When it comes to shedding stubborn belly fat, you need more than just exercise alone. The key really lies with what you eat, and when you eat, followed closely by the type of exercise you engage in.
It’s important to realize that the benefits of reducing belly fat go far beyond aesthetics. Abdominal fat, or visceral fat deposits around your internal organs, and releases proteins and hormones that can cause inflammation, which in turn can damage arteries and enter your liver. This can also affect how your body breaks down sugars and fats.
Chronic inflammation associated with visceral fat accumulation, can trigger many diseases linked with metabolic syndrome. This is why carrying extra weight around your middle has a connection to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, strokes
, and other chronic diseases, and why measuring your waist-to-hip ratio is actually a better indicator of your health status than measuring your body mass index (BMI).
Keys for Shedding Abdominal Fat Fast
When trying to shed abdominal fat you also need to reduce overall body fat, and your diet is key here as poor diet promotes fat accumulation and causes your body to hold on to excess fat.
Reduce or Eliminate Sugar
Reduce all forms of sugar and fructose, whether refined or “all-natural” such as pure raw honey. Also lower your intake of grains (including organic ones), as they quickly break down to sugar in your body.
Eliminate all processed fructose, like high fructose corn syrup, which is by far the worst in terms of causing metabolic issues. Because your body breaks it in the same way it metabolizes alcohol, it promotes insulin resistance and fat accumulation more than other sugars. Processed fructose is a popular ingredient used in most junk foods and sweetened beverages, and companies hide it under 60 different names. The easiest way to avoid it is to swear off all processed foods by choosing whole, and ideally organic items.
For people who are insulin resistant, (and most are who struggle with abdominal fat), need to keep total sugar/fructose intake below 15 grams per day. If your weight is normal and you have no other signs of insulin resistance, the recommended daily amount is 25 grams a day.
Increase Healthy Fats
To shed fat, you actually need to eat healthy saturated fats, and plenty of them, as following a low-fat diet is a sure-fire way to sabotage your weight loss goals. Most people who are insulin resistant will benefit from 50-85% of their daily calories in the form of healthy fat until their insulin resistance gets resolved.
Include more foods like:
- Real Butter
- Raw Dairy
- Organic Pastured Egg Yolks
- Coconuts & Coconut Oil
- Nuts & Organic Nut Oils
- Grass-Fed Meats
- Animal-Based Omega-3s
Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) found in nuts, olive oil, and avocados have been proven to boost abdominal fat loss. In one study, researchers asked women to switch to a 1,600-calorie, high-MUFA diet, which caused them to lose a third of their belly fat in a month.
Intermittent Fasting (Not What You Think It Is!)
The third key for shedding abdominal fat (and fat in general) is intermittent fasting. This is a very effective way to address excess weight, because it “resets” the body to start using fat as its primary fuel rather than sugar.
Intermittent fasting is not starving yourself, it's about scheduling your meals to a narrow window of time each day, and is highly recommended for those struggling with insulin resistance and excess body weight.
Those with insulin resistance should simply restrict meals to a specific window of time every day. For example, you can restrict all eating to the hours of 11am & 7pm. Essentially, you're just skipping breakfast and making lunch the first meal of the day instead.
This time table equals 16 hours of daily fasting, which will deplete your glycogen stores and shift the body into fat burning mode. This has turned out to be the easiest time frame for most comply with, once the body has made the shift from burning sugar to burning fat.
Fat is a slow-burning fuel, that allows you to keep going without suffering from an energy crash like what happens with eating sugar. Following this type of an eating schedule will not only improve insulin & leptin resistance, it causes weight to normalize, and many health issues to resolve, such as blood pressure, blood sugar, etc.
Foods That Help Shed Belly Fat
There are a number of specific foods that can help promote the loss of belly fat by decreasing inflammation, eliminating bloat
, and turning off your fat storage genes. By approaching fat loss this way, the average person can lose around four inches off their waist in just six weeks. This plan is a scientifically proven to target fat genes and turn them "off", making weight loss automatic. No calorie counting and no deprivation.
- First, reduce bloating by cutting down on excess salt, & dairy, and eliminating artificial sweeteners. Many people who do this, have lost up to three inches of bloat off their waist in just one week.
- Second, heals your gut by eating the "good bacteria" or probiotics. A balanced gut reduces inflammation and helps to turn off your fat genes.
- Third, boost your metabolism with protein, healthy fats, and quality fiber.
