Belly fat isn't just unsightly; it's potentially dangerous to your health, as excess fat around the midsection is associated with several chronic illnesses including diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and more. Belly fat can be stubborn and difficult to lose which is why many people struggle with it. But, you can't specifically target belly fat through most weight loss methods; you have to lose weight throughout your whole body to lose more weight in your midsection, and to lose unsightly fat you need to focus on decreasing not just your weight but your body fat percentage. In this article we will give you some tips and tricks to helping you lose body fat, which will in turn help you target the weight around your midsection.
Measuring body fat
There are several ways that you can measure your body fat percentage, and knowing it is crucial for determining how much weight and belly fat that you need to lose. You can use fat calipers to get an estimate on your body fat percentage, or you can use the dunk tank method which is available at certain medical clinics throughout the country. Whichever method you use should be accurate, and the fat calipers method is fairly accurate and available for just a few dollars while the dunk tank method is harder to find in some areas. Regardless, you are just trying to get an estimate of your body fat so that you have an idea about how much weight you are losing and your goals.
Method to lose belly fat #1 - Get rid of sugar and wheat
Sugar and wheat are two of the biggest culprits for midsection fat because these two foods are readily converted into fat and they can create a host of autoimmune problems that cause even more midsection weight gain, particularly wheat. Wheat, like sugar, stimulates your body to produce insulin and can result in insulin resistance, and is thought to be associated with chronic low levels of inflammation. Foods with sugar and high fructose corn syrup cause weight gain around the midsection because they are easily converted into stored fat and have a high glycemic index. If you have found that you specifically struggle with midsection fat, you will likely benefit from ridding yourself of wheat and sugar in your diet.
Method to lose belly fat #2 - Exercise whenever you can
Any time that you have the opportunity to exercise, whether it is walking instead of driving or going up the stairs instead of taking the elevator, you should take it. You should also do you best to spend at least 15 to 20 minutes every other day on exercise. The time that you spend exercising is well worth it because it can help you control the effect of excess calories in your diet and help you avoid weight gain. When you exercise you help your body restore a more normal insulin response, and if you are trying to lose weight around the midsection it is very difficult to do so unless you perform both cardio and resistance exercise on a regular basis. A sedentary lifestyle is one of the biggest contributors to belly fat, so try to be active as much as possible even if you have a desk job and get exercise whenever you can.
Method to lose belly fat #3 - Watch your snacking
If you are struggling with midsection fat the chances are that you can make small changes in your diet that will help you lose weight, and the food that you snack on is a great place to start. Snacking is a huge contributor to belly fat gain because many of the ingredients of processed or premade snacks are simply very unhealthy. In particular, the sugar and carbohydrate content of many snacks like chips, pretzels, and other higher carb snacks can most definitely lead to weight gain, especially if they are consumed with sugar drinks.
Watching what you snack on is one of the most effective ways to control your weight, and healthier snacks are always a better alternative compared to junk food. Instead of snacking on cookies or chips, try natural foods like fruit, nut, whey protein smoothies, pickles, turkey or chicken breast, or fresh vegetables. Essentially if it isn't natural don't snack on it, and be sure that you are eating breakfast to help you avoid the hunger surges later on in the day that can drive you to snacking.
Method to lose belly fat #4 - Eat the right fat
The type of fat you eat is more important than the quantity, and good fats that are rich with omega-3 fatty acids such as olive oil and the fats found in fatty fish are excellent to have in your diet, while the fats found in processed foods and foods with trans fats are some of the worst fats that you can eat. Some of the "bad fats" include fats found in foods made with hydrogenated oils, margarine, candy, and butter replacements. Butter isn't necessarily bad for you, but it should be from grass fed organically raised cows, and dairy products from these cows are shown to have a higher ratio of heart benefitting omega-3 fatty acids.
Most of the fat from your diet should come from vegetable sources like olive and coconut oil and nuts, and although dairy and meat can be a good source of healthy fat, your fat consumption from these foods should be more limited. By focusing on getting your fat from natural sources you will avoid the weight gain and many other negative health effects associated with the consumption of unhealthy fats.
Method to lose belly fat #5 - Try the HCG diet
The HCG diet is one of the most effective ways to lose belly fat because the diet is designed to specifically target excess fat. Every dieter that has tried the diet and followed the protocol properly has lost up to around 1.2 pounds per day, and it can definitely help you get "over the hump" when it comes to losing belly fat. The diet only takes about three to six weeks but the results of the diet are far greater than what you would achieve during the same period of time if you were to exercise. With exercise you can realistically expect to lose about 1 to 2 pounds per week, whether you exercise for three or six weeks, while on the HCG diet you can lose 10 to 20 pounds on the three week diet and 20 to 40 pounds on the six week diet.
The reason why the HCG diet is particularly effective at targeting belly fat is the fact that it helps the body reset its fat metabolism to a more natural level. Your fat metabolism can be damaged after years of consuming unhealthy foods, and as a result it can become a lot easier to gain weight than lose it. The HCG diet helps you restore a more normal metabolism and shifts your body into a fat burning mode.
One great strategy for getting rid of belly fat is to start with the HCG diet, which only takes a few weeks, and then starting an exercise routine after the diet is over to shape your midsection and get rid of any excess fat. Essentially it is a great stepping stone for you to lose excess weight and get the body that you have wanted for years, and for more information about how the HCG diet can benefit you, or to speak with a medical provider today, click here.