You probably won’t find one single person on the planet who actually says they enjoy having those extra rolls sitting around their mid drift. Not only does it make you feel self-conscious, but it’s downright uncomfortable. The more our daily lives are surrounded by visual instant sensory gratification (think social media, fast food), the more we become accustomed to wanting things to happen immediately. So it’s really no wonder that in our fast-paced, instantaneous lives, we search for answers on how to lose belly fat fast and is it really possible to do so? Let’s explore the idea a little further.
The Truth Behind Belly Fat
Every person has belly fat to some degree. It’s more obvious on those people who are overweight but even workout fanatics with flat abs have it. It may just not be as visible. Having some belly fat is completely normal and human beings are biologically made that way, but too much of it can pose some serious health problems down the road. The reason we need to be concerned about having too much of this fat is because belly fat is mostly made up of visceral fat…the kind that squeezes organs like your liver, pancreas and intestines, deep under the muscles. Science has shown that having too much of it actually changes your hormones and chemicals which can put you at risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and colorectal cancer. Storing too much deep, internal visceral fat can lead to insulin resistance, glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes…things we all want to avoid. So it’s important get your belly fat under control. The goal shouldn’t be to aim for perfection. Let’s aim for good health. So what’s the first step?
How Much Belly Fat Do You Actually Have?
Before starting the process of losing your belly fat, you should measure your waistline to see where you’re actually at. For women, you should take a sewing tape measure and go around the circumference of your bare waist to see what the measurement is. Remember to measure around your belly button (not too tightly), just above the hip area. Ideally for women, this should be no more than 35 inches and for men it should be 40 inches or fewer. Any more than these numbers, and you probably want to start thinking about losing belly fat to become a healthier you.
Start Losing Belly Fat With Exercise
Well, that seems obvious I’m sure. But contrary to what you might be thinking, you don’t have to become a gym rat in order to lose your belly fat and become healthier and more comfortable in your clothing. If you’ve never exercised before, you definitely should consult with your doctor beforehand to make sure it is safe for you to do. And don’t just start exercising full force. It’s better to start in shorter increments and build your strength up along the way.
Ideally, doctors say you should get some vigorous cardiovascular exercise at least 3-4 times per week for 30 minutes at a time. This doesn’t even have to be done in one go! You can break it down in 3 ten minute bursts if it’s easier. The best and easiest way to start is with power walking. Other great aerobic exercises are things like the stationary bike, elliptical machines and jogging. Just find something that you can do regularly and not hate every minute of it.
If you haven’t got time to go to the gym, you can run up the stairs at work, or park a little further in the parking lot. Get a friend or two together and go for a power walk. You’ll not only clear out the cobwebs but also feel better spending time catching up with someone else. My best advice to you is to just start. It’s really the hardest part of the process but once you get your body moving, you will soon start to feel better and in no time at all you will see a leaner looking you.
Add Healthier Choices Of Foods
We all know that we should be eating a healthier diet, but in a world surrounded by super-sized, convenient fast food and Uber Eats, the questions remains…how do we start? The most ideal way to trim your belly fat would be to eat only the foods that you prepare, because then you can really cut down on the added salt (which retains water weight) and sugar (which spikes your insulin and packs on the pounds).
Although it may not be realistic to never again eat processed, refined or restaurant food, we can become aware of some of the culprits that cause unwanted belly fat and just work around them. One of the best ways to start losing belly fat is to eat more fiber (preferably with each meal), eat fewer simple carbohydrates (like white bread, muffins, desserts) and be sure to include healthy fats like avocado, nuts and seeds in moderation. Foods like fish, poultry, lean meats, fresh vegetables, and eggs are a great place to start. And of course, don’t forget to add in lots of water with your meals and in between meals. Adequate hydration is very important to weight loss, proper digestion and feeling fuller longer.
Get More Sleep To Lose Belly Weight
Getting enough sleep is definitely important when you’re trying to lose weight. Think about it…when you’re tired, it’s much more tempting to grab that Venti Caramel Mocha Frappuccino at the drive through than to power through 30 minutes on the treadmill. But when you’re rested, you’re going to make better choices for yourself and you’ll feel clearer in your mind to do so.
When we’re chronically tired due to poor sleep, we tend to get stuck in a series of unhealthy choices that just lead to more weight gain. It’s a perfect recipe for belly fat. Lack of sleep leads to feeling tired. Being tired means you don’t feel like exercising or preparing healthy food. Feeling drained makes you want to pick up takeout, comfort food on the way home and sit in front of the TV all evening. So the cycle continues.
Well, if that happens occasionally it’s not the end of the world. I mean we all get caught up in work and stress from time to time. But when lack of sleep interferes with your life on a daily basis, it really is more of a significant problem. With a third of Americans already suffering sleep deprivation, it really is no wonder so many people are dealing with weight issues. Lack of sleep contributes to slowing down your metabolism because insulin (the hormone which converts sugars into energy) can’t do its job properly. And when that happens, fats and sugars get stored as extra belly fat.
This is not to say that if you get more sleep, you’ll automatically lose more weight. But if you are lacking sleep, you are less apt to having a metabolism that works efficiently. So try to aim for at least 7 hours of sleep a night. Your waist will thank you.
Now if you’re hoping to magically lose your excess belly fat overnight, it’s just not going to happen. You have to be realistic. It took you a long time of not exercising and eating well to gain that additional bulge, so try to accept that it will take time to burn it off. The good news is that it is possible to lose your belly and fit back into your favorite jeans. Start incorporating exercise, a healthier planned diet and more sleep daily and you’ll be on the road to a slimmer you.
If you have any favorite tips for losing belly fat, please feel free to comment below.