Last Updated on September 7, 2023 by Beth Skwarecki
Some fat is essential for the body to perform certain functions. It is an energy source, and it helps the body absorb and metabolize some fat-soluble vitamins, such as A, D, and E. Lower cholesterol levels can cause a deficiency of these vitamins, weaken immunity, eyesight, and bone health, and affect other vital functions.
Food cooked in oil and butter also keeps us full and satiated. But unhealthy fat build-up is concerning. Higher cholesterol level is a leading risk factor for several healthcare challenges, such as obesity being the most prominent. It also leads to hypertension, coronary heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, fatty liver disease, stroke, breast cancer, and bowel cancer. An obese person is also prone to premature death from these issues.
Hence, maintain a healthy body weight. Make necessary diet changes and engage in physical activities to improve metabolism and burn more calories. If you have an uneven fat distribution, focus on high-risk areas. Specifically, the fat surrounding vital organs in the belly is more stubborn and health-harming. Hence, make lifestyle adjustments to manage body fat proportion and maintain a healthy cholesterol level.
Explore the following sections to find ways to burn stubborn fat and achieve a healthy body mass and fat percentage.
Check Safer and result-oriented clinical options
Weight management is easy for some while challenging for others. In some cases, even proven safer methods like exercise, dietary changes, and more water intake may not help achieve immediate results. Since these practices have a slow and gradual impact, there is no harm in trying other options if you are exhausted.
Some people have benefited from weight loss medications. Surgical procedures are unavoidable for many others. Gastric bypass and liposuction are two invasive options. These help stave off excess fat when other safer options fail and when excessive fat poses an imminent threat to your health. The gastric bypass procedure amends the digestive system to improve metabolism and lose weight. In liposuction, a small suction tube is inserted under the skin, which converts stubborn fat into a malleable state and sucks it out.
Minimize cholesterol consumption
Limiting your fat intake is the first thing you must do if you are overweight and obese. Let the body metabolize and burn existing fat storage. It may be impractical to eliminate cholesterol and eat an oil-free diet, but you must choose healthy alternatives for saturated and trans fats.
Higher intake of unhealthy fats increases bad cholesterol levels and overall fat percentage, making weight loss difficult. Hence, choose healthy alternatives for cooking and dressing your food, such as olive oil, almond oil, corn oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil, and soybean oil. Seeds and nuts also help to reduce bad cholesterol levels. These healthy fats help metabolize bad cholesterol, raise good cholesterol levels, and achieve a healthier fat percentage.
Eat a complex diet
Our dietary choices and eating habits have a direct correlation to high cholesterol levels and fat accumulation. For instance, high-carb foods cause more carvings, and we eat more than our caloric demands. Excess calories convert into fat and increase overall cholesterol levels.
Greasy foods are already rich in fat, so eating them increases fat deposition. Hence, eat complex-carb foods like whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and lentils over high-carb foods like refined flour bakery items, pasta, white rice, breakfast cereals, crackers, juices, carbonated drinks, and dairy products. Eat fiber-rich and high-protein foods like chicken, meat, tofu, eggs, chickpeas, seafood, nuts, and low-fat dairy products to nourish your body, improve satiety, and prevent impulsive binge eating.
Engage in high-intensity cardio and strength training exercises
Regardless of whatever workout you prefer, you will burn calories and use up fat. But cardio and strength training help burn fat more readily and effectively than others. Cardio and strength training exercises have proven results for losing extra pounds and stubborn fat around the belly, buttocks, and elsewhere. These exercises engage all muscles, improve metabolism, increase energy demands, and consume more calories. Once the body uses up glucose storage, the next target is fat.
These exercises have a lasting impact on the metabolism, so metabolism remains elevated, even after a workout and during rest periods, helping fire up stubborn fat. Hence, make exercise a part of your routine. Spare thirty minutes to an hour for strength training and cardio workouts five to six days a week to achieve the desired results faster.
Improve water intake
Proper hydration is vital for the body and brain to function and process healthily. It helps detoxify toxins and chemicals and improve osmosis balance, blood circulation, and oxygenation. Apart from these vital functions, more water intake also helps lose weight. Studies suggest that more water intake improves digestion and metabolism, helping convert food into glucose and consume more calories at rest and otherwise.
Proper hydration improves satiation levels, helping control false cravings and unnecessary food intake. Hence, consume more water in routine than a suggested serving for a healthy adult. If you already drink two liters, add a few more glasses to see noticeable results.
Control and manage stress level
Abnormal level of stress is harmful to the body. Stress causes several short and long-term consequences that severely jeopardize the body. Prolonged stress disturbs the body’s chemical equilibrium, inducing several negative changes that contribute to weight gain and uneven fat accumulation. For instance, stress increases mood swings, causing intense cravings for high-energy foods.
We eat high-carb, savory, and fried foods under stress, which only intensifies the underlying problem. Stress increases agitation and gloominess, so we do not see any worth and meaning in constructive and health-building efforts. More than that, chronic stress can interfere with estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone hormones, and hormonal imbalance can lead to fat accumulation around the thighs, buttocks, and belly. In short, chronic stress is dangerous, no matter how you look at it. Hence, look for stress-causing triggers and try coping mechanisms to tantamount its intensity and side effects.
High cholesterol levels, uneven fat distribution, and overall obesity can increase several health-related complications. Hence, keep your weight in check and maintain a healthy body fat percentage. But always try safer and healthy ways to manage your weight. If you have a clinical condition and struggle to achieve desired results with safer approaches, consult your healthcare provider before trying something unusual.
Beth is Cloudmineinc’s senior health editor and a certified personal trainer. She has over 10 years experience as a science journalist and is the author of two books. She deadlifts over 315 lbs.