Categories: weight loss

How to Lose Belly Fat Naturally

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Want to lose belly fat naturally? Reducing your sleep debt and getting in sync with your circadian rhythm is integral to losing belly fat and keeping it off.

When it comes to losing weight, many people want to lose belly fat. But that’s easier said than done. The fat around the stomach is often the most difficult to lose and it is also the one that is most detrimental to your health.How to Lose Belly Fat Naturally

And although there are many tips for losing fat,

2 SCIENCE-BASED METHODS ARE OFTEN OVERLOOKED – AND BOTH RELATE TO YOUR SLEEP.

In this blog post, we’ll explain how sleep debt and circadian alignment can make or break your weight loss efforts.

IF YOU GET IT WRONG, YOU WILL FIND THAT LOSING BELLY FAT IS MUCH MORE DIFFICULT AND YOU MAY EVEN GAIN WEIGHT.

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However, do them right and you will increase your weight loss efforts as well as your overall health, productivity, and energy levels.

What is belly fat?

Belly fat is body fat that is stored around the stomach area, but there are two distinct types of belly fat.

Subcutaneous fat: This is fat that sits just under the skin and is the type that we can see.

Visceral fat: This fat is stored deep inside the stomach region, usually around organs like the liver and intestines. It’s the most dangerous type of fat, and eating it increases your risk of stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

What causes belly fat?

Belly fat can be caused by anything that makes you gain overall body fat like:

•Eating a diet high in trans fats, sugary drinks, and refined carbohydrates

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•Not enough exercise

•Alcohol

•Stress – the stress hormone cortisol can also cause the body to specifically store fat around the belly

•Smoking

•Menopause

•Not getting enough sleep

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•Not being in tune with your circadian rhythm

•Let’s dive into these last two in detail.

•Not getting enough sleep

You may think weight loss is all about a healthy diet and exercise lifestyle, but sleep plays a fundamental role. First, not getting enough sleep causes people to eat more calories the next day.

You burn fewer calories when you’re tired because you’re less likely to engage in physical activity, and you also start craving processed foods, high-calorie foods, and high-carb foods.

Sleep deprivation also leads to insulin resistance, which can cause the body to store more body fat.

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But it’s not just weight in general that you gain when you don’t get enough sleep, it’s belly fat. A 2022 study found that getting four hours of sleep a night caused participants to eat more calories, gain weight, and gain abdominal fat, both subcutaneous and visceral.

Even more surprising? It didn’t take long for a lack of sleep to cause these things. Participants had restricted sleep for 14 nights, which many of us experience daily.

Research shows that those who regularly sleep less than six hours per night tend to have higher body mass index (BMI), fat percentage, and abdominal circumference than those who sleep seven to eight hours per night.

Another study found that those who slept five hours or less per night were more likely to have larger waistlines and be obese than those who slept seven to nine hours per night.

And it’s not just the time you spend in bed at night. Research suggests that low sleep efficiency – the measure of how long you spend in bed sleeping – is associated with obesity in general as well as abdominal obesity, which has a waist circumference of more than ‘about 35 inches for men and over about 33 inches for women.

However, there is no magic number of hours everyone should sleep each night. Instead, it’s about meeting your need for sleep, or the genetically determined amount of sleep you need each night. And this is different for everyone.

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The average sleep need is 8 hours 10 minutes, plus or minus around 44 minutes, but 13.5% may need 9 hours or more of sleep per night.

Not being in tune with your circadian rhythm

Even if you get enough sleep, if you don’t get it at the right time for you, you can still gain belly fat. This is where your circadian rhythm comes in. Your circadian rhythm is your body’s internal clock.

It works on a roughly 24-hour cycle and dictates when you feel awake and sleepy, as well as changes in body temperature and hormone production.

A 2019 study found that those who disrupted their circadian rhythms — such as through shift work or irregular sleeping and eating times — had a higher risk of general obesity and abdominal obesity.

However, you don’t need to do much to disrupt your circadian rhythm. Social jet lag occurs when your social clock is at odds with your biological clock. For example, maybe you stay up an hour or two later on the weekend than during the work week.

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Research shows that people with more social jet lag have a higher BMI, more fat mass, and are more likely to be obese, even when taking into account how long they sleep.

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Even an extra hour of social jet lag can make a difference. A study found that those with one to two hours of social jet lag had 1.29 times the prevalence of metabolic syndrome – which includes obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure – than those with less than an hour of social jet lag.

If you have two or more hours of social jet lag? The prevalence rate is 2.13 against less than an hour of social jet lag.

