You want to get rid of your belly fat, but don’t know where to start.
It’s hard enough to lose weight, let alone focus on one specific area like your stomach.
Not only is this frustrating, but it can also be discouraging when the number on the scale doesn’t budge.
We’ve got good news – losing belly fat is a lot simpler than you think. All you need is a little bit of knowledge and some healthy habits that you can stick with for the long haul.
Let’s take a look at why belly fat is so stubborn, and what you can do about it.
You’ll also find out how to lose your gut fast, along with some tips on how to get rid of stomach fat.
What Makes Belly Fat So Stubborn?
Belly fat is made up of visceral fat, which is the type of fat that wraps around your organs.
This belly fat affects more than just your looks – it can increase your chances for serious health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
Two Types Of Fat
Your body has two types of fat. The first is subcutaneous fat, which lies right under the skin and causes cellulite to form over time.
The second type of fat is visceral or intra-abdominal fat, which builds up deep inside your body and accumulates around your liver, kidneys, digestive tract, and other major internal organs.
This form of “deep belly fat” also known as omental adipose tissue (OAT) makes up 1/3 to 2/3 of total body fat.
What’s more, these deposits of dangerous abdominal fat can make you look much older than your true age, and increase your risk for certain diseases later in life.
Why Belly Fat Is Difficult To Lose
When it comes to losing belly fat, there are reasons why it may be more difficult compared to other areas of the body:
You can see it – when you’re trying to lose your gut, simply looking down at a beer belly isn’t going to cut it. You have to see that bulge to realize that it’s time for a change.
Unfortunately, this just makes excuses much easier, which causes you to waste time until you finally stop procrastinating altogether.
While some people can eat poorly and exercise off the weight without too much discomfort, others just feel a lot of pressure when they’re trying to trim their stomachs down.
At this point, most people give up because they’re not seeing results fast enough – which is exactly what belly fat wants you to do.
How To Lose Belly Fat
To lose weight from any area of your body, you need oxygen-rich blood flow to get rid of cellular waste and deliver the necessary nutrients for repair and growth.
Now you’re probably thinking that belly fat has a simple solution – just sit on a bike for an hour and it should melt away, right?
Not exactly… Belly fat isn’t located in your muscles, but rather underneath your skin and surrounding the organs within your abdomen.
In other words, despite being so close to vital blood vessels, there’s no easy way to flush this excess waste out of the body.
This is why women tend to see their “pooch” after only a few weeks without exercise once they reach midlife – it’s much more difficult to achieve results compared to when we were younger.
Shedding off stubborn stomach fat also requires diet and lifestyle changes that go far beyond what gym buffs are used to.
If you don’t take care of your body outside the gym, no workout routine will help you lose weight from one specific area.
While aerobic exercise isn’t terribly effective at burning fat, it can be used to strengthen and define various muscle groups around the frame.
Spending a few hours per week on a stationary bike will make a world of difference when it comes to flat abs, which is why it’s important not to ignore cardio training.
Cardio To Lose Belly Fat
Cardio is one of the most effective ways to lose weight quickly.
It raises levels of norepinephrine in the body, which causes thermogenesis, so when done at high intensities it provides a great cardiovascular workout as well as helps you to burn calories.
10 Cardio Exercises To Lose Weight
3. Jumping rope
7. HIIT workouts
9. Rowing machine
Diet To Lose Belly Fat
Diet is a critical part of any weight loss program. You need to eat foods that will help you lose weight while providing the nutrients your body needs.
There are many different ways to lose weight, but the best way to lose weight and keep it off is by eating a healthy diet.
A healthy diet includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. It also includes healthy fats such as Omega-3 fatty acids.
When you eat a healthy diet, you will lose weight and feel better overall.
A healthy diet should include:
1. Lean protein such as fish, skinless chicken or turkey, lean beef, eggs, and tofu.
2. Complex carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains such as oatmeal and brown rice.
3. Healthy fats such as avocado and nuts and seeds (such as walnuts).
4. Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cheese, and other dairy products should be eaten in moderation.
