at rest and during exercise.

When Johns Hopkins researchers compared the effects on the heart of losing weight through a low-carbohydrate diet versus a low-fat diet for six months—each containing the same amount of calories—those on a low-carb diet lost an average of 10 pounds more than those on a low-fat diet—28.9 pounds versus 18.7 pounds.

An extra benefit of the low-carb diet is that it produced a higher quality of weight loss, Stewart says. With weight loss, fat is reduced, but there is also often a loss of lean tissue (muscle), which is not desirable. On both diets, there was a loss of about 2 to 3 pounds of good lean tissue along with the fat, which means that the fat loss percentage was much higher on the low-carb diet.

Think eating plan, not diet.

Ultimately, you need to pick a healthy eating plan you can stick to, Stewart says. The benefit of a low-carb approach is that it simply involves learning better food choices—no calorie-counting is necessary. In general, a low-carb way of eating shifts your intake away from problem foods—those high in carbs and sugar and without much fiber, like bread, bagels and sodas—and toward high-fiber or high-protein choices, like vegetables, beans and healthy meats.

Keep moving.

The amount of exercise you need for weight loss depends on your goals. For most people, this can mean 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise nearly every day.
If you don’t fall into the contraindicated categories listed above and your body fat percentage exceeds the healthy range, embarking on a program to reduce body fat could be a positive step toward better health—especially if you concurrently have elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

There’s a lot of information out there to digest when it comes to body fat. As a result, it can be tough to discern which strategies are most effective for individuals looking to lose weight and/or lower their body fat percentage—especially since the answer is often not just diet and exercise (though they are part of it).

In fact, research shows successfully reaching an ideal body fat percentage varies from person to person, so what works for one body may not work for the next.

A healthy amount of body fat is necessary for the proper functioning of the human body. While carrying too much body fat has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis and cancer, having too little body fat can be just as dangerous.

“Fat exists in virtually every cell in the body—in fact, the brain is 60% fat,” says David Friedman, a naturopathic doctor, clinical nutritionist and board-certified alternative medical practitioner based in North Carolina. “Plus, fat supplies energy for te body just like protein and carbohydrates.” Fat also plays a role in regulating hormones, body temperature, immune function, reproduction, insulin signaling and nutrient absorption. What’s more, essential fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K rely on body fat for optimal absorption.

Further reading…
8 Ways to Lose Belly Fat and Live a Healthier Life
12 Ways To Reduce Body Fat

“Despite many decades of research and some general guiding principles, the exact body fat percentages for men and women in terms of optimum health remain unknown (though we have general guidelines),” says Michael S. Fenster, M.D., a cardiologist and adjunct professor of culinary medicine at the Kansas Health Science Center.

With that said, general body fat guidelines for men state that 2% to 5% body fat is essential, 2% to 24% body fat is considered healthy and more than 25% body fat classifies as obese. For women, 10% to 13% body fat is essential, 10% to 31% body fat is considered healthy and more than 32% body fat classifies as obese. In other words, there is quite a range of acceptability based on an individual’s gender and body type.

If you don’t fall into the contraindicated categories listed above and your body fat percentage exceeds the healthy range, embarking on a program to reduce body fat could be a positive step toward better health—especially if you concurrently have elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Further reading…
12 Ways to Promote Long-Term Fat Loss
The 14 Best Ways to Burn Fat Fast

“Also, remember that gradual weight loss promotes greater reduction in fat mass and body fat percentage as opposed to rapid weight loss regimens,” says Dr. Alexis. “Generally speaking, it’s safe to lose 0.5% total body fat per week, or 2% body fat per month.” An easier way to measure it at home is approximately 1 to 2 pounds a week, depending on your starting weight.

Also, fat loss is different from overall weight loss. The number you see on the scale is a combination of body fat, lean muscle mass, organ weight, blood volume and skeletal mass. You can actually lose fat and increase lean mass but not lose a pound. “If you see your waistline shrinking but your overall body weight is unchanging, fear not—you are on the right path,” says Dr. Fenster.

Instead of eating a low-fat diet, focus on eating beneficial “good” fats like polyunsaturated fats and limiting harmful “bad” fats like trans fats.
A recent study found from age 5 onward, almost 70% of the average American’s diet consists of ultra-processed foods (UPPs), which is not good news for body fat[1]Wang L, Martinez Steele E, Du M, et al. Trends in Consumption of Ultraprocessed Foods. JAMA. 2021;326(6):519-530. . “The top sources of unwanted oils and fats in the modern Western diet are not meat and poultry, but breads and baked goods, along with condiments,” says Dr. Fenster. “UPPs are loaded with unhealthy fats that are often paired in a dizzying array and scandalous amount with added sugars and salt, which makes them hyperpalatable and addictive.” People also tend to overeat highly-processed, low-nutrient, pre-packaged foods like pastries, doughnuts, chips and margarines.

The average American eats 152 pounds of refined sugar every year, which can really mess with blood sugar and increase insulin levels, which also affects fat storage. “Refined sugars, a staple of ultra-processed products, are empty calories,” says Dr. Fenster. “Decreasing caloric intake spurs the body to utilize its fat reserves, thus decreasing the percentage of body fat.

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