Knowing that a fat belly increases cancer risk is just half the battle won; you now need to know the best ways to get rid of stubborn belly fat.

Cancer Doesn’t Care if You’re “Body Positive”

Fat releases a kind of protein that can cause a normal cell to transform into cancer.

Subcutaneous (just under the skin) stomach fat isn’t as likely to cause this change than is deeper fat in the gut.

A study out of Michigan State University says that body mass index (BMI) may not be the best indicator of midsection fat.

BMI doesn’t distinguish among location of excess fat.

Two Layers of Fat in the Stomach

  • The top layer is the subcutaneous fat.
  • Beneath that is visceral fat, the more dangerous kind.

In the mouse study, visceral fat produced more of the protein, called fibroblast growth factor-2, when compared to mice with just the subcutaneous fat.

What About People?

The researchers collected visceral fat from women who underwent hysterectomies.

They transferred this visceral fat tissue into mice. The fat tissue that had more of the FGF2 protein caused more cells in the mice to become cancerous.

This result is really something to think about — namely, do what you can if there’s even the slightest chance it can reduce your risk of cancer.

And that includes losing excess belly fat.

Mistakes that Prevent Losing Belly Blubber

  • Holding onto the treadmill
  • Doing only long duration, paced aerobics
  • Lifting only light weight loads
  • Worse — not even doing any strength training at all
  • Focusing on isolation exercises like crunches and arm curls rather than big compound moves that involve barbells or multiple muscle groups at once.
  • Eating mostly processed food

How to Get Rid of “Stubborn” Belly Fat

  • Get your hands off the treadmill. Here are 10 reasons never to hold on.
  • Employ high intensity interval training (HIIT).
  • Lift weights: heavy and intensely, and focus on leg, back and chest exercises.
  • Eat processed food only sparingly. I’ll admit, it’s difficult to go through life entirely avoiding Cinnamonsters, chocolate cake and nachos. But if you must eat processed, high calorie foods, do so occasionally and within a few hours of a hardcore gym workout when your metabolism is most elevated.
Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified by the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained clients of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health. 
Top image: FatM1ke, CC BY-SA