What is Skinny Fat? How to Get Rid of Stubborn Belly Fat 2018
updated October 5, 2018
If there’s one place on your body that requires emergency action more than any other, it’s your belly. A beer belly hanging over the edge of a man’s belt is not the most attractive thing to behold. Yet, recent research indicates that we have far more to worry about when it comes to abdominal fat than how we look to others. Abdominal fat has been shown to be a key predictor of premature death, heart attack and stroke, especially in middle-aged men.
Yet, getting rid of stubborn belly fat is a real challenge. It is, in fact the hardest place to get rid of fat from. In this article we focus on exactly what you need to do to finally budge that stubborn belly fat.
Why You Need to Focus on Belly Fat
The belly, is the critical zone when it comes to fat accumulation. All fat, you see, is not created equal. While fat around your thighs and upper arms can help to prevent such diseases as Type 2 Diabetes, fat accumulation in the stomach area is nothing but bad news. Known as visceral fat, it will smother your internal organs, contribute to a shopping list of potentially deadly diseases and make your heart work a whole lot harder to pump the blood around your body.
You have two types of fat around your mid-section. The more familiar type is called sub-cutaneous fat. This is the unsightly flab that is all too visible. It is the type of fat that gives you that spare tire, those loveless love handles and that flabby lower back. Visceral fat is a deep fat that is particularly dangerous in the abdominal area. In fact, visceral fat is like the 90% of the iceberg under the water – the deadly part.
The Danger of Visceral Fat
Small amounts of visceral fat can be good for us. It provides padding and protection for the internal organs. Too much of it, though, is toxic. It smothers the heart, liver and kidneys, leading to a heightened risk of developing the condition known as metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome occurs when obesity, diabetes and heart disease come together to cause chronic health problems. Too much visceral fat can lead to dementia, cancer, and premature death.
Rather than just sitting there and looking ugly, visceral fat secretes substances into our vital organs. These substances increase inflammation. This type of fat poisons the liver, causing high cholesterol, it squeezes the kidneys, jacking up the blood pressure, and it dramatically impacts upon the ability of insulin to work properly. Visceral fat actually blocks muscle from using sugar and from responding to insulin. This can cause people to become diabetic, despite having normal insulin levels.
Visceral fat increase production of Interleukin-6, which is a chemical that further increases inflammation throughout the body. At the same time, the body’s ability to produce adopinectin, a glucose regulating protein, is affected, causing the body to store more body fat. Too much cholesterol in the liver leads to a build up of plaque in the arteries. The next step is heart attack. That is why the best thing you can do to reduce your risk of heart attack is to lose belly fat.
While subcutaneous fat is the stuff you can pinch at the belly button, visceral fat is the deep fat that gives you that unsightly stomach bulge.
The bottom line on belly fat is that it will strip 15 years off your life span.
The term skinny fat sounds like the ultimate oxymoron. It refers to a person who isn’t carrying much body weight, but has a disproportionately high amount of body fat. The majority of this extra weight sits around the mid-section. So, even though they may be within the healthy range on the body mass index, their level of belly fat is decidedly unhealthy.
People who are classified as skinny fat have often gone on fat loss diets many times. The problem is that they lose fat and muscle tissue at the same rate, which keeps their body fat percentage at the same level. In addition, many people who are skinny fat focus too much on doing cardio exercise. Cardio is great for your heart. However it will cause you to drop weight without changing the proportion of body fat to lean muscle. This is especially the case with steady state cardio. Read on to discover the skinny fat solution.
Most people still think that they can spot reduce fat from their stomach. That’s why you see them performing abdominal exercises in the hundreds of reps in a quest to get rid of their stubborn stomach fat. The reality is that they’re wasting their time. You cannot spot reduce fat from any part of your body. It comes off evenly from all over your frame.
The other trap that many people fall into is relying too much on steady state cardio. They spend hours each week doing slow cardio, thinking that the calorie counter on the machine means that they are succeeding at combatting their belly fat. But their waist measurement never changes. That’s because steady state cardio is an inefficient means of burning body fat. It needs to be replaced with high intensity interval training, in which you do short bouts of sprint type cardio followed by shorter bouts of recovery.
The missing ingredient that keeps so many people in a skinny fat belly bulge situation is resistance training. The best way to counter high body fat is to add muscle mass to your body. It will allow you to pack on muscle and develop a well proportioned frame. Lifting weights will also prevent you from losing muscle along with the fat you lose from your reduced calorie diet.
