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How To Lose Belly Fat

How To Lose Belly Fat

Spare tire, love handles, muffin top, pot belly…all somewhat comical terms for belly fat. Most people don’t like having that extra flab around their midsections, but we tend to just put up with it. Most of us have tried some diet or bought a video teaching us how to do a perfect crunch. But there is too much conflicting advice out there, and besides, we’ve failed in the past so there’s no guarantee we’ll succeed anyway.

Take heart, there is a truly effective strategy to lose belly fat, but you may have to loosen up some old preconceptions. Please note that in this article I am specifically talking about fat loss as opposed to overall weight loss (fat, muscle & water).

The strategy involves both diet and exercise – nothing new there. However, it entails 2 unique ways of going about it.

The Diet – Become a Fat/Protein-Burner

Low-carbohydrate nutrition is one of the most-effective ways of shedding pounds of fat from the body.

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Why?

Basically, the body burns energy in the following order:

  1. Carbohydrate (from food and stored glycogen)
  2. Fat (from food and bodyfat)
  3. Protein (from food and muscle tissue)

If you eat what most government guidelines recommend you eat, you are a carb-burner. It then becomes obvious that in order to become a fat-burner, you should reduce the current primary energy source i.e. carbohydrate.

When you do this, your body takes a few days to flip a ‘metabolic switch’ and become a fat-burning machine. At that point, the fat you eat gets consumed first, and then you start burning away bodyfat as your primary source of energy. Obviously, you don’t therefore consume copious amounts of fat, and you don’t need to go zero carb to benefit. Anything under 100 grams of carbs a day is considered ‘low-carb’, but ideally under 60 grams would produce great results.

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On low-fat diets (which by nature are high-carb diets), when your ‘food calories’ are gone, the body will burn a mixture of both fat and muscle tissue (protein). As muscle is ‘metabolically active’ — it burns calories all day long just by being there — losing it is a disaster for the dieter. Their metabolism will continually slow down over time.

This is one of the main reasons why low-fat diets very often produce temporary results: you lose weight for a while, but then it stops working (as your metabolism has crashed) and you pile it back on – and then some!

Notes

Low-carb diet works for many people but it might not be for everyone. The key is always to see which one works for you best. Nevertheless, the above suggestion and explanation hopefully can provide you a new perspective and approach to get rid of your belly fat. Just give it a try and listen to your body’s reaction!

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The Exercise – Cardio or Interval Training?

Loads and loads of cardio, right? Wrong.

Overdoing cardiovascular exercise will also put your body in a state where it breaks down lean muscle tissue (catabolism). So the question is, how do we complement our fat-burning nutritional strategy with fat-burning exercise.

It’s called ‘Interval Training’, or more specifically ‘High Intensity Interval Training’. The idea is to perform some sort of cardio in ‘fits and starts’ i.e. a period of lower intensity followed by a period of higher intensity.

Why?

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Research shows that this type of work burns more fat than steady-state cardio, typically by about 50%. In fact, one study showed a 9 fold increase in fat loss [1] for HIIT compared to low-medium intensity cardio.

Also, with respect to belly fat in particular, research has shown (though the reason is not clear at this time) that HIIT can produce more fat loss in this area than other parts of the body. An Australian study found that the HIIT group lost 3 times more fat and significantly more belly fat than the steady-state cardio group who actually exercised for twice as long!

The even better news is that HIIT need only be performed for 10-20 minutes at a time.

Hopefully you can see that these unique approaches to diet and nutrition will work synergistically to produce truly effective fat-loss:

  1. Get your body to burn fat for energy.
  2. Then add exercise that will utilize the most fat possible.

There’s obviously more to talk about on this topic, but a single post doesn’t permit me to get into it all. I hope you enjoyed it and if nothing else, you feel inspired to find any weight-loss program that you feel you can work with to bring permanent results.

Reference

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8028502

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Last Updated on May 15, 2019

How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.

“Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller

When we are still children, our thoughts seem to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

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Just imagine then how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power! We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities. We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb. We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits. We’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head.

But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

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So…how exactly are we to achieve that?

It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are a few ideas on how you can get started.

1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

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2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.

You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty. If you seek it, you will find it.

3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what is really important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

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4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking. It is like watching a DVD that saddens and frustrates you, completely pulling you down. Eject that old DVD, throw it away and insert a new, better, more hopeful one instead.

So, instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.

If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.

And remember: You are (or will become) what you think you are. This is reason enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

Featured photo credit: Kyaw Tun via unsplash.com

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