If your circadian rhythm is out of whack, so will the hormones responsible for your hunger and appetite.

Sleeping around 12 hours out of shift – which you might do if you work nights – has been shown to lower leptin (the hormone responsible for suppressing appetite) by 17% and raise glucose by 6% and insulin by 22%. It also reduced sleep efficiency by 20%.

Being out of sync with your circadian rhythm can also make it harder to meet your need for sleep each night, which, as we explained above, can lead to increased belly fat and make weight loss even worse. harder to do.

How can I lose belly fat naturally?

Unfortunately, there is no way to “locally cut” fat loss. You can’t just do sit-ups, for example, to choose exactly where you’re going to lose fat.

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And there’s no magic bullet, so avoid supplements that promise instant results. Instead, focus on losing fat the healthy way, and you’ll lose belly fat as part of it.

Eating healthy, exercising, and reducing stress will help you lose belly fat, but as we’ve shown, you also need to think about your sleep. Here’s what to do:

Reduce your sleep debt

Sleeping more may be the key to keeping belly fat at bay. Research suggests that going from sleeping six hours or less per night to sleeping seven or eight hours per night would lead to a reduction of 1 square inch in visceral fat gain.

Meeting your need for sleep each night is the best way to do this, but work and personal commitments (and sometimes just the latest show on Netflix) often prevent that from happening. This is where keeping tabs on your sleep debt comes in handy.

Sleep debt is the measure of how much sleep you owe your body over the past 14 nights. If your need for sleep is 8 hours 15 minutes, but you sleep seven hours a night, you will have accumulated significant sleep debt.

Luckily, you can catch up on your sleep delay and pay off some of that debt. We recommend keeping your sleep debt below five hours to help you feel and function your best and to aid in your weight loss efforts. RISE calculates the amount of your sleep debt and tracks it as you work to pay it off.

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You repay your sleep debt by:

Take a nap: RISE can tell you the best time to take a nap to make sure the nap doesn’t affect your nighttime sleep.

Go to bed a little earlier.

Sleep a little later: Just make sure you don’t sleep more than an hour or so, or you’ll throw off your circadian rhythm.

Improve your sleep hygiene: Sleep hygiene is the set of behaviors you can adopt throughout the day to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep through the night, thus sleeping more overall.

Get in sync with your circadian rhythm

Staying in sync with your biological clock keeps everything in check, from your hunger hormones to your sleep schedule. Follow these tips to get there:

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Keep a consistent sleep schedule: Find the best times to sleep and wake up and stick to them every day, even on weekends.

Go to bed early every night: This is the time of night when your brain will get the most out of melatonin, the sleep hormone, all night long. Go to bed within that window of about an hour and you’ll have a much easier time falling asleep and meeting your need for sleep.

Eat your meals at regular times: As eating can alter the rhythm of your circadian rhythm, keep mealtimes around the same time each day and have them earlier in the day to avoid large meals disrupting your sleep.

Improve your sleep hygiene

To help you feel sleepy at your desired bedtime each night, you can turn to sleep hygiene.

Maintaining good sleep hygiene will also help you fall asleep faster and reduce the number of nighttime awakenings, which means you can stay in alignment with your circadian rhythm and reduce your sleep debt.

Here are some key behaviors to follow:

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Get light in the morning: Get at least 10 minutes of natural light as soon as possible after waking up. This will reset your circadian rhythm for the day, setting it up for falling asleep later in the evening. Exposure to bright morning light has even been associated with lower body weight.

Avoid light at night: Light suppresses melatonin production, so dim the lights and put on blue-blocking glasses 90 minutes before bed.

Avoid sleep disruptors later in the day: Alcohol, exercise, large meals, and caffeine too close to bedtime can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Relax before bed: This will not only help you reduce stress (a cause of belly fat gain), but also slow you down and fall asleep more easily.

Schedule time to journal, do yoga, read, or listen to relaxing music before bed.

Lose belly fat while you sleep

While you can’t lose belly fat overnight, what you do every night makes a real difference to your waistline.

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By keeping your sleep debt low and in sync with your circadian rhythm, you can ensure that you don’t make it harder to lose fat than it already is. In addition, you can avoid additional weight gain.

How can I lose belly fat in a week?

Losing belly fat in a week is tough, but focusing on sleep can make weight loss easier. Reduce your sleep debt and sync with your circadian rhythm to help shift the pounds and keep them off.

What Foods Help Burn Belly Fat?

Foods that help lose belly fat include fruits; vegetables; protein-rich foods like eggs, fatty fish, and nuts; and fiber-rich foods like legumes and whole grains.

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