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How To Lose Belly Fat Effectively And Healthily

How To Lose Belly Fat Effectively And Healthily

Belly fat occurs when excessive abdominal fat around the stomach and abdomen has built up to the extent that it is likely to have a negative impact on health. For many, the belly fat is just the tip of the iceberg, it’s the deeper fat stores that form in and around your internal organs than can cause some serious health problems if it isn’t reduced.

Losing belly fat is important, not only for appearance and vanity but also for your health with research showing the significance of belly fat and its role in the risk of acute myocardial infarctions, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol as well as other inflammatory conditions.

Causes of Belly Fat

Women are more likely to gain excess belly fat, especially deep inside the belly as they go through perimenopause and into menopause when their menstrual cycle ends. That’s because as oestrogen levels drop, body fat is redistributed from the hips, thighs, and buttocks to the abdomen.

For men, the natural reduction in testosterone as they age means excess calories are often stored as visceral fat and thus the accumulation of belly fat occurs.

Stress and the cortisol connection contribute to belly fat as well. Research findings support the hypothesis that cortisol secretion might represent a connection between stress and abdominal fat distribution.

Abnormal Fats vs Normal Fats: Not All Fats Are Equal

The first type of body fat is the structural fat which fills the gaps between various organs. Structural fat also performs important functions such as bedding the kidneys in soft elastic tissue, protecting the coronary arteries and keeping the skin smooth and taut.

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The second type of fat is the essential fat reserves. This is the normal reserve of fuel used when the body is faced with immediate dietary insufficiencies such as regular low-calorie diets. Such normal reserves are localized all over the body.

Both structural and essential fat are normal, and even if the body stocks them to capacity this can never be called obesity.

The third type of fat, belly fat, is entirely abnormal and is non-essential.

It is the accumulation of this fat which creates the dreaded belly fat. This abnormal fat is also a potential reserve of fuel, but unlike the normal reserves, it is not available to the body in a nutritional emergency or during most diet programs. This third type of fat is the causative factor in health problems associated with belly fat.

It is difficult to remove and adds to further fat stores in the body due to its ability to slow down the metabolic rate.

Interventions that Reduce Belly Fat

Diet

The number one rule in reducing belly fat: DO NOT start by decreasing your fat intake. Not all fats are bad fats. In fact, eating certain fats can help you reduce belly fat.

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Good fats that you need to add to your eating regime include avocados, olives and other sources of Omega-3. A study in the International Journal of Obesity found that eating three 5-ounce servings of salmon per week for four weeks as part of a low-calorie diet resulted in approximately 2.2 pounds more weight loss than following a diet that didn’t include fish.

Dan Mendilow shares some fantastic points on what you need to do to turn your body into a belly-fat burning machine by replacing a few unhealthy foods with healthy foods. Dan goes on to explain the importance of eating certain fats and why you should not be shunning them in your quest to lose your belly fat:

  • Studies have shown that drinking diet drinks greatly contributes to belly fat. By drinking sugar-sweetened beverages excess sugar, mostly due to the large amounts of fructose present, can lead to increased accumulation of fat in the belly.
  • Apple cider vinegar is a great way to kick-start your metabolism and get belly fat moving. “One theory is that the acetic acid in the vinegar produces proteins that burn up fat,” explains Pamela Peeke, professor of medicine at the University of Maryland and author of Fight Fat After 40.
  • With stress and the cortisol connection, your body starts to produce more insulin as you age, since your muscle and fat cells aren’t responding to it properly. With the increase in insulin comes fat storage, especially around your belly. A diet high in protein may protect you against insulin resistance, thus decreasing belly fat.

Exercise

Skip the crunches. Abdominal crunches and sit-ups should build strong muscles, but you might not see them under belly fat. In fact, crunches might actually make your stomach look bigger as you build up thicker abdominal muscles. Instead, if you strengthen your back muscles, your posture will improve and pull in your belly.

Alternative core exercises:

Side stretches

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    Stand up straight, with your feet hip-width apart. Put your right hand on your right hip, and lift your left arm straight up, with the palm facing right. Keeping your legs centered, lean to the right and “reach” over with your left arm, stretching your left side. Repeat 3-5 times on each side.

