When it comes to our appearances, the biggest concern that the majority of us tend to have is our body fat levels, particularly when it comes to belly fat.
There’s just something about having a flabby belly that generally makes us feel unattractive and self conscious. In reality, not only is belly fat unpleasant to look at, it’s also dangerous.
Belly fat is also known as visceral body fat, due to the fact that this layer of fat coats a great deal of our organs found underneath our abdomens.
The liver, for example, is at risk of suffering from fatty liver disease, which can lead to a number of health complications. For this reason it is our best interests to lose belly fat as quickly as we possibly can.
People think that when trying to lose belly fat fast, that you need to live on a diet of nothing but steamed vegetables and water, whilst working yourself into a sweaty mess in the gym 7 days a week.
In the real world, however, although losing fat is not an easy process, it is certainly far easier than many people would have you believe.
Here’s a look at 7 tips on how to lose belly fat fast.
Step up the Cardio
It’s time to lace up your running shoes and hit the cardio like never before.
Cardio exercise is absolutely essential for burning fat and as if that wasn’t enough, there are also numerous other health benefits associated with it.
It also helps reduce blood pressure and, perhaps most significantly of all, it also provides a number of benefits for the heart.
The word ‘cardio’ in fact, is derived from the ancient Greek word for heart, which was ‘Kardia’ so that alone should give you an idea of how beneficial cardio can be in the heart.
In terms of fat loss however, anybody trying to lose belly fat should ensure that they get at least three hours worth of cardio exercise in each week, if not more.
The great thing about cardio is that you can do a number of activities and still reap the same benefits.
These include: Running, jogging, cycling, swimming, circuit training, playing sports, walking, and more.
Even if you aren’t trying to bulk up and build muscle, experts still recommend lifting weights on a weekly basis in order to assist you with your fat loss goals.
For people trying to lose belly fat fast, for example, weight and resistance training is ideal for two reasons.
The first reason is the fact that, as it is still a form of exercise, you will still be burning calories and will therefore be losing weight.
Secondly, is the fact that, as you do begin to build even a small amount of lean muscle, as muscle requires more calories to maintain than body fat, the body will increase the metabolism and burn more calories just to maintain it in its current state.
You don’t need to train like a bodybuilder, but make sure that you do work each body part and that you vary your exercises, rep ranges, weights, and workouts.
Ditch the Junk
So far we’ve only really focused on exercise, but the simple fact is that, you can do all of the exercise you like, but if your diet sucks, you may as well resign yourself to being fat forever, or at least until you decide to clean it up.
When it comes to fat loss, diet is absolutely essential for a number of different reasons, so clean it up is vital.
When you go to the store for groceries, rather than filling your basket full of junk, opt for healthy, and natural, foods instead.
By ditching the junk food you are therefore able to avoid temptation for days when you are feeling hungry and are craving unhealthy foods. If you’re guilty of buying potato chips, cookies, cakes, biscuits, candy, ice cream, processed meats, ready meals, sugary drinks, processed ready meals, and other greasy foods packed full of trans fats and artificial chemicals and ingredients, you may wish to seriously consider throwing them out of the house, or avoiding them altogether.
Get more Healthy Fats
In the past, when people were looking to lose belly fat fast, they would often avoid fat altogether and follow a low-calorie, fat-free diet plan.
In reality, however, this was hampering their progress and slowing them down as studies have revealed that healthy fats are not just beneficial for our health and well-being, they are also actually beneficial for losing fat as well, particularly stubborn belly fat.
The reason for this is that these healthy fats provide instant energy for the body which in turn ramps up the metabolism and allows you to burn more calories, even in a rested state.
As the fat is used instantly as energy, it is all used up and therefore cannot be stored as belly fat.
The body actually prefers fat to carbohydrates as its primary source of energy, but when they’re combined together, carbohydrates are used up, meaning that fat is stored, as, well, fat.
Healthy fats ramp up the metabolism, they reduce fat cell accumulation, and they help communicate with enzymes within the body, telling them to utilize fat as energy instead of carbs and sugars. Healthy fats include: Oily fish, olive oil, grass-fed butter, avocado, organic coconut oil, grass-fed beef, organic eggs, nuts, seeds, and nut butters.
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and it is absolutely fantastic for people looking to take stubborn body fat and obliterate it from the face of the earth.
HIIT is basically comprised of spells of high intensity physical exercise, and spells of low intensity exercise which alternat with another.
As an example: if you perform a HIIT workout on the treadmill, you may begin by walking steadily for 40 seconds, before speeding up the machine and sprinting almost as fast as you can, for 30 seconds, before walking for 40 seconds, and so on.
You would repeat the slow/fast sequence of several rounds generally 8-10 which would take roughly 20 – 30 minutes. During this time, you burn a good 300 – 400 calories, but, what really makes HIIT so effective, is that it tricks the metabolism into increasing, meaning that for as much as 24 hours after a workout, your metabolism will still be increased, even in a rested state, so you burn more fat.
This is known as the afterburn effect.
Eat Little and Often
When it comes to belly fat, anybody trying to lose belly fat fast should seriously consider changing their eating habits, by not only eating healthier meals, but also by eating far more frequently as well. Rather than eating three square meals a day, you should instead aim for 5 – 6 small/medium sized meals instead – every three hours or so.
This is again all down to the metabolism, as eating in this way will ensure your metabolism is being fed with plenty of energy, allowing it to work more efficiently.
The more energy your metabolism has, the more calories you burn, and the more energy you have as a result.
Finally, although it may seem counterproductive to some of you, experts have found that by rewarding yourself regularly, you are far less likely to break your diet/healthy eating plan and will therefore be able to stay on track.
As a reward for dieting and exercising all week, why not reward yourself with a treat meal, where you have a meal that you may have been craving all week?
Treat meals will give you a goal to aim for and will help ensure that you stay on track during the week. Don’t go mad and don’t confuse a treat meal with a treat day, otherwise you could potentially rack up several thousand more calories.