According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 78.6 million people with obesity in the US. Excessive calorie intake and less exercise are the main reasons why your body stores fat. Patrick J. Bird, the dean of the College of Health and Human Performance at the University of Florida, explained in Scientific American that excess fats are usually deposited on woman’s pelvis, butt, and thighs. Sadly for men, the abdomen is the favorite spot of unused calories resulting in the rapid growth of Visceral or abdominal fats. If your belly is so clingy to say goodbye, try these effective ways when you wonder how to lose belly fat fast without any fad diets and pills.
1. Eat Like a King in the Morning
The Most Important Meal
First of all, it may seem to be counterproductive to eat huge meals in the morning, but it actually favors reducing fats. Breakfast is considered to be the most important meal of the day since it provides your body primary sources of energy after a long sleep. In addition, the key trick to get rid of belly fat with a huge breakfast is eating the right kinds of foods. Dr. James Betts, a senior lecturer in Nutrition, Metabolism and Statistics at the University of Bath studied the effects of eating breakfast and concluded the following as published in The Daily Mail:
- Breakfast can improve your endurance
- People who eat in the morning are more energetic until the end of the day
- Breakfast kick starts your metabolism and other bodily functions
- Eating a morning meal can help regulate your blood sugar level
- Those who eat breakfast tend to eat less for the rest of the day
What to Eat?
You can’t simply eat anything during breakfast. Your first meal of the day must be in the recommended proportions with all the vitamins and minerals you need to last the day. Nutrition website suggests which foods should be eaten or avoided during your most important meal:
- No processed food or leftovers from last night’s party
- Drink milk or tea rather than coffee
- Plain yogurt
- Foods that burn belly fat include cereal, fruits or vegetables rich in fiber
- No sweets
Furthermore, remember folks, what you eat every morning is a determining factor of what you will eat for the entire day. It is a mortal sin in reducing visceral fats to skip breakfast as it makes you crave and eat more for the rest of the day.
2. Make 10,000 Steps a Daily Habit
Walk and Burn Calories
Walking could be one of the most underrated exercises that most people take for granted. What we do not know is that these simple steps can actually help us reduce belly fat. The best part of all? It’s free. According to the Arthritis Foundation, a study at the University of Tennessee found out that people who are walking more frequently have lesser body fat compared to those who don’t. I personally love walking within our neighborhood since I don’t feel pressured to do it. Aside from helping you burn your dormant fatty tissues, walking also offers the following benefits:
- Improves blood circulation and strengthens the heart
- Lowers blood pressureIncreases leg and bone density
- Enhances your mood
- Lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other mental degeneration sickness
According to the Harvard Health Publications, a 30-minute walk can burn 155 to 222 calories. They’re better burned rather than stored in your abdomen.
Plan Your Walk
To get the most out of your walking routine, you must first ensure that you have the most comfortable apparel. Second, look for comfortable shoes intended for outdoors. Next, plan your route. Be sure to familiarize the terrain and avoid cracked sidewalks to prevent injuries. After which warm your body up by stretching and begin the walk at your most preferred pace. Finally, cool down your body by walking a few meters more at a slower pace.
The faster and farther you walk, the more calories you can burn. Gradually increase your distance and speed as you progress on your walking plan.
3. Say No To Sweets
How Can I Say No?
We all grew up loving chocolates, desserts, and everything sweet. We may not care about ingesting too much sugar until we realize we need a new pair of pants. The Huffington Post might surprise you by saying that it is not the fats that make you fat but too much sugar. What makes it hard to say no to anything sweet is the fact that our brain interprets sweetness as satisfaction. Therefore, we always ask for more.
What’s Wrong with Sugars
There’s nothing wrong with sugar. In fact, it is one of the main sources of energy needed by the body to function. Sugar becomes bad to your body if it’s taken in excess. When your body detects the presence of sugar, it releases insulin to help control your blood sugar level. All excess sugar on your system will then be stored as fatty deposits on your belly and other parts of the body. This is the main reason why Reader’s Digest reports that some experts want sugar consumption to be regulated just like a drug.
Fighting Your Cravings for Sweets
If the aim is to remove excess abdominal fats soon, we need to fight our cravings for sweets. Start by drinking plenty of water before any meal. Next, check for sugar alternatives. Honey and fructose are healthier sources of sweetness. Finally, burn it up. If you can’t say no to a slice of choco lava cake, see to it that you can burn it later by sweating more.
