The effects of sugar laden drinks on belly fat
One of the most common source of belly fat is the sugary drinks we regularly pour down our throats. They come in the form of sodas, fruit juices and fruit punches, sports drinks, sweetened teas and coffee. And let’s not forget alcohol.
Many times, we are unaware of how much of the sweet stuff we are consuming simply because we just don’t give it any thought. Unfortunately, this thoughtless act is causing us to add inches to our waistlines. I call it soda belly.
The two main types of belly fat
There are two kinds of belly fat – subcutaneous fat and visceral fat – that we need to be concerned with.
Let’s review the cause and effect of these types excess belly fat:
Subcutaneous fat lies just beneath the skin around your midsection. We have different names for it – love handles, spare tires, beer belly. You can pinch this type of fat and although it’s unsightly it’s fairly harmless.
The best way to get rid of subcutaneous fat is to cut back on foods that are calorie dense such as chips, beer and alcohol, breads, sodas, excess dairy products and eating like a kid. Replace them with nutrient dense foods like lean proteins (both animal and plant-based) and fiber rich foods such as fruits and green veggies.
Subcutaneous fat can also be a result of being sedentary for long periods during the day. Fix this by being discipline with a consistent activity program. If you are stuck at a desk for most of the day then get up every 15 to 30 minutes and go to the bathroom, water cooler or go outside for a walk around the block. Also consider doing a consistent exercise routine at least three days per week. (Check out my report How To Lose Belly Fat for the five basic steps to getting rid of the jiggly belly.)
Visceral fat is the type of fat that surrounds your internal organs such as your liver, heart, intestines and lungs. It can even build up in the blood vessels. As you can imagine, this type of fat poses serious health risks. It can lead to heart disease, insulin resistance and maybe a contributing factor in certain cancers like colorectal and breast cancer.
One of the problems with visceral fat is that it’s not as visible. You can’t pinch it as you can with subcutaneous fat.
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To get rid of visceral fat you will need to do a complete dietary overhaul to include a drastic reduction of all fat contributing foods. This means sticking to a weight loss diet that can be followed indefinitely. Fat contributing foods are those we eat without thinking about the consequences – drinking that container of sugary beverage every day or eating a slice of pizza four times each week or drinking your milk with some coffee in it (consuming too much dairy products).
Overhauling your diet means eating clean energy foods. Transition to a leaner diet is not easy and will take time. You will have mostly good days with a few cheat days here and there . . . but keep the end goal in mind.
As with reducing subcutaneous fat, you will need to start a consistent workout program. You aim here is to get rid of visceral fat by increasing your heart-rate, which increases your calorie burning potential. One of the best ways to do this is with HIIT workouts. This type of workout gets to the invisible fat lying on the inside.
How does sugary drinks add belly fat
A contributing factor for visceral fat to build up in our bodies is sugary drinks. Sugar is added to a multitude of drinks we consume.
In fact, it’s now included in many flavored waters in the form of high fructose corn syrup. And we drink it thinking we are doing something good for our bodies. What we are really doing is adding extra poundage in the form of visceral fat.
As the leading authority on heart disease, the American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than 25 grams or 6 teaspoons of sugar per day and men no more than 36 grams or 9 teaspoons. Many of the sodas on the market contain up to 50 and more grams of sugar. Imagine drinking two of these every day for weeks and months at a time. It’s no wonder our population is seeing an explosion of overweight people.
Do you know how much sugar is in a container of orange juice? Would you believe a bottle of apple juice has just as much sugar as a can of soda?
Solutions to ‘soda belly’
More attention needs to be focused on the producers of sugary drinks. Many public figures are catching on, including state governors and local politicians. They are recognizing the burden that excess sugar in our diet is placing on our healthcare system.
Some cities are calling for additional taxes to be placed on soft drinks and even considering placing a warning label on the packaging as is being done with cigarettes.
You can do your part by avoiding these products. Replace them with water and natural unsweetened teas like the one shown below.