    Squats

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      Stand with your feet about 8 inches (20 cm) apart. Extend your arms in front of you and do four sets of 15-20 squats.

      Planks

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        Get in the push-up position, but rest on your elbows and forearms. Pull your stomach muscles in tight, keeping your back, neck, and bottom in a straight line. Hold this position for 30 seconds or as long as possible. Rest and repeat 3-5 times.

        Check Your Progress and Remain Persistent

        Calculate your waist-to-hip ratio on a regular basis. Your waist-to-hip ratio (the circumference of your waist divided by the circumference of your hips) can be a good indicator of whether you need to lose belly fat in the first place and how successful your interventions are.

        • Wrap a soft tape measure around the thinnest part of your waist at the level of your navel. Note the measurement.
        • Wrap the tape measure around the widest part of your hips, where you can feel a bony protrusion about 1/3 of the way from the top of the hipbone. Note the measurement.
        • Divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement.
        • Know what’s healthy. Women should have a ratio of 0.8 or below; men should be at 0.9 or lower.

        Lastly, team up with a friend as you chart your progress. Make sure to team up with someone who is just as motivated as you are. Join a walking club in your area with people around your age and ability. Get your family on board. Do whatever it takes to get yourself motivated and on track with the new you.

        Featured photo credit: Piotr Marcinski via shutterstock.com

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        Published on May 25, 2020

        10 Best Gym Equipments You Need in 2020

        10 Best Gym Equipments You Need in 2020

        Gone are those days when a healthy lifestyle and a perfect figure could be achieved only by starving oneself. In these modern times, we have a more proactive and a healthier alternative to the “dying and dieting” perspective. Today, it’s better to start investing in the best gym equipment for your home.

        Initially, working out and physical training was an activity limited only to the four walls of a gym. However, now the concept of “home gym” is being adopted by a lot of people. At-home exercise equipment provides us with a more convenient and personalized space for working out in the company of various home gym machines.

        The following article will guide you on how to design your very own perfect, compact home gym by highlighting some of the very best gym equipment in 2020 to invest in.

        Things to Consider When Buying Equipment

        There are a lot of factors to consider before you jump into buying everything you need for your home gym. Below, you’ll find some of the things you need to think about.

        Space

        Deciding on the best gym equipment is not an easy task. According to several home gym reviews, the most crucial step in designing at home gym is choosing a space that is appropriate and that will allow you to practice your daily regime with ease.

        Having a clear idea about the space will help you choose the type of home workout equipment you can have. Home exercise equipment like free weights requires a maximum of 50 square feet of space, 30 square feet space is needed for treadmills, and the famous multi-gym station must-have 50-200 square feet.

        Goals

        Having clarity about what you want to achieve through your home gym equipment is essential. Some people are looking for a regimen that focuses more on weightlifting, while others prefer to practice more cardio exercises in the convenience of their home. Identifying your needs and following up on that will keep you motivated and allow you to make the most of your equipment. 

        Features

        Now that you have a few home gym ideas, you can easily decide which features will make any at-home gym equipment the best and most suitable for your space. The wide range of exercise machines available can be categorized into three types:

        Bodyweight Resistant Regimen and Equipment

        Bodyweight resistance is the most simple and effective exercise regimen. These exercises are designed to make use of our own weight as resistance, and it leads to producing more muscle strength.

        Ankle weights, resistance bands, and tubing are some of the famous bodyweight resistant equipment for home gyms. They are characterized as compact and affordable.

        Weight Lifting Regimen and Equipment

        Weight training is known to enhance the shape of your body by giving it a more sculpted look as it helps in developing leaner muscles. Stack and plate-loaded machines are ideal for weight training as they are safe and easy to use. Additionally, cable and pulley machines are considered to be most effective for weight training and are famous for their versatility.

        Cardio Regimen and Equipment

        Cardio exercises are extremely beneficial to our overall health and improve the functioning of our lungs, heart, and circulatory system. Treadmills, stationary bicycles, rowing machines, and elliptical trainers are some of the must-have home gym equipment that is perfect if you want to have intensive cardio workout sessions at home.

