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Many of us struggle with the "stubborn" abdominal fat that just doesn't seem to go away no matter how hard we exercise and diet. This type of fat was described by Dr. Simeons as being abnormal fat and unfortunately it is very resilient to our efforts to get rid of it.
If you find that your efforts to lose weight on your abdomen (or other parts of your body such as your thighs and arms) haven't been effective, there are a lot of potential causes. The key is to look at all of the potential problem areas and start to eliminate them from your lifestyle.
You should strongly consider starting on the HCG diet if you haven't already. The diet specifically targets belly fat and excess fat that is usually very difficult to lose. The hormone "unlocks" this fat so that your body can utilize it for energy.
Virtually everyone experiences significant abnormal fat loss on the diet because of this unique metabolic effect, and many people are amazed at how quickly their belly fat and other abnormal fat disappears. If you want one of the quickest and most efficient ways to lose belly fat, there is almost no doubt that the HCG diet would be a good option for you to try after you have been approved by a medical doctor.
Situps simply don't work for burning belly fat. They certainly strengthen your abdominal muscles, but they will not cut through the layer of fat that is covering them. Everyone has a "six pack", but it is not visible because of the layer of abnormal fat that is covering them. Situps will definitely burn calories, but they burn calories and reduce the body fat of your entire body, not just your abdomen.
This isn't to suggest that you should avoid doing situps or crunches, but you definitely need to do some form of cardiovascular exercise on a regular basis if you are trying to lose belly fat. The best form, as mentioned previous on this blog, is high intensity interval training (HIIT) which has been proven in many studies to be much more effective than long distance running or length cardio sessions.
HIIT keeps your metabolism running in high gear for several hours after you have finished working out, continuing to burn excess fat. In one study, participants who did HIIT for 8 weeks had a 2 percent reduction in body fat, and in another study a group that exercised using a 20 minute HIIT training program lost six times more fat than other group that did a standard 40 minute cardiovascular training program.
Although exercise is clearly important to losing excess body fat and maintaining a normal body fat percentage (when you are not on the HCG diet) the main problem that contributes to body fat is our lifestyle choices.
Any time you consume refined sugar, white bread, pasta, chips, crackers, desserts and sweetened drinks, you are shocking your body with a huge amount of easy to metabolize calories that causes an insulin burst. As a result of the insulin burst your liver converts the sugar or starch that you just consumed into fat.
The worst part is that you usually experience a burst of energy followed by a huge crash in energy, and then you need to eat all over again. The definite result of not eliminating sugar and starch from your diet is that your body will store the excess calories as belly fat, thigh fat, underarm fat, and fat in other undesirable locations.
Studies consistently have shown that high levels of stress result in a consistent level of cortisol, the stress hormone, which has a wide array of negative effects when it is persistently high. Those who suffer from mood disorders, anxiety and depression as a result of stress have a high level of cortisol production, and it is often associated with belly fat.
Controlling stress is key to eliminating and preventing belly fat from building up. Cortisol increases your appetite, causing you to eat more calories than you normally would if you were not stressed. It also can result in insomnia, and studies have shown that people who don't get enough sleep often eat too many calories as a way to compensate for the lack of the sleep. Cortisol also causes a loss of muscle mass and reduced bone density.
Basically when you have high levels of cortisol your body is in "emergency mode". It thinks that you are in danger and that you are in a fight or flight situation, so it responds by slowing down your metabolism and storing any excess energy that you consume as fat.
It quickly becomes a vicious cycle: the more that you are stressed the higher your cortisol levels are. The higher your cortisol levels are the more that you are driven to eat to cope with the stress, and the higher the chance is that you will eat unhealthy foods. Since your body is in conservation mode you will convert more of those calories into belly fat and excess fat than you normally would. And even worse, once you have high levels of belly fat your body's inflammation levels increase which contributes to more cortisol production.
So it's clearly important to be aware of your stress levels and combat them through whichever techniques that you find the most effective. You need to make lifestyle choices that prevent stress from building up and causing health problems. Avoid stressful situations as much as possible, try yoga or other techniques to manage your stress. And have a regular exercise program and consider trying HIIT if you haven't already.
The HCG diet can help you get on track to make these lifestyle changes, and it is a great first step in making the permanent dietary changes that will reduce your excess belly and body fat. The diet resets your hormone levels to normal levels, and it gives your body a break from the processed foods, sugars and starches that can wreak havoc on it over time.
Get more information here on how the HCG diet can lead you to a healthier lifestyle and help you get rid of that nagging excess body fat that doesn't seem to go away.