5 Tips to Get Rid of Belly Fat
Beach body season may have come and gone, but people are always interested in firming up their midsection. Someone could be snowed in in a winter lodge for a week during the worst winter storm ever and still want to know how to get rid of belly fat. In fact, it’s searched over a hundred thousand times a day on Google.
Acquiring body fat is actually not a simple process of just eating too much. Each person has a unique reason as to why their waistline might be a bit too large. For some, it may be an issue of organ dysfunction, while others might simply be unaware of how to exercise properly. You also have to take into account your own unique individual response to food. Some people can eat a bucket of rice and not have an issue, while others can swell up at just the scent of a carb.
While each person needs their own program, here are five tips on how to get rid of stubborn belly fat.
1. Use Interval Training
Jogging and long runs are more therapeutic for stress relief than they are for losing belly fat. When you exercise to burn fat, it’s not about how many calories you burn, but rather if you’re doing the right exercises. By right exercises, I’m talking about the ones that trigger hormones in your body to burn fat.
Research shows that one of the best exercises to lose belly fat is interval training. These intervals should be 10 to 30 seconds long (1). You can try sprinting, running up hills, or using a bike if you can’t run.
2. Fix Your Digestive System
Your digestive system is responsible for delivering nutrients to your tissues and getting rid of waste products. Clogged pipes can mean that you have a back up of waste products in your system, just as you would in the plumbing of your house. Eat adequate fiber, stay hydrated, and chew your food slowly. Inhaling your food without chewing properly is enough to destroy your digestive system (2). If all else fails, you can try a probiotic from a supplement store.
3. Avoid Inflammation
Inflammation can be your worst enemy. It can cause circulation issues, joint pain, and belly fat. Inflammation can occur from drinking a lot of carbonated beverages and processed foods. Believe it or not, it can also happen when you try to eat healthy. While many make good attempts at trying to eat well, if you’re not sure how to eat clean, you can still cause problems. In the case of inflammation, too many Omega-6 fats in relation to Omega-3s can cause inflammation (3). Omega-3 fatty acids are the ones found in walnuts and fish, while Omega-6 can be found in some nuts and sunflower seeds.
4. Too Many Crunches
Sit-ups and crunches can be counterproductive. They can cause spinal issues, but what many people forget is that these exercises cause hypertrophy – which is the scientific name for increasing muscle size. So when you do sits up and side bends you’re actually increasing the size of your waist. Besides, these exercises do very little for your metabolic rate. In a six week study where subjects did only direct abdominal training, not one subject lost any significant amount of body fat (4).
5. Deal With Your Stress
Stuck in traffic? Boss driving you nuts? Another family get-together this weekend that you can’t get out of? All the training in the world won’t do you much good if your stress levels are through the roof. Chronic stress triggers your body’s stress hormones, which in turn store fat on your body because the body wants to go into survival mode to endure the stressful events. Every client that I’ve had will take a vacation and be shocked that they lost weight, even though they ate whatever they wanted. The reason? No stress. Stress can also cause inflammation, which will make your battle on belly fat all the more difficult (see #3 above).
The biggest mistake people make in trying to lose belly fat is to only rely on one approach. Want to know what to do to lose belly fat? Tackle your approach with a smart battle plan and a multi-directional approach and you’ll watch your waistline shrink!
1. Boutcher, Stephen H. “High Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss” (2011) Journal of Obesity dot:10.1155/2011/868305
2. Chek, Paul. How to Eat, Move, and Be Healthy. San Diego: Chek Institute Publication. 2004,pp 215
3. Berardi, John. Andrews, Ryan. The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition 2nd ed. Precision Nutrition. 2013.pp 166
4. Vispute, S., Smith, J., LeChiminant, J., Hurley, K. “The Affect of Abdominal Exercise on Abdominal Fat.” (2011) Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 25;9, 2559-2564 [/toggle]