5. Alcohol should be avoided or consumed in moderation, one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men is the maximum amount that can be consumed without having negative health effects.
6. Sugar and sweets should be eaten in moderation to avoid having excess weight gain.
Using The Glycemic Index For Weight Loss
When making healthy food choices, it is important to consider the Glycemic Index (GI).
The GI ranks foods according to how quickly they cause your blood sugar to increase.
Foods with a high glycemic index are converted into sugar within the body causing rapid increases in blood sugar.
Foods with a low glycemic index are digested slowly, causing gradual increases in blood sugar.
What Is Glycemic Load and How Does It Relate To Weight Loss?
The Glycemic Load (GL) takes into account how many grams of carbohydrates are found in one serving of that food item. If you are attempting to lose weight, it is best to choose foods with a low GL.
Low GL foods may include:
1. Fruits such as apples, grapefruit, and oranges
2. Vegetables such as broccoli or green beans
3. Lean proteins like skinless chicken or turkey breast
4. Low-fat dairy products like milk or yogurt
5. Whole-grain bread and pasta
6. Nuts and seeds such as pistachios or almonds
High GL foods include:
1. White bread and pasta
2. Refined flours such as white flour pasta, cookies, doughnuts, and cakes
3. Sweets like ice cream, candy, and other sugary foods
Skipping Meals To Lose Weight
If you are trying to lose weight, do not skip meals as it will cause your body to hold onto fat stores and burn muscle, instead of fat cells for energy.
This is a bad thing because you want to keep the muscles since they provide a good amount of the total calorie burning that goes on in the body and help to balance your hormones.
How many meals you eat a day will depend on whether or not you are trying to lose weight, as well as how active you are.
For those who are looking to lose weight, it is recommended that 3-5 small, healthy meals at regular intervals be eaten each day.
Preparing Your Food In Advance
One way to ensure you eat regularly and healthy is to prepare food in advance, so you do not have to stop and pick up takeout.
You can also pack your meals the night before so they are ready for you when you are running out the door in the morning.
However many meals you decide on, it is important to make sure each meal is a healthy one.
Healthy Meals For Burning Belly Fat
Here are some easy and quick breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas:
- Whole grain toast with a poached egg
- Oatmeal with chopped apples
- Smoothie made of whey protein powder, low-fat milk or yogurt, berries, and a banana
- Greek yogurt and berries
- Omelet made with 2 egg whites and one whole egg, chopped veggies, and a slice of cheese
- Tuna salad sandwich: made with water-packed tuna, celery, red onion, green pepper, and herbs; served on whole-grain bread; with sliced cucumbers
- Salad with chopped turkey breast, grated carrots, and broccoli slaw tossed in a low-fat dressing
- Whole grain pasta salad: made of whole wheat orzo, grape tomatoes, green pepper, and cucumber; dressed in a vinaigrette dressing
- Greek yogurt with berries and walnuts mixed in
- Soup with lentils, sweet potatoes, and spices
- Whole wheat pita stuffed with hummus, salad greens, and veggies
- Chicken or steak stir fry with fresh veggies
- Fish tacos made of grilled fish topped on a whole wheat tortilla along with sliced cabbage, salsa verde, and a spritz of lime juice
- Protein salad made with chicken, mozzarella, cucumbers, and tomatoes tossed in a lemon vinaigrette dressing
- Quinoa dish made with quinoa, sauteed veggies, and a side of salmon
- Lentil soup served with whole grain bread
- Whole grain spaghetti with a lean meat sauce
- Whole wheat pasta tossed in olive oil with tuna, capers, and sun-dried tomatoes
- Whole-grain pita stuffed with veggies along with Greek yogurt drizzled on top.
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results immediately. It takes time and dedication to get rid of belly fat and sculpt a lean, toned physique.
Start with making small changes in your diet and increasing the amount of physical activity you do each day.
Stick with it, make healthy choices, and before you know it you’ll have the body you’ve always wanted.