The key to losing belly fat is to perform exercises that cause you to perform big, functional movements that are going to burn a lot of calories. Compound weight training exercises like squats, the deadlift, clean and press and lunges are great options.
In order to start making some traction on your belly fat loss goals, you should stop doing abdominal exercises. They are doing nothing to get the size of your waist down. Instead, begin a 3 day per week weight training program that focuses on the exercises that give you the biggest bang for your buck in terms of calorie burn and muscle increase. These exercises also bring on a post exercises metabolism boost to help you to burn more calories all day long.
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Your Belly Fat Weight Program
- Squats - 3 x 10-15 reps
- Lunges - 2 x 12 (each leg)
- Kettlebell Goblet Swing - 3 x 12
- Overhead Press - 3 x 12
- Reverse Dips - 2 x 12
- Bench Press - 3 x 8-12
- Push Ups - 2 x AMRAP (as many reps as possible)
- Lat Pull-Downs - 3 x 12
- Barbell Rows - 3 x 12
- Deadlift - 2 x 8-12
- Repeat Day One workout.
When it comes to exercising on the treadmill, steady state cardio refers to the way that most people tackle their workout. They walk or jog on the treadmill at low intensity for a long time. For many people, the intensity level is so low that they can read a book while they’re exercising. Yet, a plethora of research now indicates that high intensity interval training applied to the treadmill is a far better application of this exercise machine.
Hop onto the treadmill and place your water bottle in the holder provided. Do a 2-minute warm-up at a low /medium walking pace of between 3.0 and 4.5 miles per hour.
HIIT treadmill training increases cardiovascular, metabolic and skeletal muscle function in the body more effectively than steady state training. It also burns fat more effectively while bringing on the after-burn effect. In this state your metabolism is elevated so that you burn more calories in the 48 hours after the workout.
So, how do you do the HIIT treadmill workout?
Follow these steps for a calorie scorching workout that will boost your cardio fitness as it helps you lose body fat
As the timer approaches the 2-minute limit, psych yourself to begin your first sprint. You need to be prepared to run at full capacity. With 15 seconds to go on your warm up, start increasing the speed so, that at the 2 minute mark you are running at a full sprint (for the first couple of weeks, you may want to hold onto the handles as you sprint in order to have a support for your balance. Your goal, however, is to run freely with your arms pumping at your sides).
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5 Key Belly Fat Nutritional Tips
Eat More Regularly: Food is fuel. We need a continual supply of it throughout the day.
Eating the traditional three meals per day is not the way to get it. You should, in fact, be eating every three waking hours. That adds to between 5 and 6 meals per day. Each of those meals should contain about the same number of calories, carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
Not only will getting into the multi meal habit stop you from craving and snacking, it will also rev up your metabolism.
Nutrition: The 80% Advantage: 80% of successful weight management is determined by what does - and doesn’t - happen in the kitchen. The importance of nutrition simply cannot be overstated. Pay particular attention to sugar and sodium levels, opting for organic options, aiming to eliminate preservatives and keeping your distance from genetically modified foods.
Cut Out Soda Drinks - In 2016, there were 597 cans of soft drink consumed for every person in the United States. That’s more than 10 can each week. In terms of sugar, that means that the average person consumed 32 pounds of sugar just from soda pop each year. You know how bad sugar is for your belly, but did you know that liquid sugar is worse for your waistline than eating the sugar?
The bottom line here is that you need to cut out soda from your diet.
Know How to Eat On The Run - Keep healthy foods, like nuts, seeds or a protein bar in your car. If you absolutely must stop off at a fast food restaurant, zero in on the grilled chicken burger.
Limited Caloric Reduction – A pound of fat contains 3,500 calories. To set a goal of losing one pound of pure fat per week, then, you’ve got to cut 500 calories (3,500 divided by 7) from your diet every day - an achievable goal. If you’re eating 5 meals per day that means dropping 100 calories from each meal.
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Taking control of your waistline is one of the most challenging things you will ever do - but it’s not impossible. To get rid of that stubborn belly fat, follow three key rules:
- Do compound weight training 3x per week
- Do High Intensity Training 3 x per week
- Eliminate sugar from your diet, eat more regular smaller meals