Belly has to go – does it work without dieting?

March 12, 2022 – 12:43 The clock

by Alexandra Kraft

The stomach must go, because if fat accumulates in it, it is especially dangerous. How does it work without a diet? A testimonial from our author.

Corona made us fat

It is clear that the past few months have not been good for any of us. Most of us have been sitting too much and moving too little. The lack of physical activity has left its mark. On average, Germans have gained 5.6 kilos since the start of the pandemic. The 30 to 40 age group is particularly affected. Did you feel the same?

I certainly know that from myself. Even before Corona, I noticed that the center of my body had lost a lot of tension. No wonder: I am a runner. I played basketball and tennis. Sit-ups have always been an abomination to me. But my stomach was also a small miracle. A child grew up there, but since then he has lost a lot of tension. A few years have passed since then and I just ignored my heart.

Too much belly fat makes us sick

But that rarely solved a problem. Mine has grown a little more each year. I wasn’t overweight, but my belly was growing millimeter by millimeter. Too much sugar, too many junk carbs, and too many processed foods have all left their mark on me.

I am far from alone with this problem. According to a study, women in Germany have an average waist circumference of 90 centimeters, men about 100 centimeters. From a value of 80 centimeters, women are assumed to have a significantly increased risk of cardiovascular disease. For men, the limit is 94 centimeters. If you have more, your risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes increases dramatically. The tricky thing: If you only look at the so-called body mass index (BMI), you often don’t even notice how much unhealthy fat you’ve been carrying on your stomach for a long time.

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Belly fat is our emergency reserve for the starvation years

Because that’s pretty much where the fat is on your stomach. Especially internal abdominal fat is extremely dangerous. It actually performs an important task by nature. It is a kind of emergency reserve for periods of scarcity. Because, unlike hip and thigh fat, it can be easily converted into sugar and therefore energy for the body. However, today we hardly experience any phase without eating. Food accumulates at home. It’s abundance – and it’s not good for us at all. We feed our bodies with food all the time, 24/7.

Men are more prone to belly fat than women

The result: Our body stores excess energy mainly in the abdomen. At first almost invisible inside, around the organs. And then at some point outside, in the form of a protruding belly. Men are more prone to visceral fat, while women tend to have fat on their hips and buttocks. There it serves as an iron reserve for pregnancies. But with age, women also store more and more belly fat.

It’s not always easy to see how much fat you have stored on your belly. But you can get a good guideline with a simple tape measure. The measurement should be taken midway between the costal arch and the hips. Men in particular carry too much belly fat with them to Germany. This is likely due to testosterone, a male sex hormone.

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Alexandra Kraft says: That’s how I got rid of my belly!

“A carrot does us good”

When I noticed that my belly was growing and my first blood values ​​weren’t as good as in previous years, I pulled the emergency brake. In the meantime, I have lost seven centimeters from my waist – in just under a year.

How did I do? Because I wasn’t on a diet. Because counting calories does more harm than good. Our organism is very intelligent. If you don’t give him food, he slows down his metabolism. Of course you get it back. But if you start eating normally again afterwards, the old weight will quickly return. And usually even a few extra pounds. Because the body tries to make provisions for times of need – and as such it includes dieting. That’s why it stores even more fat than it already does.

To avoid this notorious yo-yo effect, I watched what I ate. Because not all calories are created equal. Every food we put in our body triggers a reaction in it. A carrot, for example, is good for us. Meat, french fries and french fries tend to trigger negative processes.

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Plant nutrition is the best

It quickly dawned on me that I had consumed way too much sugar. Plus, many studies show that a plant-based diet with lots of fruits and vegetables is best for us. For more than two years, I have almost completely avoided sugar. Meat is rarely on my plate.

I have experimented a lot in the kitchen. During the Corona lockdown I had more time than usual for this – and there was no canteen either. In the morning I now have oatmeal with plain yogurt and fresh fruit. I banned sugary muesli from my kitchen. I learned how to make bread dumplings myself, now I can cook wonderful fish kot, and I love sweet potato chili. My diet enriched it. So far, I haven’t had the feeling of having to do without anything. Because I hardly use processed foods anymore and make sure there are no flavor enhancers in my foods, I seem to perceive spices and flavors much more clearly. food characteristics.

The person mixes the salad in a bowl.

Eating healthy is the key to a flat stomach.

© Getty Images/iStockphoto, DragonImages

Abdominal training helps the muscles

As I said, everything was very good for my stomach. I had to buy all my new pants because the old ones were so big even the tailor just waved them off. And because my ambition was aroused and for the first time in many years I want to wear a bikini again on my next beach vacation, I started specifically training my stomach a few months ago.

I will never have a six-pack again. I don’t even want to. Because to make the stomach muscles visible, I would have to follow a hard diet to significantly reduce the body fat percentage. I think it’s unhealthy and I don’t want to. But with regular abdominal exercises, it becomes firmer again. The success is already visible, the first muscles are emerging now.

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