How to Lose Belly Fat
Losing belly fat has been and continues to be a major problem for many of us. And over the years there have been so many gimmicks and puffed up tips to get a flat belly that’s impossible to keep track. Inspite of the wonders of good advertising, however, we still have a population of jiggly belly people.
While there is no magic formula to melt your belly fat by next week there is a systematic solution, that if followed consistently, will make that spare tire go away. It will put you in control of how you look and feel.
I am writing this blogpost to highlight how we sabotage our health through poor eating and a lack of consistent activity and what we can do to reverse the trend starting now.
To make it easy to get started now I have broken the post into five sections for quick reference.
Kick-start your metabolism
Exercising to lose belly fat
Eat right for fat loss
How to keep track of your progress
To get a flat belly takes commitment and faith. You must believe that the work you’re doing is going to pay-off. It’s easy to give up after a few days because you don’t see immediate results . . . but with perseverance it will happen.
Kick-start Your Metabolism
Start your day with a healthy breakfast
- Eating a healthy breakfast keeps you full and energized through the morning and is the best way to get your metabolism started. Contrary to conventional thinking, having breakfast before starting your day will keep your insulin and glucose levels in the normal range.
- Breakfast will improve your thinking process, whether in school or on the job.
- Your body gets used to processing food at the same time each day which is good . . . so try to have your meals at a consistent time every day.
- An ideal breakfast should consist of good proteins such as eggs and slow release sugar in the form of fibrous fruits, preferable those that are currently in season. Who says that you must eat your veggies with dinner. You can most definitely have them in the morning. A healthy protein smoothie will make you feel full throughout the morning.
- Sugary cereals are for kids. Actually not. We shouldn’t be giving these things to our kids. Thanks to slick marketing, this is what your mother gave you as a child for breakfast – a bowl of cereal with milk.
- It’s also time to give up the pancakes drenched in syrup, the donuts and sugar laden instant breakfast cereals.
You must relieve stress
Another way to get your metabolism going is to reduce the stresses in your life.
Stress is a good thing in that it prepares your body for a fight of flight situation. Your breathing speeds up, your heart rate increases and circulation becomes restricted with your body sending more blood to the muscles in preparation for action.
One of the unfortunate side effects of too much stress is that it causes our bodies to secrete cortisol or ‘the stress hormone’. Studies indicate that excess secretion of cortisol will lead to an expanding waistline.
Use the following strategies to fight daily stress:
- Mediation – Take a moment to close your eyes and visualize a place where you are calm – walking along the beach, at a ball game, spending time with your best friend(s), traveling to a far off country. It doesn’t have to be for a long time. It could be for just a few minutes (5-10).
- Deep breathing exercises – When we are in a state of stress our breathing quickens and our heart rate speeds up. Deep breathing returns us to a state of normal breathing and heart function. It also relaxes our minds so we can think more clearly. Do one minute of deep relaxed breathing followed by a minute of normal breathing. Do this for seven minutes. Do deep breathing several times during the day especially when you feel a stressful situation coming on.
- Practice tai chi or yoga which is also another way to control breathing with the addition of controlled movements or poses.
- Develop the exercise habit. This is one form of stress relief that I use regularly. While working out I focus of the task at hand and shut out all distracting thoughts.
- Make a list of positive affirmations that you can repeat at the appropriate moment. An example of this would be . . . ‘I refuse to let other people ruin my day’ or ‘I will be better today than I was yesterday’. Identify and replace all negative thoughts about yourself with positive affirmations.
- Be thankful. Each morning and night I give thanks for all that I have – life, sight, hearing, family, friends, my faith in the Divine and much more
- Get a good night sleep ( between 7 and 8 hours).
Switch out refined grains for whole grains
We can also kick-start our metabolism by switching out refined or over-processed grains for whole grains. Studies have shown that replacing refined grain products (white or starchy flour) with whole grains will reduce belly fat. Whole grain products include:
- whole grain bread
- wild brown rice
- whole oats
- cracked wheat
When you combine a diet of whole grains with leans meats, fish or chicken along with several servings of fruits and veggies, consistently, you are certain to lose belly.
Not only does whole grains help to reduce belly fat but it will also help to keep blood sugars in the normal range.
For those suffering from pre-diabetes this in one of the ways to reverse or even prevent the condition from becoming full-blown diabetes. You are not only reducing the jiggly fat (subcutaneous fat) but visceral fat which forms around our vital organs.
Keep your body hydrated
Research indicates that staying hydrated with water throughout the day can result in a more active metabolism which leads to reduced belly fat. Stay away from sodas, juices and alcohol which are loaded with sugars. And avoid diet sodas which could potentially increase belly fat.
One immediate benefit of water is that it flushes waste from your body and can result in you consuming less calories.
- Ideally, you should have a least one 8-oz. glass of water 8 times per day, or 64 ounces total.
- Keep your water with you during the day and drink a glass of it before each meal and whenever you feel thirsty.
- Know how to tell when you’re sufficiently hydrated. You’ll know you’re drinking enough water when your urine runs almost clear. If it’s still yellow, drink up.
Once you kick-start your metabolism it’s time to incorporate a workout program to stoke the excess fat around your waist.