Tough Fight for Belly Fat (Quality Life Forum Self-Care Series) Health Coaching Session, October, 2018
Fighting with midlife belly fat? You are not alone.
It’s a tough game. Metabolism slows down with age, which means you burn fewer calories to keep basic body functions going. At the same time, bone and muscle mass decline and fat mass increases, which most likely accumulate in the abdominal area as belly fat. Belly fat is not just about clothes size, it is also a risk factor for type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Belly fat build up overtime as one gets older unless actions are taken for prevention.
Start at the top of your hip bone, then bring the tape measure all the way around your body, level with your belly button.
Make sure it's not too tight and that it's straight, even at the back. Don't hold your breath while measuring.
Check the number on the tape measure right after you exhale.
For best health, waist circumference should be less than 40 inches around for men, and less than 35 inches for women.
Key facts about belly fat loss
Regular whole-body exercises will speed up your metabolism and burn calories and fat. We cannot choose to burn fats on belly over other body parts. Abdominal exercises will not burn belly fat; although it may benefit toning and strengthening abdominal muscles.
An active lifestyle is equal or greater than 7,500 steps a day; a sedentary lifestyle is less than 5,000 steps a day. Exercise more often with higher intensity level will burn more fat. For weight loss, exercise 150 – 420 minutes or more per week is suggested. Increase muscle gain will also benefit fat loss. Combine resistance training with aerobics will have added benefit.
Multiple regression tells us that on average, for every 8.5 pounds lost, people dropped an inch off their waist. Healthy eating is the key for fat loss. Calorie intake, especially from refined carbohydrates, has direct impact on body fat as your body will quickly raise insulin levels, which fertilizing the fat cells, and turning the excessive calories into fat storage.
Understand the role of key hunger hormones and weight loss challenges
Leptin is produced by fat cells and released into the bloodstream as you eat. It send the “full” signal to brain and tells you when to stop eating. Leptin’s counterpart, ghrelin, is known as the appetite hormone; when you haven’t eaten in a while— leptin levels drops and ghrelin levels raise. After a meal, ghrelin level drop down and usually stay low for several hours while you digest food. Ideally, leptin and ghrelin work together to help keep you at a healthy weight. In real life, it’s more complicated. For example, the hunger hormones may trigger your body to fight starvation for weight loss calorie deficit intake.
More weight loss challenges -
Your body adapts the calorie deficit after a period of time. After the initial weight loss victory, your body will be used to the lower calorie intake and a new baseline is then formed. Your weight loss is stalled.
You can only go so far in cutting down calorie intake, or lost confidence and give up. It is easily to gain back the weights lost, or more than that. This is the “rebound effect”, as often seen.
Even if you lose some weights, your belly fats may not yet going away, as commonly seen belly is where fats build up first and let go last. That’s why fight the belly fat is even more difficult.
Stay committed for your fitness and healthy life style transformation
With an open mind, set positive body image and realistic goals and sticking to it
Willing to work hard with long term efforts and take personal accountability for wellness maintenance
Knowing your personal metabolism pattern: As everyone’s metabolism is at different baseline, you will need to monitor your own body’s reaction to calorie deficit intake.
Nurture your body with adequate nutrition, to prevent starving, cravings, and weakness. It’s better to focus on eat healthy. Suffering should not be part of your diet and your will not achieve a sustained result. Allow your body for a period of recovery time for weight maintenance. Your new goal will be not to overeat and gain back weight lost. If you are trying to diet, it is advisable to take a month of diet break every 3 – 6 month, depending on the duration of the particular diet. By doing so, you allow your hunger hormones to stabilize and increase your overall metabolic rate. Your hunger hormones are probably increased while leptin levels are low from dieting, setting you up for a potentially disastrous outcome if not well regulated.
Reduce sugar the Fructose intake. Fructose is a major contributor to insulin and leptin resistance.
Eat more fiber, which help to suppress ghrelin levels.
Eat at regular time and maintain routine activities will help to better regulate hanger hormones.
Drink water and green tea
Beauty rest. Sleep also plays a major role in controlling your hunger hormones in both the short and long-term. A 7 – 8 hour quality sleep at night is ideal. Sufficient sleep also lowering cortisol levels, which contribute to reducing belly fat, better immunity and hormone functions.
Stay active and alternate fitness programs: physical activity will boost metabolism and improve fat utilization. Re-fresh work out routines and keep your body engaged with all cardio, strength, flexibility, balance, and cognitive fitness. Balance daily intake and activity with a comfortable margin. In addition, Exercise may be the most important aspect in controlling your hunger hormones over the long-term. Research shows that exercising helps to induce changes in the brain that help with executive function. This can be absolutely critical to the long-term success of any fat loss program as studies have continually shown that leptin levels will drop with weight loss. By making your cells more sensitive to these signals, you allow the feeling of fullness to be a part of your life, although your hunger hormones might be higher than normal.
Belly fat loss is a marathon; don’t expect a quick victory for good. A healthy life style will empower you to be the winner in the long run.
Healthy diet: overall intake of 80% healthy foods vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, healthy fats, and omega-3 fatty acids, over 20% unhealthy foods like red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, trans fat, and sodium are considered acceptable.
Physical activity level: at least 30 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous activity daily.
Body weight: normal body mass index (BMI), which is between 18.5 and 24.9.
No smoking (and avoid second hand smoking whenever possible).
Moderate alcohol intake: measured as between 5 and 15 grams per day for women and 5 to 30 grams per day for men. Generally, that’s 12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits.
Healthy life style will enable a healthy body and longer life with freedom and happiness. Health coaching is a trustworthy resource guiding your wellness journey. Feel free to contact email@example.com your health coaching needs.
Disclaimer: This information is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not medical advice. Consult your healthcare professional for personal conditions.
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