The Health Benefits of a Flatter Belly
The results you get from transitioning to a belly-fat-fighting lifestyle won’t just be on the scale and in the mirror. Your insides will thank you as well. A belly-fat-fighting lifestyle helps improve your energy levels and overall health. Doing so truly benefits you from the inside out!
Because visceral fat increases the risk of insulin resistance, it also increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. An elevated waist circumference is also associated with increased heart disease risk. So decreasing your belly fat helps prevent both of these diseases.
Losing weight, reducing your sodium intake, and increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables also helps to decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels, providing an added layer of protection for your heart.
Losing belly fat is more than just looking better; it’s about improving your health and quality of life. The two main benefits you’ll achieve with a smaller amount of belly fat are the reversal of metabolic syndrome and the protection of your heart.
Reverse metabolic syndrome by fighting belly fat
Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors that identify whether you’re at high risk for developing heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. The more risk factors you display, the higher your disease risk. The risk factors that determine metabolic syndrome are
Elevated blood sugar levels
Elevated blood pressure
Elevated blood lipids
Research has shown that an increased level of visceral fat, because it’s metabolically active, can create a chain of chemical reactions in the body that increase all the characteristics of metabolic syndrome.
As you begin to make lifestyle changes following the Belly Fat Diet, your percentage of body fat, including unhealthy visceral fat, will begin to decrease. The less visceral fat you have, the less chemically active this fat becomes in your body. The loss of visceral fat helps reverse insulin resistance, decrease waist circumference, and improve blood lipids — all the things that together create metabolic syndrome.
Maintain a healthy heart with a flatter belly
The lifestyle changes you make while following the Belly Fat Diet help protect your heart. The most important lifestyle change to help your heart is increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables.
Because they’re loaded with nutrients and fiber but low in calories, your belly-busting meal plan can help you increase your intake of these power foods each day. Consider the following benefits of increasing your intake of fresh produce:
You increase your intake of soluble fiber, which binds to cholesterol and transports it out of the body. As you likely know, bad cholesterol, referred to as LDL, increases your risk of heart disease and other cardiac problems.
You increase your intake of many nutrients that are protective to your heart. Because produce is rich in magnesium and potassium, for example, taking in an increased amount of these minerals helps regulate and decrease blood pressure, which allows less strain on the heart.
Also, powerful antioxidants, such as lycopene and beta carotene, are rich in many plant-based foods and protect the heart by helping shield cell membranes and molecules from oxidation. Eating produce rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits and bell peppers, helps protect the heart by decreasing the levels of stress hormones in the body.
What are you waiting for? Go grab a veggie-packed salad!