If you take a random poll of pedestrians on any street, almost everyone would mention their wish to lose belly fat and flatten the stomach; and for good reasons. The excessive deposits of fat that developed around the tummy might not be the most aesthetic to look at, but excessive fat which surrounds internal organs, also known as visceral fat is, in fact, dangerous for health. As the waistline continues to grow, the size of each individual fat cell also increases. This, in turn, leads to a lower level of good cholesterol and an increase in triglycerides.
Ultimately, this can lead to a host of issues including cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers, dementia, and high blood pressure. It goes without saying that it would be beneficial to most people to lose a couple pounds from the mid-section. When it comes to trimming your waistline, the main thing to keep in mind is that it is impossible to remove fat from one particular area, belly or elsewhere. You can't spot reduce fat, it can only be reduced in its entirety throughout the body.
Belly fat, which is also referred to as stubborn fat is often the last to go because of the way human body accumulates fat. So, any practices that help overall weight loss will also help burn abdominal fat. Without further ado, here are the top 25 tips to lose throughout your body, as well as belly fat.
Way to Lose Belly Fat – Diet
While exercising is definitely important when it comes to losing fat, the issue is that it only proves beneficial in burning the fat which accumulates above the muscle. A proper diet, on the other hand, attacks the lower layers of fat. This combination is what produces the flat stomach.
Balanced Diet. The ideal diet would comprise of protein (10-35%), carbohydrates (45-65%, from fruits, whole grain, and vegetables), fats (20-35%) and sugars (5-15%).
Carbohydrates. The best time to consume carbs is right after a workout as the rise in metabolism makes the body better able to use them for energy, rather than store them as fat.
Sugar Reduction. Reduce or eliminate refined sugar as it floods the liver with fructose. The liver is where the fat is metabolized; a sudden overload would cause the liver to store it all as fat.
Green Tea. Regular consumption of green tea has been shown to shed abdominal fat. It has high levels of EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate) which is catechin known to enhance metabolism and fat burn.
Consuming a hearty breakfast is the key to rev up metabolism and provide enough energy to sustain throughout the day.
High Fiber Foods
A diet rich in fiber (from vegetables and fruits) helps to feel full for longer and thus reduce overall calorie intake. Examples include asparagus, spinach, kale, celery, broccoli, and lettuce.
Help cleanse the liver by consuming vegetables such as lemons and beetroots. The liver is the organ that is concerned with fat metabolism.
Eliminating bloating and water retention is the key to noticing visible changes in the abdominal regions. Vegetables with diuretic properties such as asparagus and carrots are good options.
Increase the consumption of romaine lettuce. Not only is it abundant in fiber but it is also known to help boost metabolism and aid weight loss. Not to mention that it contains an abundance of chromium which can help build muscle mass (upon regular exercise).
Tomatoes are a godsend to accelerate weight loss in general. They help regulate the burning of fat and maintain a high metabolic rate by reversing leptin resistance.
Fruits and Berries
Consume grapefruit after a particularly fattening meal as it is shown to cut calories by a fifth.
Blueberries and pomegranates have been shown to target the weight that accumulates around the belly. Pomegranate juice reduces the concentration of NEFA (non-esterified fatty acids) in the body. This is vital to melt the fat stores in the abdominal region.
Berries such as strawberries and raspberries contain ellagic acid and anthocyanins. These compounds boost the metabolism and improve the functioning of the body. Anthocyanins restrict the size of the fat cells and also provide for the release of adiponectin, a hormone known to reduce blood glucose levels, alleviate inflammation and reverse insulin and leptin resistance. Furthermore, the polyphenols contained in these berries help restrict the body from absorbing starches and fats.
Increase consumption of dairy as the calcium and whey protein contained in it have been shown to have a positive correlation to shrinking the tummy.
Increase consumption of Ceylon cinnamon (e.g. in shakes, teas, etc). Cinnamon is a wonder spice when it comes to weight loss. It controls insulin levels, thus lowering and maintaining blood sugar. Studies have shown a positive correlation between high insulin levels and fat gain in the abdominal region. Furthermore, cinnamon speeds up the metabolism, suppress hunger pangs and helps eliminate belly fat.
Spicy foods such as capsicum, cayenne pepper, and jalapenos are known to cause a temporary spike in metabolism. The capsaicin contained within it elevates body temperature, boosts the metabolism and helps burn belly fat. It also lowers the levels of triglycerides stored in the fat.
Way to Lose Belly Fat - Exercise
As important as diet is, abdominal fat cells are supposed to have a higher metabolic activity compared to other fat stores. This implies that abdominal fat can be effectively eliminated through exercise.
Cardio exercises. Cardiovascular activity is a great means to burn abdominal fat; however, HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is the most effective. It continues to burn calories up to 48 hours after the actual training is over (as opposed to the duration of the workout for regular cardiovascular workouts)
Strength training. It is imperative to build muscle mass as this increases the resting metabolic rate of the body. A pound of muscle consumes an average of 6 calories a day, whereas a pound of fat consumes insufficient 2 calories a day. The deficit adds up over time.
Interval training. Incorporate tempo exercises into your resistance training. This essentially means that you should change the tempo (intermittently) during weight training; go slow and maximize fat burn.
Way to Lose Belly Fat – Lifestyle
Reduce the stress level. Learn to efficiently manage your stress levels. Cortisol is produced as a response to high stress. This hormone causes the body to store fat. This problem is exacerbated in the belly region as it has a larger number of cortisol receptors.
Sleep. Get your beauty sleep! Much like the spike in cortisol due to stress, a lack of sleep also causes the same reaction in the body. Furthermore, lack of sleep also increases sugar cravings and hikes insulin. All of this causes the waistline to expand.
Meditation. Research has shown that visualizing a workout, prior to physically doing it helps achieve double the results. The idea is that your mind gets tricked into believing that the exercise is already being performed causing it to fire up the muscles internally. This way, when the exercise is actually performed, the benefits are boosted.
Plan and keep track. Keep a diary or an account of all that you eat in a day and how you feel upon consumption. The idea behind this is that we live in a world where we eat just for the sake of eating, and not because we are hungry. A food journal will help you understand your eating habits better.
No more excuses. Follow the aforementioned tips to lose belly fat and carve yourself the body you have always dreamed of.
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