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How to Lose Belly Fat: From a Big Belly to Sixpack

How to Lose Belly Fat: From a Big Belly to Sixpack

Everyone has body fat. Ignore the fitness magazine headline of the ripped guy saying how he literally has no fat on his body.

Body Fat is necessary. It is the best fuel storage for your body as it’s providing him a lot of energy. Fat tissue is your body’s way of storing energy.

Back in our hunter and gatherer times this was crucial. One could not buy foods as easily as we buy them today. In prehistoric times we had to go days and maybe even weeks without food. The accumulation of fat cells was crucial in that day and age.

Fat cells used to be our friends, now we like to call them our worst enemy. What used to be so beneficial in the past is now deeply annoying. But that fat storage, especially around your waist — belly fat, can not only be annoying, but also be dangerously life threatening.

Not All Body Fat Is Created Equal

My grandfather used to have a really big and hard belly. He had such a huge belly that he would be able to drive his Mercedes with his tummy only. Just hilarious when you think about it.

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My grandpa was not storing his body fat at the right point. In fact, the belly fat turned out to be life threatening. My grandfather suffered from lung cancer just some years later, but which he has thankfully beaten by now. He developed dangerous fat around his organs, which can be really, really dangerous.

We have to make an important difference when it comes to body fat:

Visceral Fat: the fat that is stored around your organs.

This is the fat my grandfather possessed in excess. Fat around your organs can be potentially life threatening. It reduces the blood flow to these important tissues and can impair organ function. It’s very stressful for your body. You’ve got a lot of visceral fat on your belly if it’s hard and constantly looks like the belly has swollen up. The typical beer belly is a product of fat build up around your organs.

Subcutaneous Fat: the fat that most people possess.

Instead of laying around your organs, this fat is directly under your skin. You can pinch it with your fingers. This fat is less life threatening, but it can also drastically impair your confidence, athletic ability and your self-image. Subcutaneous fat can also be found around your hips, where it is called cellulite.

Although visceral fat is the more dangerous one, both of these fat cells should be avoided to have in excess. They both can increase the fat content in your blood. As fat levels rise, the ability of your body to clear sugar from the blood drops due to insulin resistance. This can lead to type 2 diabetes in the long-term.

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How I’ve Lost My Fat

I didn’t always have a sixpack. Belly fat was something that was nearly impossible to lose for me.

I remember talking with a friend that had great abs since he was born. I asked him for advice. He told me that I should find ways to cope with my current situation, as having a sixpack is purely genetical. Not the motivation I had hoped for.

Today I can tell you with confidence that he was wrong. I currently have a sixpack and am extremely proud of it. It shows me that everything is possible if you put in the work.

What needs to be done to lose your belly fat is often just a mindset shift. Most people know that they’re eating the wrong foods. You already know that daily exercise is crucial for losing your belly fat.  What people often lack is the mental state and the willingness to actually put in the work.

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    Increase Your Discipline, Motivation And Drive

    How do you increase your discipline, motivation and drive? I suggest you doing three things:

    1. Exercise

    I don’t recommend you exercising for burning excess calories only. Yes, there is some of that, but exercise can also dramatically influence your mindset.

    Physical activity gives you the feeling of control over your life. It gives you better self-awareness and control, it betters your thinking and increases your happiness. The mental state of mind that you need when you’re trying to lose your belly fat.

    2. Practice Mindfulness

    Meditate daily. Doesn’t have to be too long. As simple as two minutes of focusing on your breath is totally enough.

    Mindfulness helps you improve your thoughts. Thoughts turn into desire and desire turns into actions. By controlling your thoughts you’re less likely to indulge in foods that you know are not good for you. My binge eating habit nearly disappeared after practicing mindfulness on a daily basis.

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    3. Improve Yourself Every Day

    Or as Warren Buffett said: You have to develop the habits of success. Realize that your life is constantly under construction. You were not born perfect and neither was I. Try to constantly change your life for the better. This way you will find new ways to better your health and loose the excess fat on your tummy.

    Start Losing Your Belly Fat

    Take immediate action. The previous list may seem long and tedious, but don’t get discouraged.  Start small.  Small changes add up over the long-term.

    Ask yourself: Have you washed your dishes today? If not, stop reading this article right now and wash your dishes. Don’t search for excuses, simply do it right now. Once you’ve washed your dishes, ask yourself: Have I made my bed this morning? No? Immediately start making your bed.

    These habits may seem insignificant to you, but trust me, they will help you get momentum in your life.

    There are two options: Either you control your mind, or your mind controls you.

    To watch a video on how to better control your mind and become limitless, while losing your belly fat of course, click here.

    More by this author

    Florian Wüest

    Qualified and experienced fitness trainer and online coach.

    How I Lose Weight, Get to 9% Body Fat and Build Muscles with Vegan Diet The Biggest Myth About Losing Belly Fat: Can You Lose Belly Fat Only? The Truth of Rapid Weight Loss: How to Actually Shed Pounds Why You Should Keep a Fitness Journal to Jumpstart Weight Loss How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle and Increase Fat Loss?

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    Last Updated on September 28, 2020

    The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

    The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

    At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

    Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

    One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

    When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

    So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

    Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

    This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

    Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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    When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

    Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

    One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

    Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

    An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

    When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

    Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

    Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

    We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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    By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

    Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

    While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

    I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

    You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

    Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

    When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

    Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

    Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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    Con #2: Less Human Interaction

    One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

    Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

    Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

    This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

    While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

    Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

    Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

    This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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    For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

    Con #4: Unique Distractions

    Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

    For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

    To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

    Final Thoughts

    Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

    We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

    More About Working From Home

    Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

    Reference

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