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5 Ways to Lose Belly Fat

5 Ways to Lose Belly Fat

Ways to Lose Belly Fat

Abdominal fat is some of the most stubborn fat to lose, and it may seem that in spite of working out regularly that you aren't seeing the reduction in stomach fat that you want. The chances are that one or more of your habits is contributing to your belly without you even being aware. Abdominal fat and the buildup of fat in other parts of the body is not just affected by diet, but stress levels, your sleep cycle, the type of exercise, and many other lifestyle choices affect the amount of fat that you have.

No matter what, don't sit around and do crunches; they are almost a waste of time unless they are a part of a larger exercise program. Crunches do not burn abdominal fat, you have to lose fat throughout your entire body in order to lose it in your belly. Going on the HCG diet can definitely be a quick way to lose fat all throughout your body as quickly as possible. Even when you're on a diet you need to be careful about the following habits

1.)       Choose the right exercise program

Research continues to show that high intensity interval training (HIIT) is the best type of workout for losing fat. It boosts your metabolism for several hours after your workout is finished, it burns more fat than standard exercise and it builds muscle more quickly. There are thousands of different types of interval training exercises that you might try, and all you need to do is pick the exercise that you want to do, pick the interval for the intense workout followed by rest, and then pick the number of rounds.

If you aren't sure how to do this there are plenty of pre-made interval training routines that you can find online. For instance, one common routine is to walk for 30 seconds and sprint for 30 seconds for a total of 5 to 8 minutes. You can switch the jogging out with rowing, swimming, or any other cardio exercise as well. Be sure that you can handle an exercise program that will push your heart rate to 90% and if you aren't sure, get clearance from a medical doctor before you start on a HIIT program.

2.)       Use the right type of fat

Studies show that the type of fat that you eat in your diet is important for keeping fat off. Fats that have plenty of monounsaturated fatty acids are some of the best fats that you should be using on a regular basis once you aren't dieting. Two types of oil that are particularly rich in monounsaturated fatty acids are olive oil and coconut oil, both of which have found their way into many diets because of their health benefits. Other good options include avocados, almonds, pecans, cashews, and macadamia nuts.

Monounsaturated fatty acids benefit you by lowering your cholesterol levels, keeping fat buildup to a minimum, lower your risk of heart disease and cancer, reduce your joint stiffness, and actually reduce your belly fat specifically. A study by the American Diabetes Association found that people who consumed diets that were rich with monounsaturated fats had a lower buildup of belly fat compared to people who had high levels of carbohydrates in their diet.

3.)       Control your stress levels

Amazingly, your stress levels can cause your body to gain extra fat, and it has dozens of other negative effects such as high blood pressure, increased appetite, depression and more. When you are stressed your body produces a hormone called cortisol that is normally released during a "€œfight or flight"€ situation. The hormone can disrupt your adrenal system and cause weight gain or make it much harder for your to lose weight.

If you find that your best efforts in the gym don't get you the fat loss that you want, you may need to look at your hormone levels and stress levels. Even if you have great nutrition and a perfect workout plan you will benefit from reducing your exposure to stress as much as possible, or learning effect stress reduction techniques. Meditation, breathing awareness and control, cognitive exercise and many other techniques are effective for stress control and can help you avoid the negative effect that it can have on your body.

4. Don't eat grains, starch and sugar

Grains, starch and sugar are the biggest culprits for belly fat. Even with our best dieting efforts they seem to regularly find a way back into our diet. Unfortunately every time that you compromise and give into sugar or food with wheat you are adding more to your belly fat and overall fat levels. As difficult as it can be to eliminate these foods from your diet, you will benefit almost immediately.

Eating whole wheat grains isn't the answer either, as research has proven that whole wheat makes no difference in terms of the insulin effect and appetite stimulating effect that grains have. If you manage to get rid of them for a few weeks and notice your weight dropping down, the chances are that you should have done it a long time ago.

5. Drink green tea

If you can't tolerate a large amount of caffeine, green tea can be a good substitute for coffee because it doesn't have nearly as much caffeine in it but has a similar weight loss effect. It is widely known to be one of the healthiest things you can drink on a regular basis.

Green tea like coffee has substances that make you lose fat that are called catechins (antioxidants). One of its most important catechins is called EGCG and it is proven to boost your metabolism. Green tea has a small amount of caffeine, and we have discussed the weight loss benefits of coffee and caffeine on this blog previously.

Studies have shown that the antioxidants in green tea are very potent for their fat burning capabilities. To get the most benefit from drinking green tea, drink about three to four cups per day depending on the type of tea. Usually higher quality green teas won't require you to drink as much of them for the health benefits. Green tea will have anywhere from 150 to about 460 milligrams of catechins in each cup and you need about 900 to 1000 mg daily for the fat burning effect.

About the author

Dr. Constance Odom, MD

8 min read