When it comes to getting your body into a healthier state, the area that often causes people a lot of trouble is the stomach.
Figuring out how to lose belly fat naturally while maintaining an enjoyable and healthy lifestyle is not easy. Some never learn how, because they don’t have the right tools.
Today, we will talk about what you can do to target stubborn fat around the belly.
Why Is Belly Fat Hard to Burn?
Why is it that belly fat seems to stick around longer than any other fat on our body?
Is there a special diet that you have to follow for it to go away? What exercises target this area?
The differences in how our body handles the fat when it needs to burn fat cells for energy play a big role in this.
To understand this better, let us talk about the different types of fat cells.
Types of Fat Cells
The fat in our bodies is typically stored as one of two types of fat cells: alpha or beta.
Lipolysis, which is the process of burning fat cells for energy, affects each of these cells types differently.
Beta fat cells respond very quickly to this process, and they burn very easily when the body targets them.
Alpha fat cells, on the other hand, are much more difficult to put through lipolysis and aren’t as attracted to the process.
Alpha fat cells are programmed to store fat for later; beta cells are focused on the now.
Different parts of the body have varying amounts of these fat cells in them. Some areas are made up of primarily alpha cells, while others are mostly beta cells.
Can you guess which type of cell is most commonly found in the belly? That’s right. Our stomachs are one area where alpha cells more frequently build up.
While our legs, face, and arms have high concentrations of beta cells, our hips, belly, and thighs all have higher concentrations of alpha cells.
That is why when you start dieting, working out, or losing weight, seeing the changes is more apparent in some areas than others.
How Burning Fat Works
To understand how to burn belly fat better, you first need to know how burning any fat cells in the body works.
Fat cells burn through two processes: lipolysis and oxidation.
Lipolysis is when fatty acid molecules are released by fat cells into the blood. Oxidation is when cells burn those fatty acid molecules for energy.
Most of the time, the body encourages lipolysis through the creation of adrenaline and noradrenaline.
These molecules attach themselves to fat cell receptors, and this binding tells the fat cells to begin releasing fatty acid molecules, beginning lipolysis.
Lipolysis: Beta Reluctancy
Finally, let’s get to the heart of your questions. Why doesn’t lipolysis work as effectively on alpha fat cells in the belly as it does on other fat cells?
The reason is that molecules like adrenaline and noradrenaline do not bind as readily to alpha fat cells as they do to beta fat cells.
Due to a difference in the structure of the cells’ receptors, these molecules are more likely to bind to beta fat cells.
For that reason, fat in beta cell-heavy areas is burned away more quickly than fat in alpha cell-heavy areas.
How to Lose Belly Fat Naturally
Thankfully, the reason that many people still have trouble burning belly fat is that most popular diet “rules” do not account for the extra beta fat cells.
So, how can you burn belly fat naturally by targeting this area?
1. Burn Away Beta First
One piece of advice often given to dieters looking to burn away their belly fat is to be patient. While there are ways to speed up the process, this advice remains solid.
No matter what you do, beta cells are always going to be more easily burned than alpha fat cells. This means those areas will always be targeted first, and there isn’t a way to change that.
What you can do, however, is work on burning away beta fat cells first.
While they will never be eliminated, lowering the number of beta cells in the body will make it so that adrenaline is more likely to bind with alpha cells.
As the proportion of alpha cells increases, those cells will be more likely to be burned away as your body searches for energy sources.
It may take some time before you notice any changes, so give yourself at least nine weeks to see significant developments in the belly area.
2. Change Your Diet
Some foods, such as those with high amounts of fructose, processed sugars, non-fermented grains, and more, can actually cause your body to resist change even more.
In one way, your body’s insulin levels change as you eat. Some foods cause more significant fluctuations than others.
Your body’s ability to burn fat efficiently fluctuates alongside the insulin levels. That means that you can burn fat more effectively when your insulin is at a stable baseline level.
Another potential problem area for your diet is foods that prevent your body from processing molecules in lipolysis and oxidation.
A large part of the fat-burning process happens in the liver, so the foods that you eat must be supporting your liver function.
Processed foods have been linked to more inflammation in the body.
Added inflammation makes it even harder for alpha fat cells to burn in the belly, so avoiding these foods can improve weight loss efforts.
3. Lower Your Alcohol Intake
When you drink high-calorie alcoholic beverages, the body focuses on burning away the alcohol first. As it does, fat burning is slowed down, and it can take a while to lead back up.
Limiting yourself to one beverage is a good way to prevent this slowdown.
4. Do High-Intensity Workouts
To get past the beta cells and encourage the body to seek out all possible fat sources at once, you need to do high-intensity workouts.
These workouts create more adrenaline, so more fat from all different cell types will be burned.
5. Sleep More, Stress Less
The release of adrenaline and other molecules important in the fat-burning process can be affected by the release of hormones created when you’re stressed or do not sleep enough.
By getting enough sleep and managing your stress levels, you can make it easier for your body to burn fat.
How are different foods affecting your body? What types of foods can your body process most effectively? What foods are causing your body more difficulties?
Knowledge is power when it comes to taking care of your body and learning how to lose belly fat naturally.
If you don’t understand how your body burns fat or why certain foods affect your plan to get in shape, there is no way to address your lack of progress.
Doing the same thing over and over again isn’t going to create different results; you won’t see change unless you mix up what you are doing to create that change.
Control what you eat and how your body is affected by the food you choose to feed it.
You can make a difference in your life only by changing your diet, and finding the tools you need to make those changes.