        Affordability

        Cardio and weight training equipment are pricey and expensive as they are designed to be multipurpose and include a wide range of features. Body resistance equipment, like dumbbells, kettlebells, a jump rope, or a stability ball, is budget-friendly if you’re not looking to spend a lot of money. 

        Versatility

        Adding kettlebells, dumbbells, resistant bands, and weight vests that have proven themselves to be modern, multipurpose, and versatile home gym essentials to your home gym is a good idea. Combined with the best gym equipment, these tools will slowly work miracles on your body.

        10 Best Home Gym Equipments You Need

        Any of the equipment below would be a great addition to a home gym. Identify your workout goals, the space available to you, and how much you’re willing to spend. Then, take a look at the choices below to identify what will work best for you.

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        Editors’ Top Picks

        1. Bowflex Home Gym Series

          The quest for the best gym equipment is not an easy one, but luckily we have an answer for you. The Bowflex Home Gym Series is the most reliable equipment to have in order to practice extensive weight training.

          It has a power rod of 210 lb. resistance and can be increased to 310-410 lbs. This compact home gym equipment allows you to perform 60 exercises to energize your entire body. For your safety, the handgrips are designed to be strong and give you more control during extraneous workouts.

          Pros:

          • Compact and space-saving
          • Power resistance can be increased up to 410 pounds

          Cons:

          • The rowing function has no support

          Check out this equipment here! 

          2. Marcy Smith Cage Workout Machine

            The famous Marcy Smith exercise equipment for a home gym will satisfy you with instant results through its ultra-modern features. The multi-functional arm press feature lets you do exercises that will enhance the strength of your biceps and triceps.

            For long-lasting use and improved performance, the aircraft cable of this device has a strength of 2000 lbs. The heavy-duty steel frame comes with 6 weight plate pegs that allow you to store the weights on the machine and give you easy access. This single, all in one device will cater to all of your workout needs.

            Pros:

            • Can be used to perform a wide range of exercises
            • Strengthens different muscle groups

            Cons:

            • Assembling the cable system is a bit complex

            Check out this equipment here! 

            Best Value of All

            3. Weider Ultimate Body Works

              For those who are looking for a budget-friendly home gym equipment, Weider Ultimate Body Works is famous for its ability to enhance your body strength and shape within a short period of time without breaking the bank.

              You can work on building strength in your chest and shoulder area by easily doing bench pressing through its high pulley system. Additionally, you can focus on developing your core area and abs by performing v-crunches. The high pulley system of this cheap home gym will also work well in toning your back.

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              Pros:

              • Compact, affordable, and space-saving
              • Comes with a 90-day parts and labor warranty

              Cons:

              • The seat doesn’t slide up and down

              Check out this equipment here! 

              4. TRX All In One Home Gym Bundle

                If you want to start a body resistant regimen and are looking for the perfect small home gym equipment, then the TRX All In One Home Gym Bundle can solve your problem. As the name indicates, it includes all the necessary items needed for a smooth body resistant regimen.

                You will get a suspension trainer, indoor/outdoor anchor, 4 various exercise bands, and more, all in one package. For those who don’t have much space but still want a great workout, this is the equipment for you.

                Pros:

                • Portable gym you can take anywhere
                • Multipurpose and ideal for limited spaces

                Cons:

                • No DVD or exercise guide book included

                Check out this equipment here!

                5. BodyBoss Home Gym Workout Equipment

                  The BodyBoss Home Gym Workout Equipment is designed to be extremely convenient. This portable and highly compact home gym equipment has all the features that you would find in a high-class gym. You can practice exercises that will improve and further develop both your lower body and upper body. Moreover, it can also be used to perform cardio exercises for a fast fat burn.

                  Pros:

                  • Lightweight and compact
                  • Can be used to perform 300+ exercises

                  Cons:

                  • No instructions are included on how to do the exercises

                  Check out this equipment here! 

