Diabetes and obesity in our modern society has reached epidemic proportions. And the best weapon in the war against diabetes and weight gain is education on what causes it and how to prevent it. Most research points to factors like the wrong diet and lack of exercise having a direct correlation to the increasing incidents of diabetes and obesity.
As this is an article about losing belly fat, what do diabetes and insulin have to do in the role of weight loss? The answer lies in research trials being completed around the world that are rapidly putting the pieces of the puzzle together. The surprising answer is that large waistlines are being linked to high insulin resistance.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas and it has a very important job to do. Whenever we eat foods high in carbohydrates we generally end up with excess glucose floating around in the blood stream. The glucose in the blood signals the pancreas to produce insulin – which in turn goes to work converting the excess into glycogen and storing it in the liver and muscle tissue.
As insulin resistance is consistently being reported as the bad boy of diabetes, just about everyone has at least a basic understanding of the role insulin plays in the body. More investigation is required however, if a person is to truly understand the principles behind losing their belly fat (or any fat for that matter) efficiently and with lasting results.
The liver and muscles have a finite amount as to how much insulin they can store. When they reach their limit the excess glucose is converted into fat. The level of insulin in the blood stream can also play a large role in a person’s overall feeling of wellbeing. Too much or too little insulin can determine how much energy a person has, whether their body is storing fat or burning fat, or how well they will perform during athletic training. Insulin levels are even a key indicator as to whether a person will be prone to certain chronic diseases.
Now that we know a little bit more about how insulin affects our body in regards to weight gain we can set out a diet and exercise strategy that should help us shed a few pounds. However, learning a little more detail about fats will also be of benefit. Not all fats are created equal – some are just extremely bad for you while others are essential to a balanced diet. Trans-fats should outright be avoided. This is getting easier to do as many food manufacturers are removing this type of oil from their products.
Essential fats that are good for you are the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These two healthy fats need to be consumed in a balanced ratio to get the best results from any diet. Eating too many trans-fats, or not getting the right balance of omega-3s and omega-6s (found in fish, eggs, and grain fed beef) will eventually lead to the condition of insulin resistance where the cells have trouble converting the blood sugar. Instead, it is stored as excess energy in the fat cells. This creates a scenario where it is extremely difficult to lose any weight regardless of the effort put in to do so.
Dieting and exercise are two components of losing weight that should never be separated – ever. Using either of these methods alone will almost always end up in frustration, confusion, and most dieters will eventually give up altogether. Exercising without an adequately planned diet will lead to an increase in appetite. If the diet is not carefully controlled not only will no fat be lost, but the body will be increasing muscle mass in response to the extra activity. Unfortunately, the muscle is hidden beneath the layers of fat. The sad result is that the mirror keeps showing you the same old chubby body and even worse, the scales may also be reporting a weight gain instead of a weight loss.
There are certain tricks you can use to see great results from combining exercise and dieting. For the diet many overweight people with excess belly fat find they have great success by taking out any wheat derived products (gluten) from their daily eating habits. By avoiding bread (mostly carbohydrates), sticky buns, and cakes great results can be seen both in the mirror and on the scales in a relatively short time – but only if an exercise routine is also included in the mix.
Another surprisingly effective dieting method is to increase the number of meals you have daily. If the body is allowed to go 4 to 5 hours without any food it will automatically go into famine mode. This has the unfortunate effect of causing the body to horde energy – and where does the body store that energy? You guessed it – in the fat cells.
Increasing the number of meals, but eating smaller servings will keep the metabolism churning along and out of that diabolical fat storing famine mode. The other benefit is you also balance out the blood sugar levels in the blood, giving you more energy throughout the day as you don’t have to put up with the peaks and drops (and subsequent drain in energy) often experienced by your donut scoffing workmates.
Essentially, the key to losing belly fat or just excess weight in general, is to have tighter control of our diet and increase our levels of activity. Doing these two things together will produce not just rapid results, but also sustainable results.
About the Author :
As a nutritionist, Cedric Brown has been writing for different blogs about health and fitness, weight loss and also about alternative medicine. He recently created his own newsletter about healthy nutrition, called be-healthy-now !
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