Want to know how to lose belly fat? Fortunately, you can achieve this with a few simple changes in your diet and lifestyle.
Weight loss is a topic you bump into all the time these days. Whether on social media, the chances are, you will see an advertisement of products that aid in weight loss; or colleagues at work discussing how they need to hit the gym and lose some weight. Do you want to get rid of your belly fat?
You don’t have to be overweight in order to have a pot belly—even skinny people can have belly fat. While it may look pesky and unattractive, studies show that there are more reasons to hate it aside from making you look less attractive. If you want to know how to lose belly fat, let’s first look at the mechanism of fat production and storage.
How Does Belly Fat Develop?
Fat is an evolutionary survival mechanism. It helps creatures store energy so that when food becomes less available, they can easily draw from the reserves to continue living until the conditions become ideal for food hunting again.
The human body stores energy through two types of fact: one that is found underneath the skin or the subcutaneous fat and another that is found inside and around the organs or the visceral fat.
The subcutaneous is relatively safe and we all have it. It is sometimes referred to as the skinny fat because even thin people have it. Visceral fat, however, is what causes pot belly.
This type of fat wraps around the internal organs reducing the available space around them. Imagine an apartment crammed with people. That’s what happens inside the belly. The fat accumulation competes with the internal organs for space.
The reduced space affects the functions of the organs and makes expelling toxins in and around them difficult. Accumulation of toxins is more likely with people having lots of visceral fat.
Another danger of visceral fat is it functions more like an organ. Studies suggest that visceral fat produces hormones (e.g. hunger hormone ghrelin) that mimic other hormones and interferes with the normal metabolism of the body.
Ghrelin, for instance, a hunger hormone, makes people crave more for food. That’s why people with potbelly tend to get hungry often and seem to get satisfied with food less thus they tend to eat longer in increased amounts.
Understanding these mechanisms is crucial if you want to lose that persistent belly fat.
How to Lose Belly Fat with 4 Lifestyle Changes
Before you attempt to lose the flab, you have to realize one important thing first—losing fat is not easy and your desired results might not come early on. Losing belly fat also means you have to lose weight altogether.
Weight loss is not achieved by merely changing your diet for a while or engaging in an exercise routine for a time until you achieve your ideal weight.
Weight loss also means maintaining the ideal weight after you achieved it. Thus what you should do is more of a change in lifestyle than a momentary change in activities only to revert back to the usual after the goal is achieved.
To assist you with the change in lifestyle, with the goal of losing weight and belly fat, here are some healthy ways and adjustments that you can do to gradually achieve your goal.
#1 Limit Carbohydrates
This means you have to limit or avoid sugar and sugar-sweetened beverages, as well. Sugar is a form of carbohydrates—and is one of the most addictive. If you want to lose weight and belly flab, you should lose the sweet tooth, as well.
Carb restriction can be done not just in quantity but also in quality. Carbohydrate is a vital nutrient for a healthy body but not all carbs are created equally. Avoid processed and simple carbohydrates like products made of starch and sugar. Instead, opt for complex carbohydrates.
Complex carbs are from natural unprocessed sources such as sweet potato and corn. They contain lots of fiber and other nutrients than just carbs. Fiber slows down the absorption of carbohydrates (or sugar) thus you have a consistent amount of sugar in your blood and you feel full and energized longer.
Furthermore, elevated levels of blood sugar cause the body to produce insulin to help metabolize sugar.
The problem with insulin is, it prevents fat metabolism and promotes fat storage—that is, excess sugar that is not used up by the body gets stored easily as fat when insulin is present in elevated amounts in the blood.
#2 Eat more protein
Losing weight and fat does not equate to depriving yourself of food. In fact, that is counter-productive. Protein is digested by the body much more slowly than sugar. It also takes some energy to metabolize protein into energy. In addition, protein promotes satiety. You feel full for longer and you experience hunger pangs less.