                  6. Fitness Reality 810XLT Super Max Power

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                    Another essential home gym equipment, the Fitness Reality 810XLT Super Max Power has a high and low row pulley system which helps in forming stronger muscles in the upper and lower back. The strong leg hold-down is adjustable and can be managed easily according to one’s needs. The lower rear crossbar has extra space, which can be used for placing benches and footrest. It can support 265 weight plate capacity and includes one 39” lat bar.

                    Pros:

                    • It has a strong frame
                    • The pulley system is effective for upper and lower back

                    Cons:

                    • Assemby takes a bit long

                    Check out this equipment here! 

                    7. ICON Fitness Gold’s Gym XRS

                      Space-saving, easy to use, and dependable are the qualities that make ICON Fitness Gold’s Gym XRS stand out. The high pulley is designed to enhance lats while the low pulley will tone your leg muscles. The multi-grip bar will give you more control and stability while exercising. Additionally, you will get a free exercise chart designed by a professional trainer.

                      Pros:

                      • Easy to assemble with detailed instructions
                      • Helpful workout chart

                      Cons:

                      • It doesn’t come with weights

                      Check out this equipment here! 

                      8. Total Gym 1400 Deluxe Home Fitness Exercise

                        The Total Gym 1400 Deluxe Home Fitness Exercise equipment will cater to your workout needs in a matter of 10-20 minutes by strengthening and toning all your major muscle groups simultaneously. You can perform 60 and more exercises according to the cardio and weight training regimen using this equipment.

                        Pros:

                        • Attachments included give you options to exercise at home
                        • Rocks steady and glides smoothly

                        Cons:

                        • Top-mounted flip chart is hard to read

                        Check out this equipment here! 

                        9. OYO Personal Gym – Full Body Portable Gym Equipment

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                          This total home gym is constructed in such a way that it will give you instant positive results. The SpiraFlex will allow you to do intensive workouts for fat loss. Moreover, like any weight training device that builds up muscles and increases core strength, OYO Personal Gym will give you these same benefits.

                          Pros:

                          • Perfect for both men and women
                          • Ideal for people who are recovering from an injury

                          Cons:

                          • Resistance cannot be increased

                          Check out this equipment here! 

                          10. Fusion Motion Portable Gym

                            The Fusion Motion Portable Gym is perfect for an effective body resistance regimen. Manufactured with steel bars, it can handle heavy weights and extensive workouts for long durations. The detailed instruction booklet will assist you in performing more than 200 exercises to get the most out of it.

                            Pros:

                            • The ab roller and door anchor are good additions
                            • Comes with a guide of exercises and set workouts

                            Cons:

                            • The rollers have a little friction

                            Check out this equipment here!

                            Some Common Questions

                            When creating their home gyms, many people run into questions. Here are some of the more frequently asked questions to help you overcome challenges in the early days of working with your home gym.

                            Where Should I Set up a Home Gym?

                            Setting up an effective at home gym is generally an easy process. First, choose a room that you feel is spacious enough. Basements are ideal as they are usually soundproof. Then, add a couple of touches to your selected room through good lighting and a ventilation system.

                            What Are the Benefits of a Home Gym?

                            To begin with, a home gym is comfortable to use as it is in a safe, comfortable space, and you can access it any time. Additionally, it is a one -time investment and saves you from the monthly cost of gyms.

                            How Often Should I Work out?

                            For beginners, working out two or three times per week is a good start. For people who are used to extensive workouts, going to four to five times per week is ideal.

                            Is Gym Equipment Safe?

                            Home gym equipment is designed keeping in mind the standards that will ensure your safety. However, it is recommended to read and learn about the equipment before use so that you can proceed with caution and care. It is also important to read instructions carefully before setting everything up.

                            Final Thoughts

                            Creating a safe workout space at home is a great idea if you want to stay consistent with a healthy lifestyle. Hopefully, with the best home gym equipment in 2020 we recommended, you will be able to turn your home into a perfect workout area according to your needs.

                            More Tips on Creating Your Home Gym

                            Featured photo credit: ŞULE MAKAROĞLU via unsplash.com

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