If you’re serious about banishing BELLY FAT and enhancing your health, living on salads and hitting the treadmill for hours on end is a horrible (and extremely inefficient) way to do it.
Here’s how to shift belly fat in five easy steps:
1. Increase Your Metabolism
Your main aim is to improve your metabolism, the strength of your exercise, the fundamentals of your diet, how much muscle you have, how much you handle stress, and the consistency of your sleep, all play a role of this.
“A higher metabolism helps remove fat,” says Marcus Reddy, a laparoscopic specialist, upper GI and bariatric surgeon at Spire St Anthony ‘s Hospital. Though your metabolism is dictated by your body type, sex, and age, he says, “Increasing lean body mass, preventing lengthy stretches of hunger, and vigorous physical exercise will aid burn belly fat.”
2. Get Your Diet in Check
Prioritize lean proteins such as beef, turkey, eggs, fish, chicken, and tofu. Researchers at the University of Missouri compared the benefits of consuming a regular protein breakfast with a high-protein breakfast and found a high-protein breakfast containing 35 grams of protein, reducing weight gain, decreasing daily food intake and feeling hungry and stabilizing glucose levels among overweight adolescents who would usually miss breakfast.
Limit foods rich in refined carbohydrates and refined sugar (white bread, white pasta, white rice) and substitute them with high-fibre ‘complex carbs’ – think: whole grains, brown rice, sweet potatoes, peas, beans and pulses. Fill your boots with as many vegetables as you can – low calories, high in micronutrients, and the fiber in them can keep you healthy.
Snack on portion-controlled fruits, seeds and nuts. One research found that snacking 42 g of almonds a day (instead of chewing on a high-carb of equivalent calories) tended to minimize stomach fat and improve cholesterol levels. “The high levels of fiber have been shown to reduce unnecessary calorie intake later in the day,” says Lucy Jones, a registered dietitian.
An analysis of research on the Mediterranean diet in 2019 concluded that it “is associated with a variety of health benefits and has been shown to have a preventive impact on many pathologies, including obesity.” Better yet, diet increases the number of healthy bacteria in your intestine – a study published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition found that levels rose by up to 7% compared to the western diet.
It’s also important to make sure that you’re eating regularly and avoid really low calorie diets or ‘crash diets.’
3. Increase Your Workout
Mild movement, such as walking, is weak in fat burning due to low energy intake, while intensive cardio training absorbs energy and raises the metabolic rate after exercise.
When scientists from Canada’s Laval University contrasted the 15-week HIIT program and the 20-week endurance training program, they found the former to be much more effective in improving body metabolism, resulting in increased fat loss.
Pair the high-intensity workouts with weight lifting sessions and you’re on the winner’s side. Researchers at Harvard University tracked more than 10,500 people over a 12-year period and noticed that those who added 20 minutes of weight lifting to their daily cardio exercise were having less age-related belly fat than those who smashed the treadmill.
Focus on compound movements such as deadlifts, squats, kettlebell swings, knees, chest raises, shoulder raises — exercises that target the entire body rather than isolating muscles. Simply put, you cannot ‘spot-reduce’ fat, which implies that daily crunches can do nothing to get rid of your butt. Split your sessions over different days to get the best results.
4. Manage Stress
You don’t have to take a three-month sabbatical in Bali or participate in a ‘breathing session’ in a Scandi Yogi retreat to find inner peace. You don’t even have to meditate (though it’s almost definitely going to help). If you’re not hanging out for a few minutes of deep-bellied breathing in a quiet place, try a body weight workout or take a stroll around the block. Exercise improves the circulation by carrying cortisol to the kidneys that flush it out.
Eating gradually will also help you cinch your waist. Inhaling croissants while walking to work would do nothing to please you – not that you’re going to do a lot of digesting anyway, with all that cortisol flooding your body. Alternatively, through taking time to eat and concentrating on your food (which also means not scrolling via Instagram), you’ll end up consuming less so you’ll feel better for longer.
5. Get at Least 8 Hours of Quality Sleep
A number of studies have shown an correlation between short sleep and weight gain. If you are low on Zzz, the function in the frontal lobe of the brain (the sensible decision-making part) is impaired. Around the same moment, the more ‘primal’ areas of the brain that deal with issues such as attraction and motivation are lit up like the Blackpool Illuminations.
Inadequate sleep is also havoc on your metabolism. When the body does not have enough rest, it saves energy by slowing down simple functions. The combination of untameable cravings, no willpower and inadequate processing is an open invitation to the storing of food. Follow our advice to make your sleep easier tonight.
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