Belly fat is associated with the word stubborn, because it is actually quite challenging to eliminate this fat from the body. Besides looking good afterwards, eliminating belly fat also enhances your general health. This is because abdominal fat surrounds your key organs and is associated with various heart problems, insulin resistance and some cancer diseases.

Let us understand belly fat first so we can effectively remove it..

The fat burning process

There are three major steps in the fat burning process as described below:

  1. Release: Also known as lipolysis, this is when fat is released from its fat cell.
  2. Delivery: The released fat then travels in the bloodstream to reach a cell where the burning will take place.
  3. Burning: Finally, the fat reaches the cell, enters it and fat burning starts. This is also known as lipid oxidation.

The fat burning process is regulated by two enzymes, HSL (hormone sensitive lipase) and LPL (lipoprotein release). Several hormones affect the function of HSL and LPL enzymes including cortisol, adrenaline, testosterone, estrogen and norepinephrine. It is vital to understand how the various fat burning steps are affected by these hormones so as to establish how to effectively lose the belly fat.

Here is how these hormones affect fat burning:

Insulin

Insulin has wide ranging effects on different parts of your body, particularly if your body is incapable of utilizing insulin properly, it:

  • Affects the brain by increasing feelings of hunger
  • Affects the muscles by causing fatigue
  • Affects the liver by raising blood sugars

When you have insulin resistance in these crucial areas of your body, you will have a difficult time burning sugar and fat, as well as not feeling full after eating.

Cortisol

Cortisol hormone works both as a fat storing and fat releasing hormone based on its levels within the body.

  • It is linked to cravings and regulates appetite
  • It usually drives you to eat the wrong kinds of food
  • It causes the immature fat cells in the body to grow and become mature (which is unhealthy)
  • There are almost 100% cortisol hormones in abdominal fat
  • Testosterone, estrogen and progesterone

Fat tissue in the belly has receptors for all these hormones and they affect fat metabolism in the following ways:

  • Progesterone has an anti-cortisol effect and this explains why a younger person has significantly lower belly fat
  • Estrogen has both anti-cortisol and anti-insulin effects on belly fat
  • High testosterone levels in men are linked with less belly fat

3 Kinds of Belly Fat

If you have been working out and you are not seeing any results, it is likely you are doing the wrong exercises. Performing the correct abdominal exercise requires an understanding of the 3 kinds of belly fat so that you know which workout is appropriate.

Here is a brief background on the different forms of belly fat:

  1. Visceral fat

This kind of fat supports and protects the body organs. It makes up a large percentage of fat in your belly. If left unchecked, this is the kind of fat that causes cardiovascular disease when allowed to build up over time.

  1. Intramuscular fat

The intramuscular fat is common in various abdominal muscles. This is what prevents you from having a toned six pack abdomen. Excessive intramuscular fat can cause diabetes.

  1. Subcutaneous fat

Subcutaneous fat is found below the skin and is normally found in huge amounts on the buttocks, hips and thighs. Even though it is also unhealthy, it poses less risk of acquiring chronic conditions compared to the causes of visceral fat. You should try and reduce this fat and enhance your appearance.

5 Reasons You Are Not Losing Belly Fat

It can be very frustrating doing all the exercises and eating healthy, but still find trouble losing belly fat. Even though you may feel like giving up, the following belly weight loss tips may just be the key. Learn these tips and apply the necessary changes to your daily routine and you will have an attractive flat belly in a short time.

  1. Poor Sleep

This is usually quite surprising as many people do not think that sleep is important. However, sleep really affects your metabolism, so you will not only burn less fat, but you will also get constant cravings all through the day. Sleep is important for regulating specific hormones associated with metabolism and hunger.

  1. A sodium rich diet

Even though sodium does not directly contribute to excess abdominal fat, it causes water retention in the body. This kind of bloating is only going to increase the size of your tummy and hide all the hard work you have been doing.

  1. Alcohol consumption

You might have to think about minimizing or stopping alcohol consumption completely to remove your belly fat. Alcohol usually has lots of calories, despite the numerous false advertisements. When consumed regularly, alcohol will definitely inhibit your abdominal flattening efforts.

  1. Performing the wrong workouts

Many people wrongly assume that burning fat around your belly only requires insane repetitions of sit ups or crunches. Granted that crunches are going to increase your abdominal strength, you are still going to have to deal with the extra fat layer. A solution to this problem is doing a combination workout of weight training and cardiovascular exercise. The combination of these two effective workouts will enhance your metabolism, leading to a quicker fat burning process throughout your body.

  1. Lack of commitment or motivation

Losing belly fat is no easy activity and it requires lots of commitment and motivation. You must be ready to start eating healthy and applying weight training and cardio in your workouts. Stay motivated and do not divert from your goals and you will surely move past your genetics and get that flat belly.

Finally, apply  variety into your abdominal workouts as possible to prevent boredom or muscle confusion. This includes performing a wide range of exercises each week to stay energized and increase your chances of not only having a flat abdomen, but also building muscle in the process.