When people want to lose fat, their goal always seems to be to gain the perfectly tapered torso with a flat stomach. While this might seem like a shallow desire, the fact is that the fat residing in your stomach is actually more harmful than you know. The excess weight in this region has been directly connected to many metabolic diseases including heart diseases and Type 2 diabetes.
So, the desire to lose fat around the middle is nothing to be ashamed about. It recognizes that you need to attain your healthiest body and minimize potential risks related to this type of fat.
However, an important thing to remember about losing fat, no matter your method, is that spot reduction myth or fact. When you work out, your entire body loses weight. It’s possible to develop specific muscle groups with targeted training, but you will not lose fat around your middle if you are not ready to lose fat overall.
Here are some sensible ways to lose fat without losing your mind.
1. Reduce Your Stress Level
The relationship might not be immediately obvious, but your stress level often has a negative impact on your weight loss goals. Studies by experts have found that belly fat is heavily connected to your stress. The food your body craves when you’re anxious directly goes to your middle. Try to manage your stress levels, so that your body isn’t held hostage by it anymore.
2. Sleep Better
Another common sense advice, but it has been found that lack of sleep is heavily linked to long-term weight gain. If you don’t let your body rest adequately, you’ll find it harder to fight off your cravings, and your body will be less efficient at metabolizing the food you eat.
3. Change Your Diet
The accepted wisdom is to cut out fat from your meals to trim your body down. However, your body requires fat in your diet. Cutting it out will only make you deficient.
Instead, monitor the carbohydrate and calorie content of your meals. Try to include more proteins. Eat regularly, and adequately, instead of having large meals once a day. Nutritionists even suggest that you should have most of your carbs at night because they help produce serotonin which gives you a good night of sleep.
4. Avoid Sugar
A key component of losing weight is to avoid food that raises your insulin level. Reduce your fructose intake as much as possible, and eventually, you’ll find that your body no longer craves it.
5. Drink less alcohol
Tests have shown that people who drink less than a glass a day regularly have less abdominal fat than those who drink occasionally but indulge a lot. Alcohol definitely increases body fat content, but you don’t have to go completely cold turkey. Just reduce your intake to less than a glass a day.
6. Give Trans Fats a miss
While avoiding fats isn’t the answer to losing weight, cutting trans fats out of your diet is definitely a good step to take. These are partially hydrogenated fats that are very good at making you gain abdominal fat. They’re often found in margarine and other packaged foods. Give these a miss to help your health.
7. Increase intake of fiber
Fiber helps digestion, but soluble fiber gives you’re a feeling of fullness by slowing down the digestive process. This will help you lose weight by naturally cutting down your cravings.
8. No more carbonated artificially sweetened drinks
Closely related to our early point about reducing sugar, these drinks also increase the fat around your liver which can have lethal repercussions for your health. Don’t let them stay a part of your daily life.
9. You can give intermittent fasting a try
A highly effective diet that shows results within weeks, but you have to be careful not to start this diet without consulting a professional first. Once you’re ready to commit to this diet, you should also pair it with a sustainable exercise routine. So, that even after the fasting period is over and you’re back to your regular diet you can maintain the weight loss momentum.
10. Walk daily
The benefits of walking are often underplayed but before you sign up for an expensive gym membership, try walking for at least half an hour daily. It has been found that people who walk for 30 minutes a day lose weight more quickly than those who walk an hour three times a week. Which means walking on the treadmill thrice a week is less effective than taking your dog out for a brisk walk daily.
11. Choose a Training method that fits your body
As we said before, when you’re trying to lose weight, you have to start by losing fat from your entire body. After building up enough muscle strength, you can focus on techniques that further develop your abdomen. Stronger muscles naturally help reduce body fat. So, find an exercise that you can stick to over a long period of time. It can be yoga, swimming, resistance training, aerobics, or even High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). When you have strengthened your body and lost weight overall, you can focus on the following exercises.
12. Exercises to get that washboard stomach
Crunches are the magic word. Most types of exercises that use your abdominal muscles for balance, like holding a plank position, will help you tone your stomach. But crunches will help you build the abdominal muscles. So, when you’re ready, incorporate crunches, side crunches, reverse crunches, twist crunches, etc. into your workout for the best effect.
Finally, word from the wise. Most people start strong and falter because they can’t stick with the plan. Start small and build on every success. That’s how you’ll lose your belly fat!