How To Lose Belly Fat
So, you want to trim your tummy and learn how to lose belly fat? In this report, we’ll take a real close look at what belly fat is – and why you should be worried about it.
For many men and women, the quest to lose belly fat is driven by cosmetic desires. A tire around your tummy looks unsightly, even ugly. A flat, six-pack abs look is sexy and attractive. Wanting to swap one for the other is only natural.
But that isn’t the real problem with belly fat. Most of the deadly stuff goes on beneath the surface, unseen.
What Is The Real Danger of Belly Fat?
Everyone has belly fat… even when they have flat abs. Men, on average, have 43.2 pounds of fat. Most of it is deep inside your belly, covering the various organs inside your abdomen. This fat serves many uses. It cushions the viscera and acts as an energy source during periods of stress and starvation.
But deep belly fat can become dangerous when it increases beyond normal limits. Overeating and obesity causes more visceral fat to accumulate. This fat is metabolically active. It releases proteins called lipokines which are harmful and cause inflammation. This can lead to high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, dementia, breast cancer and colon cancer.
To actually measure how much visceral fat is in your body, you need a CT scan or MRI. But a quick shortcut to estimate your deep belly fat content is to measure your girth with a tape around your waist, at the top of your hip bones (level of your belly button). The healthy normal limit is 35 inches in women and 40 inches in men.
Broadly speaking, a pear shape (bigger hips and thighs) is better than apple shape (wider waistline). The same factor (inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle) that causes fat deposition around your waist also leads to visceral fat layering. The key for how to lose belly fat is becoming more active.
How To Lose Belly Fat Fast?
You must first understand the metabolic changes that control how to lose belly fat. Whenever there is a spike in blood cortisol levels, it will add fat to your belly. Stress causes cortisol levels to rise. A bad diet worsens the situation. In combination, these lead to deposits of fat around your waist and increased visceral fat.
The way to lose belly fat involves 4 main steps:
* Stress Management
Increasing physical activity is the best way to lose belly fat fast. Research has proven that 178 minutes of moderate cardio exercise every week prevents visceral fat deposition. As a general goal, you should aim for a target of 10,000 steps daily. Take the stairs instead of an elevator. Walk rather than drive a car. Use a standing desk, or treadmill desk, if your work is sedentary.
To be most effective, exercise must be vigorous, last at least 30 minutes, and be done 5 days a week. Walking is an excellent choice. While walking, your heart rate should be faster, and you should be breathing harder. Jogging is better still at losing belly fat, for those who are fit enough for it. Vigorous workouts on exercise bikes or ellipticals is also effective.
Interval training is good to lose belly fat, with short bursts of exercise boosting your metabolism and burning off calories for upto 16 hours longer.
Try and engage multiple muscle groups in your workout sessions. Cardio fitness is also important and mixing in cardio workouts is smart.
Resistance training to build muscle mass also helps to lose belly fat. Lift weights a few times every week. Crunches are not as important as core muscle training exercises like the bridge, plank, or squats.
Formal exercise sessions or visits to the gym are not always required. You can achieve similar results through regular household activities like:
* Raking leaves
* Playing with kids (games like soccer or basketball)
If you have not been very active for a while, make sure that you check with your doctor on how to lose belly fat before starting any kind of fitness or exercise program. (Also read “5 Exercises to Lose Belly Fat” and “Top 4 Exercises to Lose Belly Fat“)
When people ask how to lose belly fat, they’re hoping to learn of a magical diet that will miraculously melt away the deposits around their waists.
Well, sorry to disappoint you. There’s no magic diet to lose belly fat. However, it is true that belly fat is the first to melt off with any kind of effective diet.
Don’t skip meals. Eat your breakfast daily. Include more protein in breakfast, because it will take longer to process and leave you feeling full through the morning. Eat frequently (every 3 hours) but consume smaller meals or snacks.
Fiber is important. When it comes to how to lose belly fat, a good goal to shoot for is 10 grams of soluble fiber per day. This can come from 2 small apples, a cup of green peas, half cup pinto beans, high fiber bread, oats, or cherries. Gradually increase the amount of fiber in diet until you notice belly fat dropping off.
Sugar is your enemy. Eat low glycemic index foods to avoid glucose highs. Load up on protein, vegetables (like kale, lettuce, broccoli, beans, lentils, and chickpeas), and whole grains. Avoid processed grains. Whole grain, 5 servings of fruit/vegetables, 3 servings of low-fat dairy and 2 servings of low-fat fish, meat or poultry can melt away belly fat.
Read food labels. Avoid high-fructose corn syrup foods. Include cinnamon in your coffee or oatmeal. It slows stomach emptying and you feel fuller for more time.
Eat more good fat. Upto 25% of your daily calories should come from MUFA (mono-unsaturated fatty acids) like vegetable oil, rapeseed oil, olives, avocados, nuts and olive oil. Omega 3 fatty acid sources like salmon, avocado and walnuts are also good choices for losing belly fat. You can snack on pine nuts half an hour before meals to avoid overeating.
