TOP TIPS FOR LOSING BELLY FAT
Belly fat is not just a nuisance that makes our clothes feel tight, but the fat inside the belly area, also known as visceral fat is a major health concern associated with type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. When it comes to weight loss every body reacts in a different way, belly fat in particular can be very stubborn. Unfortunately we cannot pinpoint fat reduction which makes losing fat from this area very difficult. However there are several things we can do to help reduce overall body fat which will result in less abdominal fat.
Increase the amount of protein you eat
Protein is extremely important when it comes to weight control. Protein requires more energy to be broken down in the stomach, therefore it increases your metabolism. Also, high protein intake helps to decrease appetite by increasing the release of the fullness hormone PYY. So be sure to include a good protein source at every meal such as lean meat, fish, eggs, legumes, quinoa and whey protein.
Watch your calorie intake
There is no simple dietary fix for belly fat, however a lower calorie diet resulting in energy deficit will generally lead to weight loss and thus a reduction in abdominal fat. For sustainable fat loss try reducing calorie intake by 500 calories per day.
Forget the endless crunches and have a go at weight lifting instead. Resistant compound training will help you build lean muscle mass and the more muscle you have, the more efficiently your body processes calories and burns fat! Don’t worry, resistant training won’t turn you into bulky weight lifter, in fact if you lift weights you are more likely to achieve a slim toned body, and lets not forget that sculpted midsection.
High intensity Interval training (HIIT)
If you want to burn belly fat, skip the treadmill and perform High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT alternates high-intensity levels of work with lower-intensity work. This contributes to the after-burn effect. When you go all-out for short intervals, you deplete your body’s oxygen stores. After you’ve finished working out your body has to work harder to reestablish those stores. This causes your body to continue to burn more calories and fat for up to 48 hours after you’ve finished working out.
High levels of stress could be a contributing factor to the unwanted inches around your waist. Stress triggers the adrenal gland to produce the stress hormone cortisol which has been shown to increase appetite and abdominal fat storage. To help calm those hormones down and nix that belly sabotage, try to engage in stress relieving activities such as yoga, meditation or taking a nice hot bath.
Limit alcohol intake
There is nothing wrong with the odd G&T, but when you start to drink in excess this could lead to you packing on weight around the midsection. Unlike proteins, carbohydrates and fats, alcohol supplies our body with empty calories: calories without nutrition! To make matters worse, alcohol also increases your appetite which may lead to that late night takeaway causing your daily calorie intake to rocket.
Pick the right carbs
Carbs are often viewed as the enemy, however even when we are trying to lose fat we still need the right carbohydrates to fuel our body. Try making the switch from refined carbohydrates such as white rice, white bread, and white pasta to unprocessed complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta and quinoa. Complex carbohydrates have a low glycemic index which means the sugar that is released into your body from these foods is consumed at a slow rate. In contrast to this simple or refined sugars should be limited as they have a high GI, which means they will satisfy you quickly but make you hungry again pretty quickly after.
Get plenty of sleep
Not only does lack of sleep throw you off your natural rhythm and leave you tired and unfocused, but it also affects the balance of our hormones. Being sleep deprived can lead to an increase in cortisol (stress hormone) and as previously mentioned, if this becomes elevated, it can lead to storage of fat around the midsection. Following these key principles you will not only be well on your way to reducing your belly fat, but you will also be improving your overall health simultaneously. Win win!
Ab blaster workout
Do this workout in the comfort of your own home or add it to the end of your gym workout! Complete three rounds with as little rest as possible: Plank 30 seconds Twisting Plank 20 reps Commandos 20 reps Reverse Crunch 20 reps Mountain Climbers 30 reps