Hello friends! Today I will address one of the most frequently asked questions I have received, namely – “What Is the best way to lose belly fat?”. It is no coincidence that this issue concerns many people because belly fat is the most difficult to remove. For men, this is one of the main reasons to start training. Most people have an increased amount of fat in the abdomen. The reasons may be – immobility, genetic predisposition, overeating, excessive alcohol, etc.
In the following lines I will explain why it is so difficult to remove the belly fat and what can we do to speed up the process?
Belly fat is so difficult to burn for several reasons:
- Compared to other parts of the body, the abdomen has more than certain fat cells that are harder to burn than others.
- The subcutaneous fat that covers the abdomen receives much less blood than other parts of the body. This prevents the effective mobilization of this part of the body, which makes burning fat more difficult.
- When we have more accumulated fat in the abdominal area than in other parts of the body and start to lose weight, it seems that we do not slim in the abdomen area. This is because our body burns fat from everywhere and we can’t make it burn more fat from the core.
Now is the time to mention a myth about losing weight and that is that we can burn fat only from certain parts of our body. I will support my statement with the following study (you can see the study HERE):
In a controlled study, twenty-four people were divided into two groups, a controlled group, and an exercise group. The second group performed seven exercises, two sets of ten repetitions each, for six weeks. The researchers found that after applying various tests, such as endurance test, body composition test, anthropometry, they found that there was no difference in the amount of subcutaneous fat.
Why belly fat can be dangerous to our health?
Belly fat not only prevents our clothes from looking good but can also be dangerous to our health. One of the types of fat that accumulate in the abdomen is beta fat cells. Its large amount can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and more.
A study by the American Health Association found that women with more abdominal fat were 20% more likely to have heart problems than women who were overweight but had less fat around their core.
In men, it has been shown that increased abdominal fat can reduce the production of the hormone testosterone and increase the levels of the female hormone estradiol. It is not entirely clear whether the decline in testosterone associated with age disrupts testosterone production or the accumulation of fat through obesity leads to low testosterone levels. It is important to strive for a lifestyle change in order to reduce visceral fat.
What is the best way to lose belly fat?
It is necessary to realize that belly fat is the most difficult to burn. Even if you do not see a change in the abdominal area when you lose weight, it does not mean that your efforts are in vain. Give yourself more time and trust the process. If you follow everything correctly, there is no way not to get rid of belly fat over time!
Calorie deficit for a long enough time.
This is the most important thing to do in the beginning. To burn fat from anywhere, we must be calorie deficient. You can find out HERE how to calculate the calories you need to eat to be calorie deficient.
As I mentioned above, belly fat is specific and therefore requires more time to burn. Our body prioritizes other parts of our body, such as arms, chest, shoulders, in front of the abdomen when it burns fat. This is because other parts of our body are more mobile, have more muscles, and have an easier blood supply than the abdomen. For example, when we switch to a calorie deficit, we begin to see results in the first month in the hands. In the abdomen, the result will be visible after 2-3 months.
Most people do not wait that long and interrupt the process by replacing the calorie deficit with a diet.
Do not train the abdomen more than necessary.
The abdominal muscles are like the other muscles in our body. We don’t have to train them every day to see results faster. It would be better to train the legs more often due to the fact that they are the largest muscle group in our body and require the most calories when moving. This will lead to more calories burned and faster weight loss.
However, it is good to adequately train the abdominal muscles. My advice is to include one exercise for each part – rectus abdominal muscle, external and internal oblique muscles, and transverse abdominal muscle.
Good exercises are – plank, side plank, side crunches, crunches on a Roman chair, leg raises, lying leg raises, leg scissors. As series and repetitions, I recommend performing with your own weight, four sets, and a lot of repetitions.
Increase your fiber intake.
Fiber helps to lose weight by absorbing water and forming a gel that slows down the movement of food through the digestive system. This leads to a longer feeling of satiety and eating less food. In addition, fiber can help fight belly fat. Excellent sources of fiber are – blueberries, flaxseed, avocado, beans, lentils, and more.
Probiotics are bacteria that live in our intestines and are responsible for their normal functioning, they help for strong immunity, as well as many other functions. Some of these bacteria help regulate our weight. For example, the bacteria contained in yogurt have been shown to help reduce belly fat. Other sources of such bacteria are fermented foods.
Avoid harmful foods and drinks.
Avoid foods that contain trans fats.
These fats are found mainly in processed foods such as margarine, various cream-based spreads, and more. Read the labels of the products you consume and avoid those that are high in trans fats. They are proven to be harmful to health and can cause inflammation, heart disease, and more. It has also been shown that the intake of trans fats leads to an increase in belly fat.
Reduce your sugar intake.
The high content of sugar in the blood leads to many diseases, such as diabetes, problems with the cardiovascular system, and others. Increased sugar intake has also been shown to help increase belly fat. It is good to reduce the consumption of sugar from all sources, even from healthy ones.
Avoid fast carbs.
Studies show that with a reduced intake of carbohydrates (less than 50 g) there is a decrease in belly fat. This does not mean that we should switch to a low-carb diet, but simply choose whole-grain carbohydrates instead of processed ones. Emphasize sweet potatoes, brown rice, whole grain pasta and spaghetti, and more.
Reduce your intake of alcohol and carbonated drinks.
Studies have linked increased alcohol intake to obesity around the abdomen. In addition, alcohol can have many negative effects on our bodies in large quantities. One study compared people who consumed more than one drink a day with those who consumed only one. The group that consumed more alcohol had more belly fat.
Finally, I will share an unproven method to lose belly fat faster. It has been tested experimentally, but there is still no promising evidence for its effectiveness. In my practice as a coach I have used this method and I can say that it does not always work, but you can test and check it yourself.
This method is nothing special, namely the combination of abdominal exercises with cardio training. For example, you perform a set of thirty abdominal presses, rest for ten seconds, and then perform thirty seconds of jumping rope. You repeat this superset four times. You can replace these exercises with others, such as a plank with running or leg raises with a cross-trainer.
Another variant of this method is to perform the entire abdominal muscle workout, then do a cardio workout (walking on an incline for twenty minutes). The idea of this method is to engage the abdominal muscles, supply them with blood and then during cardio training, the body triggers the burning of fat from the abdominal area. This is not a proven method and is not guaranteed to work. After all, burning fat from certain parts of our body is a proven myth.
There are no magic pills or methods for instantly burning belly fat. Weight loss is a complex process and requires strictness and patience. Give your body time to burn those stubborn fats. Excessive change of approach and jumping from one diet to another can further slow down the process and demotivate you.
Strictly follow the above recommendations, be patient and you will see the desired result!
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