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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 September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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