Getting rid of belly fat can be one of the most stubborn and frustrating weight loss goals. The extra pounds mocking you at your waistline just never seem to go away. Not only may it appear unflattering to you, but abdominal fat is one of the more unfavorable areas to carry around body fat. This type of subcutaneous (underneath the skin) fat is a major risk factor for developing conditions affecting your heart and blood sugar levels and has been linked to health risks like heart disease and high cholesterol.
Let's face it; bikini season is the most dreaded season to look forward to during the year because of the excess fat on our waistlines. Thankfully, we are here to explain some tactics to keep in mind when trying to fight this battle. Following these six simple tips can help you lose the most difficult fat bearing area of your body.
#1: Consume The Right Diet
There are two main components when it comes to any type of weight management program: exercise and diet. Both are important when trying to understand the concept of calories in versus calories out. Everything you consume is usually in the form of carbohydrates, fats, and protein. Each of these macromolecules contains a certain amount of calories, which is the main culprit. For example, for every one gram of carbohydrates, you are consuming roughly four calories.
As always, you should speak with a dietitian or nutritionist before beginning any serious dieting program, but working on your healthy eating habits is something you can definitely do. Finding a certain balance within your diet can help your body get rid of belly fat. Here is a quick overview of some things to keep in mind regarding a belly fat free diet.
The Rundown Of Carbs, Fats And Protein
Try cutting down carbs rather than fat. It may sound like it makes sense to stop eating fat to lose belly fat, but that is not the case. Foods rich in fat tend to make you feel more full for a longer time. On the other hand, carbohydrates are metabolized quicker and can have you feeling hungry again within a couple of hours. When you are consuming a low carb diet, your body starts to go through stages of ketosis. This means that your body will start burning fat as its main energy source, trying to save its limited supply of carbohydrates for more important functions.
Consuming a low carb, high fat diet can help with fat loss, but it is important to be aware of what type of fat you are consuming. Avoid foods that contain high amounts of trans fat and saturated fat. These two types of fat can be detrimental to your body and can slow your slimming process down. Try substituting these unhealthy fats with foods with monounsaturated fat such as avocados, pumpkin seeds, and hummus.
Protein is an important nutrient that is essential for any weight loss or weight management goals. Similar to fats, protein also has the effect of suppressing your appetite as it helps to make you feel full throughout a longer period of time. A high-protein diet also gives you the essential nutrients you need when trying to build muscle mass.
Reduce Processed Foods
Processed foods are packaged in ingredients such as trans fat, saturated fat, sugar, and sodium. These are all ingredients that will slow your journey in losing belly fat, or general fat alone. Start reading the labels behind the snacks and foods you are purchasing as the labels can trick you into consuming nothing but added sugars and salt, like in the case of white bread. Instead, for a healthy diet, try to stick to whole foods, like fruits, vegetables, proteins, and whole grains.
Incorporate Soluble Fiber
Soluble fiber is known to help suppress your appetite by slowing down food as it makes its way down your digestive system. By suppressing your appetite through a high-fiber diet, you tend to consume fewer calories as your body is sending signals to trick your brain into thinking that it is full.
Avoid Consuming Excess Alcohol
Obviously, alcohol is only recommended in small doses. Drinking too much alcohol can cause you to develop central obesity, which happens to be right where your belly is. That could explain Uncle Joe’s beer belly.
Realize That Sugar Is Your Foe
Although you may not realize, many drinks and snacks you consume are high in sugar. Not only is sugar linked to conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and obesity, but it is also high in calories and can stimulate fat to develop faster. Consider limiting your refined sugar intake and stay away from sodas, fruit juice, and candies. Instead the next time you have a sweet tooth, replace those unwanted sugars with foods containing natural sugars such as fruit and honey.
#2: Cardio Training
Now that we have gone over some of the key factors to look out for when planning your diet, let’s dive into the other component of weight management. Incorporating cardiovascular exercise into your workout regime is one of the most effective ways to burn calories and burn fat, especially in the abdominal area. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to target a specific area to lose fat, so this won't give you an immediate six-pack, but cardio, in general, helps to slim down your whole body.
Exercising has so many benefits for your overall health—one, in particular, being that it lowers the amount of insulin in your body. Insulin is a hormone that controls the level of glucose in your body by holding on to carbohydrates and fats. Therefore, reducing the levels of insulin fails to keep your body from holding on to these extra fats and carbohydrates.
#3: Strength Training
While exercising with cardio, it is important to also incorporate some strength training into your workout routine as well. This is important because, with strength training, you are able to build and maintain lean muscle mass. In addition, working out your muscles causes you to not only burn calories during your workout but even after it as well! That means throughout the day, and even at rest, you are able to burn calories.
It is worth thinking about how to be both efficient and effective during your workout. Including both cardio and strength training can sound intimidating and time-consuming. Luckily, the elliptical is an easy way to make the most out of your time. The elliptical machine provides so many benefits on top of what you get for exercising as it offers both aerobic exercise as well as a full-body workout. There are different versions of elliptical machines, each with various features. StreetStrider, for example, is a mobile elliptical machine, which provides a multitude of benefits. One worth mentioning is that it engages your core muscles, something that an indoor stationary elliptical does not. This is due to the fact that your abdominal muscles are the main source of keep the StreetStrider straight and used when steering the machine.
#4: Get Some Sleep
Sleep is a vital part of your health and wellness. With newborns, their growth, development, and maturation all happen when they sleep. In adults, sleep is essential for our body to reset and relax from working all day. It provides a period of rest where your body can digest and metabolize things from throughout the day. Sleep deprivation can cause weight gain, especially in unwanted areas.
#5: Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Drinking water helps your body’s metabolism, function, and overall processes. Water helps hydrate your body and can also help aid in your weight loss management. Here are some more examples of how water can affect your journey:
- Drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day helps you feel full and suppresses your appetite
- Drinking water throughout the day not only suppresses your appetite. This zero-calorie drink keeps you from consuming high-calorie beverages throughout the day.
- Hydrating your body supports your metabolism to run more smoothly and effectively. Remember, your body uses energy sources, like carbohydrates and fat, to aid in the process during metabolism.
- Drinking water helps you have a better workout. Water provides a fluid source for your body to sweat to help it cool off during exercise. Dehydration causes your muscles to break down more protein, which will cause you to fatigue easier and faster.
- Hydrating your body with water provides other benefits as well, such as brightening your skin and regulating your blood pressure.
#6: Find Ways To Relieve Stress
Being stressed is never a good thing for your body. During times of stress, your body releases hormones, such as cortisol. Cortisol is released in response to our flight or fight response, causing an increase in your heart rate and blood pressure. It also tends to increase your appetite and influences fat storage, all causing an increase in weight gain. If you ever find yourself stressed or anxious, consider resorting to methods to help you relax, such as meditation or yoga.
Belly fat is hands down one of the trickiest places to slim down on. Fat, in general, is harmful to the body as it can increase the risk of developing certain diseases. Disciplining yourself when it comes to diet and exercise can help get rid of the stubborn fat around your waistline. Hydrating your body and relieving it from stress can promote a more favorable environment for your body to lose fat. Keeping these six simple tips in mind can help you face the common challenge of losing those pounds around your midsection.