Everybody sports belly fat, the obese, overweight and the thin people too. It is the excess of visceral fat in the abdomen, which makes your belly protrude out excessively and which is a cause to worry.
It is probably the most dangerous, avoidable “asset” you can carry. And, it may not just be sported by the obese; even a normal weight person can carry excess belly fat. The dangers to health, however, apply equally to all.
It makes you highly prone to heart disease, diabetes type 2, respiratory insufficiency, cancer, decreased cognitive function, and more. It is essential, therefore, that you take effective steps to get rid of your belly fat quickly.
It is easy to acquire a fat belly and you develop it without realizing it, of course until it is too late. To get rid of it you have to put in that little effort to achieve a zero belly. It can be done even if its stubborn.
You will have to do three things to achieve that goal:
- Stay motivated to lose belly fat
- Follow a diet, which contains foods that do not add fat to the visceral depot but help burn it
- Follow an exercise plan that will cut down on your weight if you are obese, and will burn your abdominal fat.
There is, however, a fourth thing you have to address before you embark on a program to achieve zero belly status.
That fourth thing is to know what the various causes that predispose to belly fat are. You should read about these causes and identify if you are associated with any of them.
It could be a genetic trait, wrong food habits, sedentary lifestyle, too much alcohol, chronic stress, certain medicines you are regularly taking, or a hormonal problem. Whatever be the cause, it is possible to address it. It will make achieving your goal easier.
Staying motivated to lose belly fat
This is by far, the most important contributing factor to burn belly fat. This does sound surprising but the single most important reason why people have lost out on losing belly fat is that they have given up on the “lose belly fat program” halfway – the reason being, loss of interest or sheer laziness.
Therefore, if you want to lose stomach fat, make a plan that will keep you motivated till you have the belly you have dreamed of.
Tips to stay motivated
- Do not be too strict upon yourself. Make a plan to lose belly fat gradually. Remember that you will stick to the regimen only if you are going to enjoy it.
- Don’t say it is going to happen in a month, but plan a six-month regimen and you will stick to it forever.
- Make friends with people who are on a similar belly or weight reduction program. Discussions on topics of common interest will keep this topic at the top of your mind and your interest going.
- Encourage a competition amongst yourselves of who loses the most centimeters of belly every fortnight or every month. You could even have a small reward for the winner with contributions from all.
- Discuss your plan and progress with your spouse, friends, and other members of your family, and tell them how you are progressing. Having made this plan public, you will not embarrass yourself by giving it up midway to lose the large belly.
- Have the food you would like to eat but only within the parameters of the diet advised. It is not necessary to punish yourself with a bland diet you hate and are going to give up midway.
- Put up a picture of the belly you would like to have, and a picture of your own belly next to it on your bedroom wall. Looking at the two pictures daily will make your determination stronger to lose or reduce the large abdomen, you are having.
- Exercise is an important and necessary part of your program to lose belly fat. You could be doing aerobics or swimming or jogging. Stick to an exercise that you enjoy doing and which burns more calories. Join a health club or swimming pool as you could get to interact and make friends with similar goals. This will make you look forward to going for the exercise daily.
- And always think of the clothes you would like to wear, but cannot, because of the large belly you are sporting.
If you have succeeded in motivating yourself, you have achieved half of what it takes to succeed.
The other half comprises of the following:
- Dietary advice that will help you lose belly fat
- Exercises to lose weight and your abdominal fat
- Get proper sleep
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol
I have a detailed post on the foods that you should eat and include in your diet and also the type of foods you should avoid. Please read it. It does not ask you to diet or starve yourself. It tells you to:
- Choose whole grains and cereals
- Have fruits and vegetables
- Choose low-fat or skimmed milk and its products
- Choose healthy oils
- How to choose your meat, fish, and poultry
- How to balance your calories
- And more
I have another post on the type of belly fat exercises you should do every day. They are very simple and consists of aerobic exercises to lose weight if you are overweight. The post also describes exercises that are specific and which target your belly fat and help you lose it. Please read it.
It tells you what exercises to perform.
- General exercises such as walking, jogging, running, swimming, cycling and more, which will help you lose weight.
- Specific exercises to burn belly fat.
Get proper sleep
Getting good quality sleep and for the required duration play a vital role in helping you lose abdominal fat.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, your body releases growth hormones while you sleep. Those hormones stimulate the synthesis of muscle and protein and the breakdown of fats (lipolysis). Good sleep, therefore, practically burns your fat.
You require 7 to 9 hours of sleep every day. According to research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, sleeping less than seven hours can reduce and undo the benefits of your dietary efforts to lose belly fat.
Avoid drinking too much alcohol
If you regularly drink one or two pegs of alcohol, you are good. Binge drinking even occasionally will add deposits of fat around your abdomen.
Total abstinence from alcohol will be ideal. But, if you have to drink, limit yourself to one drink every day for the first six weeks of your belly fat loss program. Never exceed two drinks on any given day.