Tuesday, May 17, 2016

2 Simple Ways to Really Lose Belly Fat

Let’s be honest, losing belly fat (also known as visceral fat) is hard to do, but not impossible. But if it’s so difficult, why would anyone even try to get rid of it? Why not just give up and live with it?

Because having an excess amount of visceral fat - the type of fat found deep in the abdominal cavity - is unhealthy and can lead to a whole host of diseases - many of which can be life-threatening. If you are a women with a waist measurement in excess of 35 inches, or 40 inches for men, you have an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, bone density loss, insulin resistance (leading to Type 2 diabetes) and even some types of cancer!

So how can you get rid of this stubborn and dangerous form of fat?

How to Lose Belly Fat

There are two basic tips that can help you get it done.

1. Exercise (Of a Certain Kind)

(Image courtesy of Ohmega1982 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)
There are many products and methods that tout themselves as being the Holy Grail when it comes to losing belly fat, but the fact of the matter is most of them don't work. Instead put that money into a gym membership. The only real way to lose belly fat is to burn more calories than you eat! Period.

Fortunately when you start to lose fat, belly fat is one of the first to go. But to set the record straight, there isn’t a program that specifically targets belly fat - the body just doesn’t work that way.

For best results, do short but high intensity cardio-style workouts four times per week. Add in a couple days of strength training per week (with one day off) and you have half of a recipe for losing belly fat and body fat in general.

The other half is....

Healthy Food Choices

You can only burn off so many calories per week working out. If you make bad food choices, both in the type and amount of food you eat, you will not create a calorie deficit and lose belly fat.

One tactic in portion control is eating on a smaller plate. This works by tricking the brain into thinking you ate more than you really did. So when it sees your plate empty, it thinks you are full.

(Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)
The food you eat should be healthy. Focus on eating foods low in calories, but high in protein and fiber, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. These foods keep you fuller longer without adding in a ton of calories.

Also, whatever you do, avoid sugar! At first it gives you a lot of energy, but your body quickly metabolizes it by dumping insulin (usually too much) in your bloodstream. Once the sugar is gone, you “crash” from low blood sugar. So what do you do? Eat more sugar. This yo-yo effect eventually causes insulin resistance leading to Type 2 diabetes - and that spare tire around your waist...

So as unglamorous as it may sound, it really comes down to a combination of exercise and healthy food choices as the way to belly fat loss. Eating healthy food prevents you from consuming empty calories that have no nutritional value and exercising burns off calories.

If you burn off more calories than you take in, you’ll lose belly fat. It really is that simple, but not necessarily easy. 

We try to make it easier by providing short, effective workouts here every week, so be sure to check back Thursday for a great belly fat-blasting cardio workout to add to your workout regimen!

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