Losing Belly Fat – The Easy Way
Yes, you read correctly, losing belly fat really isn’t as difficult as you think. The advice given here will show you how to lose belly fat, as well as how to quickly lose weight and reach your goals with the least possible effort.
While your primary reasons for wanting to know how to lose belly fat may be based on vanity, there are plenty of convincing health reasons to trim that waist line.
Dangerous visceral fat – the type of fat that usually collects near your abdomen, around your vital organs – increases the risk of developing serious conditions, including heart disease, diabetes and among others.
Obesity, in which you probably also have extra abdominal fat, can significantly contribute to the development of the following health problems:
- Diabetes Type 2
- Coronary artery disease and stroke
- Metabolic syndrome
- Certain types of cancer
- Sleep apnea
- Gallbladder disease
- Fatty liver disease
- Pregnancy complications
Fortunately, research shows that losing only 5 to 10 pounds (or about 5% -10% of your total body weight) in terms of lowering your risk of developing these serious diseases can make a real difference.
How and why do most people get belly fat?
If you’re like a high percentage of adults, including many young adults nowadays, losing extra fat around your stomach is one of the biggest obstacles in your weight loss struggle.
Often it is called ‘stubborn fat’, because whatever you do, it doesn’t seem to shift. It can be so frustrating!
Perhaps in the past you have experienced periods where the numbers on the scale went down, but the fat in the abdominal region didn’t correspond. Or maybe you have been so overwhelmed with contradictory dietary advice, that you haven’t even started losing weight let alone tackle abdominal fat problems.
It’s no secret that the figures on obesity have been increasing for several decades. Scientific studies continue to draw conclusions on how eating a highly processed diet, which is linked to weight gain, is one of the most important contributors to developing chronic diseases.
Why do people gain weight in spite of their best efforts?
Although not all experts fully agree on what needs to be done to correct the “obesity epidemic”, most support the theory that several important factors are the cause of such high rates of unhealthy weight gain.
It is said that the accumulation of dangerous visceral fat (essentially the belly fat that most like to see disappear) and general obesity are “complex pathological processes that point to environmental and genetic interactions”, including:
- Eating more and more processed and packaged foods: with a decrease in fresh plant foods. The main change in the dietary patterns, that took place in the last century, saw an over-consumption of high-calorie foods, including processed vegetable oils, sugary drinks, fast food and all kinds of sweet snacks.
- Increased stress levels and busier schedules: meaning that there is less time for healthy habits such as sleep or exercise, eating more often while distracted and more comfort / emotional eating .
- Finances: For some people eating healthy foods is a problem. It has been shown that people from disadvantaged communities appear to be at greater risk of becoming obese than more well-off persons of the same age.
- Genetics: this includes the effects of ‘fetal and postnatal imprinting’ or passing on the chances of getting obese from the mother to the baby. Research shows that the environment, habits and nutrition of a mother during pregnancy can have lasting consequences for body weight and the risk of developing chronic diseases in the offspring.
- Reduction of physical activity: including more people who do sedentary work and spend less time on physical activities.
- Potential changes in toxicity levels in the body: This includes neurobiological processes (such as the release of certain hormones ) that control food intake.
- Social networks: Research into the effects of weight gain in brothers and sisters, friends and spouses has determined that a person’s risk of obesity increased by 57% when a good friend became obese, 40% if a sibling had, and 37% in the case of a spouse or partner.
How does dangerous belly fat accumulate?
Visceral fat is also called “organ fat” or “intra-abdominal fat” and it is one of the main reasons why you should lose belly fat.
This stubborn fat is in close proximity to the vital organs of the body, including the liver, kidneys and other digestive organs, which means that it poses a real health risk. Fat is actually similar to an organ because it releases compounds in the blood and the hormone levels change.
When fat is stored close to the vital organs, it is easier for this fat to enter the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body. This leads to problems such as clogged arteries, hypertension and even problems with metabolic functions in the body.
Several hormones, including insulin, ghrelin, leptin and cortisol are involved in the accumulation of abdominal fat.
Below are some ways in which the ‘modern lifestyle’ can increase belly fat
- Insulin is the hormone that is released when we consume carbohydrates . It helps to extract glucose ( sugar ) from the bloodstream and bring it into cells to be used for energy. However, if too much glucose remains in the blood, it is stored for later use as body fat. If there is really too much insulin, it can cause the fat storage to get out of hand.
- Appetite hormones, including ghrelin and leptin, determine how hungry or how satisfied we are before, after and between meals. Eating chemically altered foods (which increase the cravings), the repeated yo-yo diet, a crash diet, genetic factors and stress can all influence appetite regulation.
- Cortisol is often called “the stress hormone” because we release more of it when we are emotionally or physically stressed. Although we need cortisol for some essential functions, it can contribute to the accumulation of fat around the abdomen. It can increase appetite in some people, disrupt sleep quality among other negative effects.
