There’s always that one dress or a pair of jeans that we can’t fit into because of a common enemy known as belly fat. You’ve probably tried a dozen different tricks to melt this stubborn fat away but to no avail. There is no magical solution that will help you get rid of your belly fat overnight. However, if you follow the suggestions shared below with patience and consistency, you’re likely to lose a few inches off your waist over time. Let’s find out some very easy and useful tips to lose belly fat.
But before we get to how let’s understand why it is important that you care about losing belly fat. Sure, a slimmer waistline allows you to rock all those sexy clothes without a care. But, more importantly, it also goes a long way in keeping you safe from serious diseases like hypertension, cancer, heart disease, etc.
Tips to lose belly fat
Following are useful tips for lifestyle changes that can help you achieve a leaner waist and healthier life.
1. Get Started with a Well-Balanced Exercise Regime
Instead of banking on just cardio for losing weight and belly fat, diversify your exercise routine by adding resistance training into it too. Weight training is an excellent way to build muscle and improve metabolism. This in turn allows you to keep burning calories even when you’re in a resting state. A smart exercise regime comprises of cardiovascular work as well as weight training.
Make sure that you’re doing plenty of compound exercises, like lunges, deadlifts, squats, rows, shoulder press, chest press, etc. By requiring you to use multiple muscles simultaneously, compound exercises help you burn lots of calories. With weight training it’s important to ensure that as your muscle size, strength, and endurance improve, you appropriately and safely increase the amount of weight you’re lifting to keep challenging your body and muscles.
When choosing your cardio exercises, look for options that get your lungs and heart working harder. As far as the intensity of cardio is concerned, there are different kinds of cardio that you can choose from, namely low-intensity steady-state, moderate-intensity steady-state, and high-intensity interval training. Select the kind of cardio that best suits your current fitness level.
2. Start Eating Better and Healthier Now
All the sweat spent in the workouts would amount to nothing if you don’t pay attention to what you’re eating every day. If refined carbohydrates like white rice, sweets, sodas, and white flour occupy too much space in your diet, then it’s time to make changes. Bingeing on pizzas, fries, and desserts on a Friday night sounds a lot of fun, but if you are committed to trimming down your belly then it’s essential that you cut back on these. Substitute these unhealthy carbohydrates with the healthy ones, like whole grains, nuts, pulses, vegetables, fruits, etc. Complex carbs like these keep you satiated and energetic, and also control your weight.
Also, take a look at how much protein you are having on a daily basis. Protein is critical to building muscles, and more lean muscles translate to more calorie burn. Moreover, digesting protein itself is a process that requires greater time as well as calories as compared to the digestion process of carbohydrates. This means that protein not only enhances your overall calorie burn but also helps in keeping you satiated. Therefore, make sure that you are having enough protein every day.
Not just complex carbs and proteins, but healthy unsaturated fats should also have a place in your daily diet. You don’t want to go overboard with these, but eating foods rich in unsaturated fats in a balanced way can provide quite a few health advantages, one of which is losing weight and thus belly fat.
3. Keep Track of Your Efforts and Results
Since your diet and workout will form critical foundation stones for your belly fat loss plan, it’s important that you keep a close eye on these two. This will go a long way in ensuring that you have your eyes on the prize, always. You don’t have to go crazy, counting every single calorie you eat. Just have a general sense of what you’re eating daily, say for instance, you’re including all macronutrients in your diet, your sugar intake is not excessive, you’re avoiding unhealthy snacks as much as possible, and so on.
For your workouts, you should try and maintain a comprehensive account of aspects like what weight are you currently lifting for each of the exercises, how many sets and reps are you doing for these exercises, what’s your walking/running speed and how much distance are you able to cover in what time, etc. Keeping a note of these aspects will allow you to get a clear view of the progress that you are making over time. If you notice a consistent improvement in your cardio and weight training workouts, you know you are on the right path and just need to keep moving forward.
4. Drink Up Water to Stay Well-Hydrated
Next time you are feeling a hunger pang, instead of grabbing a snack, reach for some water. You might find that your “hunger” pang had nothing to do with being hungry, what it meant instead was that you were thirsty. This simple change in habit can help you avoid unnecessary calories. Hydration is critical to maintaining your performance during workouts too. So, in order to give your best to your workouts, you have to ensure that you’re properly hydrated. Drinking enough water and staying well-hydrated can also prove useful in avoiding calories that may come from drinking beverages like sodas, sports drinks, shakes, juices, etc. Grabbing a glass of water from time to time is a good habit to develop, one that will go a long way in supporting your weight loss goals.
5. Minimize the Harmful Stress in Your Life
The dangers of excessive stress are known to us all, aren’t they? But still most of us have accepted it as a part and parcel of our daily life. Stress is unavoidable, true, but what if you were to know that too much stress in your life could be the reason behind your belly fat? Your adrenal glands produce a hormone known as cortisol in response to stress. While this stress hormone does good when produced within normal levels, consistently high levels of cortisol is bad for the body, leading to various harmful effects including driving your appetite up, causing you to overeat, and promoting weight gain and fat storage. This is why you need to take extra care of yourself and ensure that you are not living in constant stress. Find ways and activities that help you destress. Whether it’s pursuing a long-forgotten hobby or devoting more time to people whose company you love, discover your stress-buster.
6. Work on Strengthening and Building Your Core Muscles
Ab workouts alone will not help you lose belly fat, but you should still do them in combination with cardio and weight training, in order to strengthen and build your core muscles. We’ve already learned what the role of muscle building is when it comes to losing fat. You can also work on your core by actively engaging it during compound weight training movements. A strong core helps you maintain proper posture and balance, not just during exercises but also in day-to-day life. Including core exercises in your workout routine is certainly worth the effort.
7. Make Sure That You Get Good Sleep Regularly
If you are in the habit of cutting back on sleep to get a little extra work done, now may be the time to rethink your approach. Sleep deprivation is unhealthy, more so when you’re to trying to lose weight. Lack of sleep can cause you to feel hungrier, especially for the snacks that are simply empty calories with minimal nutritional value. In addition to the unhealthy cravings, sleep deprivation can lead to other problems such as increased cortisol and insulin resistance. To top it all off, a sleepy you would hardly be motivated to exercise. As is evident, not getting enough sleep every day gets you trapped in a cycle where you end up consuming excessive empty calories, while also feeling demotivated to work out due to exhaustion. All these factors can act as a huge deterrent in your plan to lose weight and belly fat. So, treat yourself with good sleep on a regular basis, your body will be thankful to you!