4. Hydrate Yourself Regularly
There are a lot of inexpensive and safe ways to burn belly fat. Drinking plenty of water is a perfect example of a free and doable method. In a study posted in the American Chemical Society, Dr. Brenda Davy proved that an increased level water consumption is an effective weight loss strategy. She noted that people who drank two cups of water before every meal ate 75 to 90 calories less than those who didn’t. The decrease in calorie intake resulted in a 5-lb reduction in the subject’s weight.
Benefits of Drinking Plenty of Water
You are doing your body a favor if you’re drinking more than eight glasses of water per day. Aside from being an effective appetite suppressant, here are some of the added benefits of drinking more water as enumerated by Natural Health News & Scientific Discoveries:
- Help ease digestion and cures constipation
- Regulates your body’s temperature
- Flushes out toxins
- Keeps your body hydrated
- Relieves a headache and migraine
Water has NO Substitute
Most people fall into the trap of replacing water with other fluids like fruits juices, electrolyte drinks, and soda. Replacing water with another beverage is not a good idea since other drinks contain sugar that you need to avoid. Water contains ZERO calories making it a perfect ally in reducing your waistline. So next time you open that fridge to get something to drink, choose water over a can of coke.
5. Work Your Abs Out
Achieve 6-Pack Abs
Having a toned and sculpted abdomen is part of our dream. This will never become a reality if we do not work hard for it. Eating the right kinds of food can help us reduce our waistline. However, doing exercises targeting your abdominal muscles can make the process faster.
Crunches No More
Ab exercises involve movements that squeeze your ab muscles resulting in a lean and toned abdomen. Crunches had its golden years as the most preferred ab workout. However, The Huffington Post disagrees saying that crunches have caused a lot of spine injuries. Here are some of the alternatives to get the same results without having to do a single crunch:
First, get into a belly-down position on the floor. Next, use your elbow and your forearms to support your body weight. Remember to keep your toes together and keep your legs straight. Then, hold this position for as long as you can with your torso and back straight. Lastly, rest for a while and do multiple repetitions. Doing the planking in front of the mirror is the best way to monitor your form.
Start by sitting on the edge of a sturdy chair. Next, place both hands on your side on the edge of the chair’s base. Then, grasp the base of the chair while pulling your butt upward. This puts a lot of work and compression on your abdomen. Hold for a few seconds. Lastly, return to the original position and repeat as required.
Begin by positioning your feet shoulder-width apart. Then, extend both arms forward with your palms facing down. Next, slowly bend your knees until it forms a 90-degree angle with your legs. Finally, return to starting position and perform necessary repetitions.
6. Trim Down Your Carbohydrate Intake
Carbohydrate is a Bad Enemy
Carbohydrate is also considered to be one of the major causes of a big belly. Just like sugar, carbohydrates are not inherently bad for your body. In fact, National Health Services in the UK reports that carbohydrates provide 17 kJ of energy per gram. However, just like any other substance, carbohydrates will transform into fats if you take more than what your body can process, and can result in a bigger belly.
The Science of Carbohydrates
Just like sugar, carbohydrates can cause spikes on your blood sugar level prompting your body to release more insulin. For starters, carbohydrates are also a form of sugar. Aside from making you feel hungry again, excessive insulin in the blood prevents the production of fat burning enzymes. As a result, the stored fats remains stored and not used up by the body.
Alternative for Carbohydrates
Let me makes things clear. You don’t need to remove carbohydrates completely from your diet, all you need to do is regulate your intake. Another option is to replace carbohydrates with foods that have low glycemic index. These foods have a very minimal effect on the concentration of sugar in your blood making them a healthier choice. Self Nutrition Data recommends to replace your high carb foods with any of the following:
- Whole grain bread
- Sweet potatoes
- Brown or red rice
- Non-starchy vegetables
By trimming down on your carbohydrate intake, you’re not only avoiding a bigger belly but also reducing the risk of having a heart attack and diabetes.
7. Stay Off the Couch – Keep the TV Off
The math is simple, guys. If you eat more but burn less, accumulation of fats happen, and they love to stay on your belly. Thus, you need to eat less to use those stored fats in your system. Be as active as possible. Move around and find something to do. Avoid slouching on the couch while watching TV and munching your favorite chips. All these activities can do nothing but harm to your body.
Live an Active Life
If doing strenuous exercise is not your thing, there are a lot of physical activities that you can engage to sweat out those fats. The Center for Disease Control enumerates some moderate physical activities that you might enjoy:
- Doing household chores
- Fixing your garage
- Mowing your lawn
- Playing your favorite sport
Though these activities burn fewer calories compared to high-intensity workout, it’s much better compared to keeping your body immobile. Imagine this. By simply stretching your body for 30 minutes, you can lose up to 180 calories. Is it that hard to do?
