Ever hear the term ‘skinny-fat?’ It’s a term used to identify people that, while lean in most areas of their body, tend to accumulate belly fat in and around their midsections.
Often times, these individuals turn to quick fixes like core-heavy workout regimens, endless amounts of cardio and/or crash dieting.
Sadly, those fat-burning strategies tend not to work in the long-term. What gives?RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
In this article, I’m going to give you three reasons why this happens to certain people, and what solutions can be used to reverse the process of being skinny with belly fat.
Reason # 1: You eat too much processed food.
Processed foods are a major culprit for putting on excess fat stores, particularly in your abdominal region.
Ingredients like modern wheat, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated vegetable oil, endless amounts of processed sugar(s), GMOs and artificial sweeteners can make you become skinny with belly fat real quick.
The quick explanation for this is because these types of foods cause internal inflammation, and the body’s response to inflammation is to build fat stores in and around your midsection to protect itself against these ‘foreign invaders.’
Why do these foods cause all of this trouble, you ask? Well, all of the foods mentioned above are NOT foods the body is meant to ingest. Many of them were created in a lab, and thus are not organically found in nature.
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As a result, our bodies try to rid themselves of these toxic, often carcinogenic ingredients because they don’t recognize them (and view them as a poison). Sadly, due to the chemical makeup of most of these ingredients, our bodies aren’t able to rid themselves of these ingredients very efficiently.
In the case of sugar, eating it in excess raises your glycogen levels above the normal range consistently, and if you don’t do anything about lowering your glycogen levels quickly (like exercising shortly after ingesting sugar), the excess sugar in your system gets stored as fat.
In the long-term, you can begin to develop insulin resistance, which is code for Type-2 Diabetes. Obviously after this, the downward spiral towards life-threatening health ailments like heart disease, various forms of cancer and Alzheimer’s begins.
Solution # 1: Eat more organic, naturally occurring foods.
A few good and easy thoughts regarding eating healthily:
1. Shop around the periphery of the grocery store. Avoid the interior aisles.
2. If it has a food label, it’s not food. Don’t eat it.
3. Eat organic meats, vegetables, nuts and seeds, low-glycemic fruits, some starch and no added sugar.
If you can remember the above three points, you’ll be in great shape towards warding off that relentless belly fat!
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Reason # 2: You sit too much.
A lot of studies have come out recently showing the dangers of sitting for too long on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, due to the vast array of technology and administrative jobs in global society today, our school and workdays consist of sitting for very extended periods. We drive everywhere now, and seldom take the time to go for a walk or a bike ride.
If your area is riddled with cold and snow like mine is presently, you probably won’t even want to get outside to do much physical activity, either.
Sitting for too long has been linked to issues like poor circulation, postural imbalances, tight hip flexors, weak cores, and even life-threatening ailments like heart disease and various forms of cancer.
When you have a weak core and are in a seated position for much of the day, your likelihood of building lean muscle mass in your abdominal region is slim to none. As a result, many busy professionals who sit all day and are lean tend to be skinny with belly fat.
Solution # 2: Get up and do something every hour you’re at work.
If your job requires you to sit for much of the day, make sure you take 5-10 minutes out of every hour to get up and do something active. Do some pushups. Do some squats. Go for a walk around the office.
Whatever it is, make sure you get to stretch out, stand up and get the blood flowing throughout your body. Make this an hourly ritual, and you’ll be all right during the workday.
Reason # 3: You don’t get enough rest.
Global studies have shown that in much of the First World, people aren’t getting enough sleep. Sleep is vital to your physical and to your mental health.
If you’re not getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night, you can be doing your body a lot of harm. It’s scientific fact that if you’re burning the midnight oil, you get hungry, and your likelihood of making smart food choices while tired goes down dramatically.
Additionally, not getting enough sleep slows down your metabolism, which isn’t great if you’re skinny with belly fat.
Solution # 3: Allot time in your daily schedule to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
Some ideas to help make this a reality:
1. Insure that you’re in bed no less than seven-and-a-half hours before you’re supposed to wake up in the morning. It takes the average person about 30 minutes to fall asleep once they’ve laid to rest, so this should more than enough time to cover your bases. If you’re aiming for closer to eight hours of sleep per night, be in bed eight-and-a-half hours before you have to wake up.
2. Don’t check your phone, watch TV or use a tablet device in your bedroom. Get that all done in a separate part of your home. Your bedroom is for just that – being in bed, and sleeping.
3. Make sure your bedroom is dark, with no outside light coming in. This will help to prevent the wheels from continuing to turn in your brain, and will allow you to fall into a more restful sleep more quickly.
4. Make sure it’s not too warm in your bedroom. Humans tend to sleep better when the temperature is a little cooler than we’d like if we were awake, so it might be a good idea to lower the temperature in your home while you sleep during the night.
Hope this helps you slay that relentless belly fat!
Until next time,