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Lose Belly Fat Diet - Low Carb Or Low Fat?

Most people wrongly believe that a low fat diet is the way to lose belly fat. Several studies have shown that a low carb diet is indeed more effective for belly fat loss.

Since the early 70s, Americans reduced their fat intake from 40% to 34%. Yet, the obesity epidemic has been rising steeply since it began in the early 1980's. Why?

Excessive consumption of carbohydrates.

Our primal ancestors lived on a hunters-gatherers diet of primarily meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. Grain was not even part of human diet until agricultural started about 10,000 years ago. The increase in human population and decrease in hunted large game made it necessary for humans to adopt agriculture.

The evolution of human diet from mainly animal sources to grain products (refined carbohydrates) has led to a fall in the quantity and quality of human life. Diseases and conditions such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease which were once non-existent, are now prevalent.

Take a look at your existing diet. Are you consuming lots of refined carbohydrates such as breads, pastas, cereals, cakes, biscuits and sugar? Excess consumption of refined carbohydrates prevents stored body fat from being used as energy. The body becomes adapted to burning sugar as fuel and forgets how to burn fat.

Everyone needs some carbohydrates. In the body, carbohydrates are converted into glucose as a main source of energy for the brain. Unused glucose is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles. Only the glycogen in the liver can be converted back to glucose for use by the brain when necessary.

The body has limited capacity for storing carbohydrates. Although the muscles can store more glycogen than the liver, its reserves cannot be broken down when energy is required by the brain. Once the glycogen reserves are full, excess carbohydrates are converted into fat.

Eating a high carb meal can cause a spike in glucose levels. This prompts the pancreas to release insulin into the bloodstream to lower the glucose levels. The bad news is insulin is a fat storage hormone. It tells the body to store excess carbohydrates as fat. Fluctuation in blood sugar levels causes cravings for more carbohydrates and hence, more fat storage in response to insulin.

In order to lose belly fat, it is essential to manage insulin response by consuming less refined carbohydrates. You should increase your intake of healthy fats and proteins. They have little effect on insulin and slow down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. Choose healthy fat sources such as nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, fish and organically raised, free range animals. Avoid hydrogenated oils, refined oils and homogenized milk fat. Substitute vegetables and fruits for refined carbohydrates.

People on low fat diet have the impression that they can consume large amounts of reduced fat food products, resulting in excessive intake and weight gain. Unbeknown to them, most low fat or fat-free food products contain high carbohydrates.

It should be clear by now why a low carb diet is more beneficial than a low fat diet for belly fat loss. Excessive carbohydrates causes the body to make fat, screws up the hormone system to promote fat storage and prevents fat loss.

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