It also nullifies the effect of limiting carbohydrates. When you don’t have enough sugar in the blood, your body will slowly metabolize your muscles to get protein. This slows down metabolism. By consuming sufficient amounts of protein a day, you avoid this effect and keep your metabolism fast.
#3 Exercise regularly
There’s no avoiding it—if you want a healthy body, you must perform activities your body is designed for. It took millions of years for our bodies now to evolve into what it is today. It will take millions of years to evolve in the kind of lifestyle we are living in now. The human body has not yet evolved to a sedentary life. Move.
Make some plans and adjustments in your lifestyle to accommodate regular exercise—preferably, cardio exercise. Cardio exercises increase the heart rate, make blood sugar available for muscles thus sugar is metabolized without the need for insulin, and visceral fat is metabolized, as well.
#4 Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night
Sleep deprivation is one of the leading causes of metabolic diseases. By not getting enough sleep, the body is thrown into disarray. Sleep deprivation particularly messes up with how the body stores and uses up energy.
You want to get the most out of your weight loss efforts. Thus, you do not want to mess up with your metabolism. Avoid sources of blue light an hour or two before your bedtimes such as cellular phones and TV.
Also, do not stay up late. An hour before your bedtime, stop whatever you are doing. Getting enough sleep and doing the first three tips mentioned in this article will give you the flat belly you so desire.
How to Lose Belly Fat with 5 Simple Moves in Just Minutes a Day
Whichever ways people choose to shed off a few pounds, there is always one part of the human body that is really hard to deal with. The belly! Belly fat is a force to reckon with; most people have gone extra miles, like going under the knife just to lose belly fat.
All is not in vain, though. Fortunately, it shouldn’t be as hard as it is imagined to be and it shouldn’t cost you a penny either. How to lose belly fat? All you need to do is to get the right exercise moves.
1. Cobra Pose:
Lie on your stomach with your palms under your shoulders and your feet outstretched. Your toes and your chin should touch the floor as well. Inhale deeply and then raise your chest off the floor slowly.
Hold on to the position for not less than 15 seconds. You should at least repeat it 5 times taking short breaks in between.
2. Bow Pose:
Unlike the Cobra pose, you should lie straight on our belly with your feet together and arms outstretched. Slowly bend your knees and let your arms touch your toes. Inhale deeply as you lift your head off the ground.
Bend backwards as you raise your legs. Hold on to the position for a while and then exhale as you go back to the original position.
3. Boat Pose:
Lie on your back, feet together and arms at the sides. Breathing in deeply, raise your feet without bending the knees. Stretch your feet and toes outwards. Lastly, raise your arms and try to reach your toes. Hold on to the position for a while. Release and do it for 5 counts.
With this exercise, your knees and arms should be under your hips and shoulders respectively. Your head should be well aligned with your spine. Raise your legs one after the other holding on to your abdominal muscles. Exhale as you put them back on the floor. Repeat the move 5 times.
5. Wind Relieving Pose:
Lie on our back with feet stretched out and arms at the sides. Bending your knees and exhaling at the same time, lift the knees towards your chest, thighs applying pressure on the abdomen.
Clasp your arms underneath your thighs. Lift your head slowly and rest it on our knees. Repeat the process for 5 times resting in between them.
Belly fat is not just unattractive but poses a risk to health, as well. Potbelly is an indication of the existence of visceral fat, the most dangerous form of fat associated with cardiovascular and metabolic diseases (most of which are fatal).
The good news is visceral fat is the first that gets used up by the body for energy during weight loss. Thus, any weight loss program could help reduce flab. However, in order to benefit from the health advantages of losing flab, you need to do some adjustments in your lifestyle. This is the most effective and healthy strategy for losing belly fat.
In this article, we have listed a few basic but important ways to lose belly fat naturally and without ill effects on health. It may take a long while to get results but since the results are from fixes on one’s lifestyle, it will expectedly be permanent.