Clearly, hundreds of different studies have shown that effective long-term weight loss, resulting in reduced visceral / abdominal fat is dependent on permanent changes in nutritional quality, calorie intake (energy), lifestyle habits and also physical activity.
These changes ensure that you lose belly fat, but are not always easy to make in the beginning. With time, however, healthier habits can become much more manageable and the effort to support them is ultimately worth the effort!
Do you want to start losing belly fat? 11 proven ways
Eat more fat-burning foods
Of course, the first step for losing belly fat begins with reducing it with food. Eating real food from nature, instead of fake products from packages or bags, is one of the best (and the easiest) things you can do for yourself and for your loved ones. Real foods are those foods that people have eaten throughout history: vegetables, fruit, seeds, clean meat and fish, legumes and others that have been grown in healthy, rich soils without the addition of chemicals.
Processed (fake) foods, on the other hand, should be avoided at all costs. These are the most foods that you will find in your local supermarket: bagged, boxed, frozen, items full of unhealthy additives and preservatives that you do not want to put in your body.
- When you learn about how to lose belly fat, focus on eating real food and especially vegetables. This helps not only to lose the unwanted visceral fat, but also to give your body the vital nutrients it needs to function properly. Believe me, you will feel and see the difference when you make the switch from mock food to healthy real food.
- Eating real foods, (or fat burning foods) will mean you’re eating a high-fiber diet, which helps control appetite, digestion, heart health and much more. Some obese researchers have stated:
“Increasing the consumption of dietary fiber with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and pulses throughout the life cycle is a crucial step in curbing the epidemic of obesity”.
Especially increasing your intake of soluble fiber found in oats, barley, peas, carrots, beans, apples, citrus fruits and psyllium. Soluble fiber attaches to cholesterol particles and removes them from your digestive system, reducing your risk of heart disease and helping in losing belly fat.
Avoid sugar and taking in liquid calories
- If you want to start losing belly fat, sugar is not your friend. When you try to reduce abdominal fat, you should especially avoid added sugars – particularly hidden sugars in products such as juices, sauces, and packaged snacks made with grains.
- Maybe you’ve heard this before, but it deserves repeating – don’t drink your calories! Replace calorie laden drinks with water, herbal teas or water with slices of lemon (which helps to cleanse the kidneys and liver).
- Reduce your intake of grains (especially refined varieties). Not all grains are bad (especially the sprouted or gluten-free grains), but they will not help you to lose belly fat or to recover from a health condition. Instead, focus on vegetables and fruits that contain little sugar and lots of fiber.
Conscious eating is a surprisingly important part of losing belly fat:
- Eat more slowly, so that you finish your meal in less time.
- You have to be aware of how much food it takes to make you feel satisfied and connecting enough with your body to know when it’s full, without getting overly full.
- Try eating while you are not distracted and avoiding multi-tasking.
- Avoid emotional eating by coming up with better ways to deal with stress in your life.
- Rather than seeing healthy eating as losing belly fat fast, or losing weight in general, see it as a way to sustain your health long term, instead of just losing weight.
Do you want to know a powerful way to lose belly fat? If so, It’s time to introduce your body to intermittent fasting. This is more about a shift in lifestyle and eating patterns rather than a diet.
This approach is great for those who keep falling off the weight loss bandwagon. This is not about counting calories or weighing our your portion sizes. Simply focus on extending the amount of time between eating the healthy foods you already eat, with a particular emphasis on healthy fats and proteins.
There are several ways to practice fasting such as:
- skipping breakfast
- eat anything you like five days a week, but limiting calories on other days
- limit your eating for just 6 or 8 hours a day.
The effects of fasting on the hormones are various:
- It has a dramatic impact on the levels of human growth hormone which will result in better endurance with faster muscle recovery and growth.
- It can help slow down the ageing process.
- It can help regulate insulin levels, which is crucial for diabetics or obesity.
- it could improve detoxification and it helps the body to use glucose (carbohydrate sugar) more effectively
- and for many people it also helps to reduce caloric intake.
HIIT workouts| Burst Training
If you want to lose fat, you have to start training – it’s that simple. One of the most effective and efficient ways to lose unwanted belly fat or extra weight is a burst training or HIIT training.
High intensity interval training has proven to be an excellent way to burn belly fat in a short amount of time, improving the physical performance of athletes of all levels.
High intensity interval training combines short intensive exercises with high intensity exercises. The recovery phase is only for a minimal period of 15-20 minutes. HIIT Training is done at 85-100% of a person’s maximum heart rate instead of 50-70% at moderate endurance activity.
Below is a HIIT Workout that you can do at home.
But even if this kind of training is not your thing, it’s essential to find a training that you do like and can do on a regular basis. I recommend weight lifting for fat loss, because this is a proven way to create more muscle.
The more muscle that your body has the more calories it will burn (which in turn increases your metabolism). Once you gain lean muscles, your calories will go to your muscle supplies instead of your fat cells.
Experiencing chronic stress over a long period of time is not only considered dangerous – increasing your risk of heart disease, diabetes, mental disorders and autoimmune diseases just to name a few – but it’s also linked to bad eating habits.
