People ask dieticians and fitness experts a thousand times over how to lose belly fat. If an easy solution existed, the developer of that miracle diet would be a very wealthy entrepreneur. However, experts say that the only way to lose belly fat is to eat a balanced diet with reduced calories and to exercise regularly.
How to Lose Belly Fat
Odds are that your eating habits got you into this situation where you're asking about losing belly fat, in the first place. You may only need to tweak your habits, or they may need to be completely overhauled. First of all, include lots of fruits and vegetables in your new dietary habits. They are low in fat, have natural sugars and provide essential vitamins and nutrients your body needs. Basically, you can't eat too much of these.
Work on reducing your calorie intake, as well. In order to lose weight, including belly fat, your body needs to burn more calories than you consume. Instead of your usual habits, try to eat "light." This may include only eating half of the serving you might usually eat. Or, turning down snacks that might tempt you to overindulge.
Pay attention to food labels. They'll help you to decide if a food is high in fat. Foods high in fat should be eliminated from your diet. Consider cooking healthier, too. Instead of deep fat frying those potatoes, eat a baked potato with fat-free sour cream.
The amount of calories you need depends on your height, total body weight, ratio of fat to muscle, age, gender, genes, health and the amount of physical exercise you get in a day. Men require more calories than women generally, but you can use an online calculator to determine the amount of calories you would require to maintain your current weight. With that number in mind, consider the caloric amounts recommended below for those who want to lose weight. If you want to stay the same, eat the number of calories required to maintain your current weight. If not, it's time to reduce.
- Men: 1,300-1,700 calories per day
- Women: 1,000-1,200 calories per day
When you consume the appropriate amount of calories to lose weight, it means you take in less calories but still burn the same amount as you did before your lowered your intake. This not only stops the storing of extra fuel in the form of body fat, but even goes to that stored fat and starts to use it as fuel. You'll lose fat from all over your body, including your stomach. So if you want to quickly lose belly fat, the first thing you need to do is count your calories and become aware of how much you are taking in each day.
Combine aerobic exercises with strength training. With this combination of exercises, your body will automatically start to burn more calories because muscle mass increases allowing your body to burn more fat. Muscles start to gain definition, and not just belly muscles; your whole body will be affected positively. Exercises that target your belly aren't enough to get rid of your love handles. Your exercise plan needs to include both elements in order to be effective. Aerobic exercises include:
- Doing aerobics
Strength training can be done with free weights or on weight machines. It depends on your preference, and you may want to do it all. That's ok.
Your exercise plan should be followed at least four or five days a week, for 30 to 45 minutes each day. Concentrate on aerobic exercises one day, and the next focus on strength training. By alternating your focus each day, you get the benefits of both.
Set a Goal
If you don't have a goal, you won't know when you've succeeded. For many, it's a weight issue. You may want to say that you're going to lose 20 pounds. However, 20 pounds sounds like a lot all at once. It's a good idea to set mini, short-term goals in order to be on the fast track for success. You could say that you want to lose five pounds. And, then another five, and another five and so on...
Another way to set goals is by your clothing. Maybe you've noticed your favorite jeans fitting a little too snug. Or, maybe you want to get back into that little black dress you loved so much. This is a perfectly good way to set a goal, as well.
Some people actually like to take their measurements to monitor their progress. Maybe your goal is to lose 3 inches off your tummy. It's entirely up to you, but in order to be successful, you need to set a specific, achievable goal.
It's Not Easy, But It's Worth It
It's not easy to lose belly fat. But, knowing how to lose belly fat puts you a step in the right direction to that toned tummy you've been wanting. You'll be much healthier, at less risk for health complications, and the view in the mirror will be great!