Avoid foods with trans fats like margarine, cookies, crackers and food cooked with hydrogenated oil.
Dark chocolate (low in sugar) packed with zinc is good for melting off belly fat.
Limit yourself to one or two drinks a day. Alcohol is digested into sugar, which is converted by your body into fat.
Avoid late night snacks before going to bed. Munch on an apple or other fruit, if you must.
Drink plenty of water. On the issue of how to lose belly fat, dehydration can be deadly to your weight loss plans. You need at least 8 glasses (64 oz) of water every day to meet your body’s metabolic needs. Avoid sugary drinks like soda and carbonated beverages.
Two cups of green tea, rich in catechins, will help burn off visceral fat.
Calcium intake can be met through dairy products like 6 ounces of low-fat Greek yoghurt daily.
Here is a short list of abs diet superfoods:
* Almonds and nuts
* Protein powder
* Olive oil
* Beans and legumes
* Lean meat and fish
* Whole grain
* Peanut butter
* Green vegetables
* Green tea
* Parmigiano cheese
* Cannellini beans
The importance of getting enough sleep is usually under-estimated by people trying to lose weight. It might sound a little strange to answer the question, “How to lose belly fat?” by saying “Sleep well” – but it’s actually very sound advice.
Sleep helps your body rest and recover from the stress of a day’s work, restores metabolic processes to normal and ensures normal cortisol level fluctuation. All of this works with other efforts – diet, exercise and stress control – to burn off belly fat.
Don’t work late every day. You need 6 to 7 hours of restful sleep every night to function at peak efficiency. Fewer than 5 hours of sleep, or more than 8 hours, will be counter-productive and increases visceral fat. In addition, biorhythm disturbances can cause eating disorders and sugar craving.
Keep distracting and stressful things away from the bedroom. Things like mobile phones, TV and computers can distract you and interfere with restful sleep.
4. Stress Management
Everyone faces stress. That itself isn’t the problem. Handling stress levels well is most important to lose belly fat.
Set aside time to relax, such as taking 15 minutes on a lunch break when you’ll just close your eyes, breathe deeply, and temporarily forget about the stresses of your day.
Some excellent ways to reduce stress are:
* Relax with friends and family.
* Breathe slowly. Become aware of your breathing and consciously slow it down, hold for few seconds and exhale slowly.
* Counselling for anger management issues and other emotional stress.
* Blowing off steam through exercise.
Taking Vitamin C supplements can help balance cortisol spikes. Kale, kiwi fruit and orange are good sources of dietary vitamin C.
Monitor Progress With Your Fat Loss
Keeping track of your efforts to lose belly fat is very important to stay motivated and stick with your program. Taking certain measurements at regular intervals will show if what you’re doing is working or not.
Measure your waist to hip ratio. Wrap a tape measure around the thinnest part of your waist and record the measurement. Repeat this with the widest part of your hips. Divide the first by second number to arrive at your waist to hip ratio.
For women, this should be 0.8 or below. For men, it should be 0.9 or below.
Measure your waist to hip ratio frequently as you implement changes. Also record your weight, taking care to weigh yourself at same time daily. Most people prefer to do it the first thing in the morning, before breakfast.
Nothing worth achieving ever happens instantly – or easily. As you try to lose belly fat, you may not see quick results.
Be persistent. The changes will happen as long as you stick with a regular program.
Team up with a partner for accountability. Join groups of weight watchers for mutual feedback and encouragement. The support of peers can keep you on track, even when you are tempted to throw up your hands and give up.
Focus on the dangers of belly fat and keep the bigger picture in mind. You are working on a plan to lose belly fat because you’re interested in having a better looking figure – but also because of the deadly dangers of excessive visceral fat. Because you have a serious reason to stick with the program, you will be motivated to keep going.
Being a part of a structured fat loss program with regular, step-by-step guidance, can make this easier. You will have a sequence to follow and an expert coach or mentor available to address concerns, answer questions and help you overcome any hurdles. One of the best programs of this type is Shaun Hadsall’s “14 Day Rapid Fat Loss Plan” – you can learn more about it here.
Bottom-line – How To Lose Belly Fat
To condense what we’ve discussed into a nutshell, here’s how to lose belly fat…
1. Eat a Balanced calorie-controlled diet
2. Exercise an hour every day
3. Minimize stress levels
4. Get enough sleep
Are you ready to give a powerful “How To Lose Belly Fat” system a try?
Made of 6 comprehensive modules in all, Shaun Hadsall’s guide “The 14 Day Rapid Fat Loss Plan” teaches simple yet effective fat loss secrets for natural weight loss and to get rid of belly fat.
It reveals little known ways to reduce thigh fat and belly fat – so you’ll lose weight in a week.
And also check out this interesting video presentation about how to lose belly fat…