Belly fat is notoriously difficult to get rid of. Even people who are otherwise fit and trim and live a health-conscious lifestyle often struggle with stubborn belly fat. Many people believe that adding more abdominal or aerobic exercises to their routine will reduce their belly fat, but it won’t. Exercise certainly can help refine your overall body contours, but it cannot spot-reduce your lower belly fat. Here’s why:
Crunches target muscles, not fat
Sit-ups, crunches, side planks, and other abdominal exercises can help create a strong, toned core and whittle the waistline, but they won’t specifically eliminate belly fat. Exercise won’t spot-reduce any fat pocket. An overall reduction in body fat can be accomplished with a combination of aerobic exercise, strength or resistance exercises, and a healthy diet. But if you increase your exercise too much, you could lose more weight in other parts of your body without impacting the belly fat at all. Unfortunately, no matter how much cardio you do or how many sit-ups, your belly fat may still prove stubborn and difficult to shed.
Exercise can increase stress hormones
Excess abdominal fat has been linked to higher levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, particularly in women. Although exercise is an effective tool for managing stress and maintaining mental health, too much of it can increase physical stress and keep those cortisol levels high. An excessive amount of high intensity exercise without sufficient time to rest and recover causes an increase in cortisol production. These stress hormone levels can remain high for days, even when the body is at rest, causing the body to store more fat centrally around the organs.
Stubborn fat cells are not a myth
The term “stubborn fat cells” is not just a turn of phrase. Some fat cells are harder to burn than others. The fats in our bodies are burned through a process called lipolysis. Fat is first released from a fat cell, then brought to another cell to be burned. There are two types of receptors in fat cells: Alpha-2 and Beta-2. The Alpha-2 receptors tell the cells to store fat, and the Beta-2 receptors tell the cells to release the fat. The more Alpha-2 receptors a fat cell has, the more resistant it will be to diet and exercise. Belly fat contains a high percentage of Alpha-2 receptors, making it harder to shed.
How to get rid of belly fat
If you type “how to get rid of belly fat” in the search bar of your internet browser, you will get millions of search results that all basically say the same thing: eat healthy, burn more calories than you consume, get sufficient sleep, and manage your stress levels. The problem is that this list applies for overall weight loss. But if you’re happy with your weight and you don’t want to risk losing your feminine curves, you may want to try an alternative method of fat reduction. At Feel Beautiful, we offer:
- Liposuction – Fat cells are extracted from the body with a thin, vacuum-like tool (cannula) that’s inserted through a small incision made within a skinfold. Larger cannulas are used to debulk the treatment area, and smaller cannulas are used for precise contouring. The procedure can be done under general or local anesthesia.
- CoolSculpting – Fat cells are killed with a non-invasive applicator that uses fat-freezing technology. The body naturally eliminates the dead fat cells. Most patients see a 20% to 25% fat-reduction after a single session.
Liposuction and CoolSculpting are intended for body contouring, not major weight loss. It’s best to be close to your desired weight, and at a weight that you can maintain, before undergoing either procedure so you can enjoy the results for as long as possible.
Banish your belly fat for good at Feel Beautiful
Liposuction and CoolSculpting are both highly effective fat-reduction methods that allow you to target specific pockets of fat in a way that exercise cannot. And the great news is that both methods get rid of the fat for good. Once the fat cells are gone, they won’t grow back. As long as you maintain your weight and practice healthy living, new fat cells should not build up again. If you’re ready to get rid of your stubborn belly fat for good, we can help. Give us a call at (858) 295-4001 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Laverson today.