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4 Surefire Ways to Reduce Your Annoying Belly Fat

4 Surefire Ways to Reduce Your Annoying Belly Fat

Are you sick of your belly fat?

Excess belly fat can be annoying. It can cause your clothes to stick in all the wrong places, and make sitting in certain positions quite uncomfortable. If you’ve ever been frustrated with your shape, you aren’t alone.

The dangers of an apple shape

Belly fat isn’t just irritating. It is also linked with an increased risk of disease. Scientists refer to those who carry a lot of weight around their midsections as having an “apple” shape. It turns out that a large waistline is associated with an increased rate of disease. Specifically, carrying fat around your stomach elevates your risk for heart disease.

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If you’ve tried and failed numerous times to make lasting changes to your shape, know that there is hope! The following four methods form a holistic approach that when combined will make blasting your annoying belly fat a breeze.

Step 1- Focus on aerobic exercise rather than abdominal training.

If you are trying to lose fat from your stomach, you might conclude that your focus should be on abdominal training exercises. However, research shows that aerobic exercise such as swimming and running is actually much more effective at reducing levels of belly fat. There is no evidence that training your abdominal muscles will, by itself, have any effect on waist measurement or levels of stomach fat.

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Step 2- Eat more protein and fewer carbohydrates.

The saying “Great abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym” has become well known in fitness circles for a good reason! If you want to reduce your belly fat, you will need to reduce your overall body weight by adopting a healthy diet coupled with a good exercise routine. One simple dietary adjustment you can make is to eat more protein and fewer carbs. Carbs are broken down more quickly relative to protein-rich foods, which means you will become hungry faster and less likely to make sensible food choices. Base your meals and snacks around lean proteins together with vegetables, with modest amounts of wholegrain carbohydrates as a side dish rather than the main component of a meal. For example, a good dinner option is a portion of lean fish, vegetables drizzled with olive oil, and a small portion of potatoes. Instead of carb-heavy snacks such as crackers, chips, or sandwiches, try fruit with a portion of protein. Apple and cheese slices are an appetizing option.

Step 3- Make sure you are not constipated.

Sometimes a distended belly is actually a sign of constipation rather than an excess of stomach fat. Follow these tips to prevent constipation and maintain great bowel health. Watch out for foods that encourage bloating in some people such as beans, lentils, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, and grains such as wheat and barley.

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Step 4- Avoid drinks sweetened with sugar.

We all know that sugary drinks cause tooth decay but they also encourage the development of belly fat. Eating sugar in foods is bad enough, but ingesting it in the form of liquid is even worse. When you drink a sugary drink, your brain does not register the calories you have taken in, which means that you can consume hundreds of calories that do not fill you up yet still contribute to the development of excess fat. This means that you end up taking in a higher number of calories overall.

Take the four steps above and you can look forward to a flatter belly within weeks! It’s important to remember, however, that you will need to make these steps into ongoing practices if you want to keep your hard-earned changes. Commit to overhauling your lifestyle and you will soon see the benefits.

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More by this author

Jay Hill

Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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