But before trashing all your food and buying anything that says “whole grain” on the label, be warned that not all products labeled as whole grain are created equal. Many products may contain whole grain, but the percentage is small and not enough to make a difference in your lower belly fat. Long ingredient lists almost always contain a mix of chemical preservatives and additives, which may actually cause additional weight gain. Look for instead items that are 100% whole grain.
In fact, liquid calories now make up a whopping 21 percent of our daily calorie intake—more than 400 calories every single day, more than twice as much as we drank 30 years ago. To give you a perspective on those numbers, imagine taking two slices of Pizza Hut Thin ‘N Crispy Pepperoni Pizza, tossing them in a blender and hitting “puree,” then drinking the whole thing down. That’s 420 calories. Now imagine that the typical American has been doing this every single day for years.
The first type of belly fat to know about is intra-abdominal fat, which Dr. David Greuner, a New York City surgeon, describes as fat that's closely related to your glucose and insulin metabolism. "Intra-abdominal fat is that inside the peritoneal cavity, made up of fat on and within the organs (liver and intestines) and the omentum (an apron of fat that hangs off the stomach)," he says.
The stress hormone cortisol can really screw with your belly. The problem with cortisol is two-fold: First, the chemical makeup of cortisol causes the body to store visceral fat. Visceral fat is stored between your main organs and in the midsection and is the most dangerous type of fat. Experts state that visceral fat increases the risk of diabetes and heart disease.