Belly fat, the most stubborn, and according to most Americans, is the most unsightly. Losing belly fat and gaining muscle takes commitment and hard work, but it can be done. If you’re thinking gaining muscle is not for you, think again. An increase in muscle, however small it may be, helps to increase your metabolism and create a fat burning furnace, which in turn helps to reduce that stubborn belly fat. With so many fat loss “secrets” out there it is difficult to know which to follow. However, here are some basic rules to follow that can help clear the picture.
Overhaul your diet. While you do not have to “eat like a rabbit”, there is certainly truth to the phrase “you are what you eat.” The first step to overhauling your diet is getting rid of sodas, juices, and other high calorie drinks. It is best to drink only water because it hydrates better than any other liquids, and contains no calories. The next step is to get rid of ice cream, cookies, anything that is high in sugar and refined flours (like white bread, and pasta), and high fat foods. These types of carbs do not provide much in terms of vitamins, minerals, or fiber. Instead opt for fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as they not only provide a greater mount of nutrients, but help you to feel fuller longer, which then leads to a reduced amount of calories consumed. For protein, look for lean beef, skinless poultry, and fish to make up the majority of this section of your diet, as they provide plenty of nutrients without the caloric impact of fatty meats.
Start interval training. While most people know if you want to lose weight, you should exercise. Many don’t know that not all exercise is created equal. Interval training is when high intensity exercise is done in conjunction with low to moderate intensity exercise (i.e. a 30 second sprint, followed by a two minute jog). A study performed at the University of Guelph in Ontario Canada, found that the use of interval training led to an increase of fat used as energy, as well as an increase in aerobic capacity and an increase in muscle activity.
Go to sleep. A lack of sleep, according to bellyfatanswers.com, leads to increasing levels of a hunger hormone and a reduction in a hormone that makes you feel full and satisfied. Not only will getting ample sleep help with hormone balance, but it also allows your body the time it needs to recover from the challenges of interval training. The 7-8 hour per night recommendation still stands says the site.
Consult your physician before starting a diet and exercise program, as you may not be healthy enough to do so.
The University study involved women who were in at least “moderate shape,” if this type of workout seems to rigorous, you may want to work at building a base foundation of fitness prior to performing interval training.