Stress can manifest in different ways within the body, some you may not even notice:
- increasing levels of ‘stress hormones’ such as cortisol
- a rising blood sugar level
- changing your appetite gets in the way
- It can affect the way your thyroid and hormones work.
All of these things take a toll on your metabolism and its ability to control levels of body fat. If you are dealing with large amounts of stress in your life (through work, lack of sleep, relationships, finances, etc.), research shows that you can benefit greatly from stress-relieving activities such as regular exercise, meditation, time outside and keeping up with enjoyable hobbies.
Want to start losing belly fat? Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep is often one of the most overlooked factors contributing to the formation of abdominal fat. Experts call getting a good night’s sleep an important part of obesity prevention.
Do you want to know a vital secret for losing belly fat? If you get enough sleep, you can regulate your stress hormones, regulate your appetite, you have more energy for exercise, you can reduce the desire for sweets and you will have a tendency to reduce emotional eating.
Try a low carbohydrate or ketogenic diet
Losing fat is not always easy, but changing the type of calories you eat can accelerate weight loss and abdominal fat reduction. The ketogenic diet is a strict low-carbohydrate diet that fills a lot of food that contains mainly fats and some proteins. Reducing carbohydrates helps the body burn stored body fat for energy, usually very quickly.
Although this approach to losing belly fat is not suitable for everyone (such as some athletes, underweight people or women who easily undergo hormonal changes), it has been shown to be good not only for weight loss, but keeping hunger in check.
If the ketogenic diet sounds too extreme for you try this, cycle with carbohydrates. With this option, you do alternate days of low carbohydrate eating with days with higher carbohydrate consumption to help prevent cravings and fatigue.
Add metabolism boosters
- Cayenne pepper : hot peppers increase your temperature, this makes you sweat and stimulates metabolism. They are also one of the best foods to reduce inflammation in your body. Capsaicin, which can be found in cayenne pepper, can increase calories burned after consumption. A study showed that when people consumed capsaicin, fat oxidation (the breakdown of fat) increased. Capsaicin can also stimulate the production of AMPK, leading to a further degradation of fat. Try adding cayenne pepper to recipes with, for example, chicken. This creates an extra fat-burning effect or try a detox drink with cayenne pepper.
- Matcha green tea : when it comes to stimulating your metabolism and helping with weight loss, science shows that few things are more beneficial than matcha green tea. In one study, drinking the tea for 12 weeks reduced body fat.
- Seaweed called wakame can promote fat loss. A Japanese study showed that it could promote fat burning in fat cells in animals. The fucoxanthin found in the seaweed fights fat in two ways; First, it stimulates the action of proteins, UCP1, which cause fat oxidation and it is found in the type of fat surrounding organs. Second, fucoxanthin promotes DHA production in the liver. More DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid type, can help to lower bad cholesterol or LDL.
Do regular workouts for your abs
Personal trainers and athletes agree that the quality of your diet is the most important factor when it comes to losing belly fat. But as soon as you improve your eating habits, ab workouts and core exercises are the icing on the cake.
By doing about 2-4 ab workouts every week, you can strengthen and define your stomach while you are also working on losing body fat. As an extra bonus, your sleep will improve and your stress will decrease.
A strong core also helps with balance and stability, improves your posture and can help reduce back pain that may be due to carrying that extra weight.
Do exercises on an empty stomach
Although it is not possible for everyone, like those who eat early or people who feel dizzy without food, training on an empty stomach, seems to have some advantages. It can help:
- improve your body’s response to insulin
- keep your total caloric intake low
- improve performance
- increase the amount of body fat you burn for energy during exercise.
- Yes, it can even stimulate your efforts so that you can lose more belly fat.
Note: Abdominal fat loss also has a rule!
It is nice to think that there is an approach to losing belly fat that works for everyone, but this simply is not the case. There are many factors that can vary things. Think of things like genetics, how fit you are, what type of exercise you do, your medical history, hormones, age, gender and so on.
Regardless of the exact type of exercise regimen and diet you choose to lose belly fat with, there are a few rules that you should always follow:
- Stay hydrated before, during and after your workouts.
- Be careful if you are trying to create a caloric deficit, because if you omit too many calories you can veer dangerously close to a starvation mode.
- Manage the stress you experience in a way that works for you.
- Notice how different habits affect your energy level.
- Do the things that make you feel happiest and that feel the least tired.
- Get rid of emotional triggers that make you crave junk food .
- Ensure adequate sleep.
- Consult a doctor if you notice warning signs of more serious health problems.
Losing weight is not easy, we all know that. And if you want to concentrate on only losing belly fat, then it will seem totally hopeless. The most important factor many people lose sight of is: being consistent. Yes, consistency is the secret that keeps you trim and losing belly fat something you can do with ease..
So stick the words “consistency” somewhere to remind yourself to do small things every day in order to reach your goal.
What are your tricks to lose belly fat? Let us know in the comments