Stubborn belly fat is probably the hardest thing to get rid of and that’s because it’s our body’s favorite area to store fat. Before I give you some easy to follow, yet ultra-effective tips on how to lose belly fat, I’m going to take some time to explain how our body stores fat.
Our body tends to store fat in certain specific areas. For men it’s around the belly and for women it’s around the thighs, buttocks and breasts. These are the first targets our body looks to when it gets excess fat that needs to be stored. Not surprisingly though, our body burns fat from these areas first before looking towards other pockets of fat. So although these sections are the favored place to store fat by our body, it’s also the place our body draws the required energy (fat) from.
Now that you’ve understood how exactly our body stores fat, I’m going to let you in on some secrets of mine that I used over the past few years to get rid of some super-stubborn belly fat. I had hard, unrelenting belly fat for years that just did not want to let go. Initially, I had a hard time figuring out how to get rid of it but then as I did with everything else I tried and tested various methods to see which ones would work best. Here are 8 easy, non-intrusive changes you can make to your lifestyle and fitness regime to get rid of that stubborn belly fat:
Clean And Consistent Diet
A clean and consistent diet can go a long way in helping you get rid of your belly fat. I did diet before too but I just wasn’t consistent. I realized that the key to getting in shape was to maintain a steady diet for long periods of time without giving in. A lot of people don’t know this but abs are made in the kitchen and not so much in the gym. You already have abs but it’s not seen because it’s hidden under a layer of fat which you need to get rid of. Your real workout begins once you get back home from the gym. The one hour a day you spend at the gym is the easiest part of the weight loss program, it’s the remaining 23 hours that are the most important.
The key to my success here was having a cheat day once in a week where I let myself indulge in a little bit of grease and sugar. So it’s quite easy once you’re just working towards eating clean for 6 days. Eat clean for 6 days and cheat for one day was my mantra and it worked wonders for me. This allowed me to go on a diet for months and now it’s become my lifestyle as I don’t consider it to be a diet anymore.
Eat 6 Meals A Day
I’m sure you’ve heard this many-a-time, but this really does work wonders. When the body gets a consistent inflow of food it knows that there isn’t a shortage of food so it can burn off fat with liberty. When you give large gaps between your food intakes your body goes into starvation mode and burns fat more slowly as it’s not sure when the next source of energy (meal) is going to come. So to keep the body’s worries at bay, you should make sure you eat 6 times a day with a gap of two to three hours between meals.
I’m going to give you a wonderful cheat for this 6 meals a day plan to work for you. What I generally do when I’m traveling around or just so busy with work is that I carry a boxful of trail mix. It usually includes almonds, cashew, raisins, walnuts and pistachios. I also tend to carry/keep a flask of green tea with me. So whether I’m busy working or traveling I grab a handful of nuts every two hours and drink a cup of green tea to keep my metabolism rate high.
Include High Fiber In Your Diet
Your stomach requires more energy to consume food that is high in fiber, so when you consume food that is high in fiber your body uses up more energy in the process of digesting such food. Green vegetables, beans, lentils and berries are high in fiber. Make sure to include these in your diet and you’ll be dropping belly fat like never before.
I tend to add some high fiber sources of food in my handy box that contains nuts. A lot of people don’t know this but nuts are high in fiber too. I tend to add chia seeds and flax seeds in the box and make sure to get a spoonful of them too every couple of hours.
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
High intensity interval training worked wonders for me. Not only did it burn fat at a much faster pace but it also took out the monotony of cardio. I previously warmed up on the treadmill for a couple of minutes and then aimlessly ran for a good 20-30 minutes at one constant pace. It used to get so boring but once I found out about HIIT, I never looked back.
HIIT or high intensity interval training is a method of training where you’re required to train at a very high intensity for a small time interval and couple that with “casual” training for an equal time interval. You can experiment with the time intervals and tweak it to what works best for you.
I used to run at a high speed on the treadmill for 2 minutes and I used to be very exhausted at the end of those two minutes. After those two minutes I walked on the treadmill for a minute and then switched back to the high speed running for two minutes. This three minute set was repeated 10 times to complete a total of 30 minutes on the treadmill.
What this does is that it spikes your heart rate at intervals to high levels which drives your metabolism through the roof! Not only does it increase your fat burning rate then and there but it increases your metabolism for the next 48 hours! So once in every 48 hours a 30 minute HIIT session is a great way to lose that stubborn belly fat. You can do this with the treadmill, cycle, cross trainer or even other self-designed cardio sessions.
Sleep is one of the most underrated factors in losing belly fat. Our body needs rest to recover from the strenuous workouts that we undertake and there’s no better rest than sleep. Sleep refreshes the body and gives it the energy it requires so that it can carry out the required activities for the next day. It’s also very important to help your muscles recover by repairing and rebuilding your muscles during your sleep. Lack of sleep not only disturbs your mood the next day, but you will not be physically fresh. Lack of sleep makes us insulin resistant and sends our body in fat storage mode. Our sleep also controls the levels of a hormone called leptin, which controls our food cravings.
Keeping your stress levels low is important. Our physical and mental health is tied in a much stronger way than what most people assume. Our mental health often reflects our physical health and therefore it’s important to stay stress-free.
When you’re very stressed your body tends to produce more cortisol which is a hormone that tells your body to store as much fat as possible, therefore it’s important to keep your stress levels under check.
Maintaining A Good Posture
Maintaining a good posture is something that’s overlooked very often. If you have a good posture then the strength of your back increases which makes you look leaner. It also promotes blood flow throughout the body, particularly in your legs and back, which play a key role in ab exercises.
In the midst of your busy schedule you many a time tend to overlook food. You need to ensure that your body gets a regular dose of food so that it doesn’t go into starvation mode. Carry some healthy snacks with you to your office if you work and eat them between meals. This will put the hunger to rest and also make you physically and mentally energetic for the next few hours.
Tell us which of the tips worked well for you and if there’s something else that you’ve tried that’s worked for you in the comments section below.