(WellnessPursuits.com) – Struggling with stubborn belly fat? You’re far from alone. Belly fat seems like it’s the first to form and the last to burn off. It’s no wonder so many of us have such a difficult time getting rid of it.
The belly fat we want to lose is white fat. Yup. There are two kinds of fat. White fat and brown fat. White fat just sits there, jiggles and makes our clothes tight. Brown fat burns calories by revving our metabolism and burning up calories from the food we eat.
If we can stimulate the increase the brown fat, we can get rid of that fluffy white stuff. Here’s how:
1. Eat Spicy Foods
Capsaicin and similar spicy foods cause you to burn more calories. Research done in Asia showed people could reduce their caloric intake without affecting their metabolism if they consumed enough chili pepper. Add more spice. Dump the fat.
2. Have an Apple
Apple peels contain ursolic acid, which has been shown in studies to increase production of muscle and brown fat. Both can increase the number of calories you regularly burn.
Up until recently, researchers believed brown fat only existed in babies, but PET imaging has proven adults do have it in small amounts. We now know this special type of fat, when activated, can help the body burn significantly more calories. Brown fat helps the body produce extra heat during times when it’s needed— for example, when you have a fever. Thin people appear to have a higher ratio of brown fat than those who are obese, and it also seems more effective in calorie-burning when activated in thin people.
3. Try Melatonin
Studies on rats have shown melatonin can decrease obesity without changing food or exercise habits. Better known as a natural sleep aid, melatonin also appears to activate, or cause a response similar to the heat-generating effects found in brown fat.
4. Turn Down the Temperature – Try a Cold Shower
Brown fat most commonly activates when our bodies get cold. One study found people burned 1.8 times as many calories when their brown fat cells were activated. Similar studies have shown not only did brown fat activation cause people to burn more calories, but repeated exposure to temperatures around 60 degrees Fahrenheit also helped them to increase their ratios of brown fat.
5. Exercise a Little
Your body produces a hormone called irisin when you exercise. Also associated with brown fat production, irisin is currently being studied for its potential anti-obesity properties. Studies have also shown irisin may help fight against insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
According to John-Hopkins University, all you need is a little moderate exercise to see a thinner waistline. You need not do anything strenuous. Just set aside 30 minutes for a quick walk, aiming for six days each week.
Whether you’re willing to add in a couple fat-fighting foods or try increasing your ratio of brown fat, you can reduce your belly fat without adding too much effort into your daily routine. Try a combination of approaches, and see which works best for you.
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