How to shed that belly fat
Struggling to shift the excess fat around the waist line? Make some simple changes to your lifestyle and you’ll learn how to lose belly fat in no time
Unless you burn fat while building mass, your hard-earned muscles will be hidden. The quickest way to fail on your fat-fighting mission is through a lack of discipline. But even if you are properly motivated, you need to ensure you aren’t making silly mistakes that will stall your belly fat burning progress.
Lots of people make critical but common errors – and achieve amazing results when they correct them. This is a definitive list of what you can do to avoid common pitfalls that prevent you achieving a lean, hard body. It assumes that you aren’t doing any of the things that obviously impede weight loss and cause poor health, such as drinking large amounts of alcohol or not exercising.
Minimising stress lowers your cortisol levels. It is well established that chronically high cortisol results in fat gain, particularly around the middle. No matter how much you exercise or how healthy your diet, you’ll struggle to lose weight if your cortisol is elevated.
Get plenty of vitamin C
Vitamin C can help balance the cortisol spikes that occur while you’re stressed. And as well as being a good way to boost you immune system and prevent colds, Vitamin C is also essential for making carnitine, a compound that helps your body with the process of turning fat into fuel.If you’re going through a particularly stressful period then increase your vitamin C and it’ll go some way to help counteract the negative side-effects. However, don’t just neck a load of orange juice to up your intake. OJ may be a great vitamin C source but it’s also full of sugar (even though it’s naturally occurring it will still hamper your weight-loss efforts). Try including more chilli peppers, kale and kiwi fruit in your diet. These all have even more vitamin C than oranges, along with a host of other health benefits.
Train with weights
Strength training is essential for weight loss because it burns calories while improving insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake. It is preferable to cardio training because it produces a more favourable muscle-building response and burns more fat. For the best results, follow a periodised strength training programme that changes regularly – so you are not doing the same thing for longer than two months – and include anaerobic sprints.
Don’t avoid fat
Avoiding fat to shift fat from your body may seem logical, but when you appreciate the role of fat in the body you’ll realise it isn’t. You need a decent amount of ‘good’ fat in your diet because all the cells in your body are made up of two layers of fats, or lipids, which are composed of good fats or bad fats depending on the type that’s predominant in your diet. If the cell lipid layers are made up of healthy fats, it will make them more sensitive to insulin and allow the receptors to bind more easily, which is necessary for good metabolism and energy production. Of course, removing trans fats from your diet is essential because they will make you fat and then they will kill you.
Balance your fat intake
To get a balanced intake you ideally want a nearly equal ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fats. Most people get way too many omega 6 fats because they are abundantly found in the most commonly used vegetable oils. Omega 3 fatty acids are those that come from fish oil (usually known as DHA, EPA and ALA) but they also are found in grass-fed beef and wild meats. So for better insulin health and body composition I suggest taking a high-dose omega 3 supplement and eating wild meat and fish.
Take a probiotic
Probiotics are tiny bacteria that live naturally in the gastrointestinal tract and are commonly found in dairy products such as yoghurt. It’s difficult to lose weight if you don’t have a healthy gut. Why? More than half the neurotransmitters that send messages from the brain to cells and hormone receptors throughout the body are made in the gastrointestinal lining. If your gut is not healthy, it negatively affects the production of the neurotransmitters, leading to poor cognitive function, low mood and lack of motivation to exercise. Gut health is also essential because it improves digestion. Your metabolism will be supported so that nutrients are broken down, absorbed and used by the body effectively.
Top up your nutrients
Another trick for supporting digestion and fat loss is to make sure you have adequate stomach acid to break down food. Take a hydrochloric acid (HCl) supplement to improve acid levels in the stomach and to allow your body to completely break down food. The increased acid levels in the stomach will improve the absorption of protein, calcium, vitamin B, magnesium, zinc, iron and other basic nutrients.
Get a good night’s sleep
When you’re tired you produce more of the hunger-stimulating hormone called ghrelin, which triggers cravings for sugar and other foods that will do your waistline no favours. Losing sleep can also alter your hormone production, which affects your cortisol levels and can cause insulin sensitivity – one of the main offenders when it comes to seemingly unshift able belly flab. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night is one of the best things you can do if you want to lose weight and reveal your abs.
Start your day with protein
Skipping meals will set you up to fail to lose weight, and eating breakfast is one of the simplest, healthiest things you can do to feel better and have more energy – but it’s vital that it includes protein. Cereal is bad for breakfast because it’s typically packed with sugar and additives. Setting the neurotransmitters up for the day is the reason a high-quality protein breakfast is essential. The macronutrient content of the food you eat for breakfast will prime the chemicals that send messages from the brain to all your muscles and tissues throughout the whole day.
5 of the best belly fat burning foods
Lucky for those of us looking to burn those last few layers of belly fat we can do so without having to starve ourselves. Certain foods have a particularly high thermogenic effect, meaning that you can quite literally torch calories as you eat. Other foods contain compounds and nutrients that effectively stoke your metabolic fire, helping you to burn calories at a faster rate.
Boost your metabolism with these fat-burning delights:
Whole grains: Your body will burn double the amount of calories as it breaks down whole grains, particularly those that are rich in fibre such as brown rice and oats. Processed foods are broken down in a different way and do not require your body to burn as many calories.
Lean meats: Protein in meats such as steak or chicken breasts has a very high thermogenic effect. You actually burn around 30% of the calories that the food contains while you are still digesting it. So a 300-calorie steak will require around 90 calories just to break it down.
Green tea: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that drinking four cups of green tea each day could help people shed around 2-3kg in two months because there is a compound in the brewed tea that temporarily speeds up your metabolism. If you want to up your intake even further keep a jug of iced green tea in the fridge for a bit of variation.
Hot peppers: Capsaicin, the primary compound found in chilli peppers that gives them their kick, warms up your body temperature, aiding the burning of additional calories. You can get it by eating dried, cooked, raw or powdered peppers.
Lower-fat dairy products: Rich in vitamin D and calcium, low-fat dairy products like light cheeses and skimmed milk help to preserve and build muscle mass, which is essential for maintaining a robust metabolism.