The nine foods or groups of foods recommended for consumption include plant-based smoothies
high in protein, healthy fat, fiber, and resveratrol, organic free-range eggs, red fruits, olive oil and other healthy fats, high-fiber foods, nuts and seeds, grass-fed meat, leafy greens and brightly-colored veggies, along with plenty of fresh herbs and spices.
Reestablishing healthy gut flora
is very important, as imbalances has a significant impact on your weight. One hypothesis is that gut bacteria may be in control of our appetite, as recent research suggests there's a link between the foods you crave and the good bacteria in your gut, as they depend on those nutrients for survival. For example, microbes that thrive on sugar, can signal the brain to eat more sweets.
Other studies show that certain bacteria found in the gut can produce insulin resistance and weight gain, by triggering chronic low-grade inflammation in the body. Food processing, pasteurization, and sterilization also have a detrimental effect on good bacteria. For all of these reasons and more, I always recommend a diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods along with cultured or fermented foods
Common Mistakes That Make Shedding Belly Fat More Difficult
Eating a diet too high in processed foods, along with eating too frequently, tend to be among the primary causes of a bulging waistline
. However, a number of other lifestyle factors can contribute to the problem. So, along with correcting your diet and implementing a fasting regimen, addressing the following factors help eliminate those extra inches around your midsection.
Chronic stress will keep your stress hormones elevated, which hinders weight loss, so you must be sure to use some stress-busting activities. As you learn how to effectively decrease your stress level, your cortisol will stabilize, your blood pressure will drop, and your health will improve in just about every way.It's important to realize that stress management isn't something you save up to do on the weekend—it needs to be done on a daily basis, because that's how often stress rears its ugly head. There are many different stress reduction techniques
, including: exercise, meditation, mindfulness training, yoga, spending time in nature, music, and EFT (emotional freedom techniques), the latter of which is a very effective form of energy psychology that can help “reprogram” your ingrained stress responses.
Drinking Diet Soda
Contrary to popular belief, diet soda
can actually double your risk of obesity, and research has shown that drinking diet soda increases your risk of weight gain
to a greater degree than regular soda. If you’re serious about weight loss, stop drinking all artificially sweetened fluids, and opt for pure filtered water, or one of my numerous healthy recipes that I display HERE on the site
of all kinds will tend to promote weight gain, so consider cutting down on the number of drinks you indulge in each week. Beer also has the added adverse effect of raising your uric acid levels, which promotes chronic inflammation and gout.
Lack of Exercise
To maximize your weight loss results, it is wise to incorporate some form of high intensity interval training (HIIT)
. This type of short intense training has positive effects on increasing muscle mass and improving muscle fiber quality. Muscle tissue
burns 3 to 5X more energy than fat tissues, so as you gain muscle, your metabolic rate increases, which allows you to burn more calories, even when you're sleeping
. Further, several studies have confirmed that exercising in shorter bursts with rest periods in between, burns more fat than exercising continuously for an entire session.
The combination of intermittent fasting mixed with HIIT training is a very potent combination, because when done together it forces your body to burn off excess body fat. I also recommend getting more walking
into your daily life. Ideally, aim for 7,000 to 10,000 steps a day, over and above your regular exercise regimen. Not only will this give your metabolism a boost, it’s also necessary to counter the effects of sitting too much,
which increases your risk of insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunction, even if you exercise regularly.
Exercises That Target Abs
should not be overlooked just because they don’t result in removing fat directly from the waistline. What they provide is abdominal muscles is the foundation for movement throughout your entire body, and strengthening them helps protect and support your back, make your spine and body less prone to injury and help you gain greater balance and stability. Having a strong abdominal wall is very important for optimal body movement and gets increasingly more important as we age. A strong abdominal wall is also what will produce that six-pack look once sufficient subcutaneous fat is lost.
This is a mineral used by every organ in your body, especially your heart, muscles, and kidneys
. If you suffer from unexplained fatigue
or weakness, abnormal heart rhythms
, or even muscle spasms and eye twitches, low levels of magnesium could be to blame. Researchers have also found that people who consume higher levels of magnesium tend to have lower blood sugar and insulin levels. Avocados, Seaweed
and green leafy vegetables
and Swiss chard are excellent sources of magnesium, as are beans, nuts, and seeds, like pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds.
Reposted from: http://thescienceofeating.com/2015/04/23/strategies-to-shed-stubborn-belly-fat/
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