Modern life has led people to spend more time sitting, eating unhealthy food and living a sedentary life. This can cause many problems, one of which is belly fat. Although it sounds like a simple aesthetic problem, it is actually a lot more than that. Being positioned very deep surrounding the organs, belly fat can cause many diseases, some of which are diabetes, cholesterol and heart diseases. Therefore, if you have belly fat, it’s high time you do something about it.
Losing belly fat is often difficult. In part, that is because the muscles that hold in the lower abdomen are not used much the way most people live. They are not affected significantly with either leg lifts or sit-ups. So what can you do to lose belly fat?
Dieting for losing belly fat
Start by changing your eating habits. Take 4-5 smaller meals during the day instead of 2-3 large meals. This way you will increase your energy and boost metabolism.
Don’t skip breakfast and limit the amount of food you consume for dinner, especially just before going to bed. Otherwise, you will have high glucose levels in your blood, which will turn into belly fat, since you won’t be active during sleep.
Losing belly fat is connected to losing weight, which means that you need to burn more calories than you take in. Avoid empty calories that can’t be burned easily. These are found in foods that contain saturated fats and white sugar, such as processed food, fast food and sweets.
Eat more fruits and vegetables; they directly influence your metabolism since they are rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Artichokes, asparagus, avocado, broccoli, celery, and cucumber have a low glycemic index and are especially recommended if you want to lose belly fat.
Lean protein is particularly important if you want to lose your belly fat, so try to include it in every meal. Not only does it make you feel full, and boosts your metabolism, but it also keeps blood glucose and insulin levels in check. In addition, lean protein enables you to build and maintain muscle tissue, making it possible for belly fat to disappear faster. Therefore, have more chicken, lean beef, turkey, seeds, fish, and nuts.
Drink enough water, at least ten glasses a day. Water will give you more energy and you won’t feel hungry that often. Green tea is also recommended. Try to refrain yourself from consuming too much caffeine and alcohol.
Exercises for losing belly fat
The right exercises, done in the right way, can help to tighten your abdominal muscles. But these exercises alone cannot eliminate accumulated belly fat. About half of the fat is inside your abdomen and no amount of compression with strong abdominal muscles will make it smaller. These exercises will only tighten underlying muscles with almost no effect on total body fat percentage.
The answer for most people is really a loss of body fat along with proper exercises. An overall exercise program, even plain walking if you walk enough, is the best way to help people eliminate calories stored as belly fat.
You can’t just exercise your abdominal muscles. Spot reducing does not work that well. Sit-ups are of limited help. The best exercise really is the voluntary pulling in of your abdominal muscles as tight as you can, then relaxing them. Relax and repeat. You can do this sitting, lying or standing. You don’t need to bend your trunk to do these isometric exercises.
Leg-lifts only work if you also tighten or tense your abdominal muscles during the leg-lifts. Again, it is the associated contraction of the abdominal muscles, not lifting the legs, that works.
Another thing you should avoid is chronic stress, as it increases the levels of cortisol, which contributes to appetite, particularly for fatty and sugary foods. In addition, cortisol helps fat to be stored in the abdominal area. Get enough sleep, practice meditation, or yoga and you will surely control stress.
Getting rid of abdominal fat follows the same concepts of any weight-control program – limiting calories and increasing exercise to use calories. You won’t lose belly fat unless you eliminate fat regardless of what exercises you do.