Benefits of Being Active
If you’ve never run out of excuses to mobilize your body, here are other benefits that you can take advantage in doing physical activities aside from losing your belly fat:
- Reduces the risk of diabetes and heart attack
- Avoid bone diseases such as osteoporosis
- Lower high blood pressure
- Defer arthritis and other joint pains
8. Manage Your Stress
You might raise an eyebrow and ask how is stress related to your belly fat. The culprit is your hormones. Once your body, or technically your brain, feels like it’s stressed out, it releases a lot of hormones including those that make you feel hungry. Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, signals your brain to crave for food. As a result, you eat more and gain weight.
Why the Belly?
According to Psychology Today, the belly has enough supply of blood vessels and cortisol receptors. This makes the deposition of fats very easy and convenient. To make things worse, visceral fat is one of the most difficult to get rid of. In addition, the presence of cortisol in the blood slows down your metabolism to conserve the remaining amount of sugar in the blood for future use.
Side Effects of Stress
In the same article from Psychology Today, a study of American Psychological Association entitled “Stress in America” reveals that 40% of those dealing with stress resort to stress eating. On the other hand, 42% said they spent two more hours in front of the TV to deal with stress while consuming extra calories. Therefore, stress makes you eat “mindlessly” since your brain is busy thinking about the main cause of your stress.
Personally, I handle stress by spoiling myself every once in awhile. Try treating yourself to a salon or spa to help rejuvenate your body and clear your mind.
9. Count Your Calories
Do the Calorie Equation
Since keeping your belly fat away has something to do with what goes in and out of your body, counting your calorie intake is a clever idea. By knowing the total amount of calories you’ve consumed in a given day, you can also estimate how intense should your workout be to avoid fat accumulation.
A calorie is a unit of energy. If we are talking about food and diet, a calorie represents the amount of energy that your body can get from food or beverage. In order to lose 1 pound fat from your belly and other parts of the body, you need to burn 3,500 calories. Furthermore, figures from the National Health Science suggests that an average male adult needs 2,500 calories to maintain his weight. Thus, you need to consume calories less than that to start losing fat.
Counting Calories Made Easy
Technology has made our life a lot easy in so many ways including counting your calorie intake. Several applications are available in Play Store and iTunes that you can download to keep an eye on your calorie consumption. These apps also contain the estimated amount of calories in common foods and drinks and suggest an easy diet plan for you.
10. Live an Alcohol and Cigarette-Free Life
Furthermore, studies and experts have long established the effects of alcohol and drugs to the human body. Needless to say, they harm your system. But how exactly do they affect your belly fat?
Whether your favorite poison is beer, brandy or scotch, it is still alcohol. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism say that alcohol can take a serious toll on your health. It weakens your immune system, causes organ damage, and affects your liver and pancreas. The liver is the source of insulin that regulates your blood sugar level.
It does not take a genius to realize that taking drugs is dangerous to your health. Guys, they
11. Monitor Your Progress
Motivation is a salient factor that drives you to keep burning your belly fat. One of the best ways of motivating yourself is by seeing actual results. Before starting any measures to reduce your waistline, record your initial figures that will serve as your baseline. As you progress on your belly fat diet and reduction plan, periodically record your new numbers. By comparing these figures, you can decide to continue with your routine or add up something new to further reduce your waistline.
Obesity Action Coalition shared some of the most efficient monitoring techniques in keeping track of your progress:
This is a complete and comprehensive list of foods you’ve consumed since the start of your program. Be as transparent as possible and most of all include even the sinful ones.
Regular Measurement of Waist and Weight
Be objective and fair in measuring your waistline. Try getting this measurement at the same time for more accurate results. For example, if you took your baseline measurement after breakfast, do the same all throughout your journey.
This includes a list of all the exercises you’ve done including the number of rest, repetition, and weights used. It will be a huge help to use gadgets and devices that automatically record your stats.
Finally, it is of paramount importance to log your doctor’s recommendations to remind yourself of the do’s and don’ts of weight loss plan.
In conclusion, there’s no greater feeling than knowing that you’ve succeeded in your goal of reducing your belly fat fast. However, it is also important to set proper expectations. Weight loss is a personal thing. Your pace of losing visceral fats may not be the same as the rest. What’s more important is being consistent and focused on the target i.e. to have a smaller and toned abdomen.
How do you find this article? Was this information helpful for you? We welcome your inputs so please leave a comment below. We would love to hear your contributions. I would like to ask you to share this article with your friends struggling with belly fat. Let us spread the word and make big bellies a thing of the past.