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How To Lose Belly Fat Naturally
Maintaining a trim midsection does more than make you look great—it can help you live longer. Belly fat or Visceral fat is deemed the most dangerous type of body fat because it’s stored in the abdominal cavity next to many vital organs, including the liver, stomach and intestines. If a person has high levels of visceral fat, they are at increased risk of developing serious health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, so it’s important to make simple lifestyle changes to help reduce it.
On the other hand you do need some visceral fat. It provides cushioning around your organs. But if you have too much of it, that is when things start to get serious as it is an open invitation to so many health risks.
It’s impossible to target belly fat specifically when you diet. But losing weight overall will help shrink your waistline; more importantly, it will help reduce the dangerous layer of visceral fat.
Fortunately, there are a few proven strategies that have been shown to target the fat in the belly area more than other areas of the body. With some quick and easy to do exercises and by following a solid diet plan, it will become easier to shed that fat off your belly in a few weeks.
Here are 10 ways to lose belly fat naturally at home
1. Cut down carbs, especially refined carbs.
Cutting down carbs can be very effective for people who want to lose weight.
It tends to reduce your appetite and cause “automatic” weight loss, without the need to count calories.
Make sure that you keep the carbs low in your diet, but not so low that you’ll miss out on those important nutrients. Also make sure to include enough protein each day (at least 50 grams) to help you feel satiated while cutting carbs and calories.
You must restrict your intake of carbohydrates from sugars and starches (breads, pasta, etc.) and replace them with protein, fat and healthy vegetables.
Low-carb diets also have benefits that go way beyond just weight loss. They lower blood sugar, blood pressure and triglycerides.
Refined or simple carbohydrates include refined grains that have been stripped of all bran, fiber, and nutrients. These include white bread, pizza dough, pasta, pastries, white flour, white rice, sweet desserts, and many breakfast cereals. They digest quickly and their high glycemic index causes unhealthy spikes in blood sugar levels. They can also cause fluctuations in mood and energy and a build-up of fat, especially around your waistline.
2. Never skip your breakfast.
When you skip breakfast, your blood sugar drops even lower. As a result, you become hungry and have less energy. This sets you up to impulsively snack in the morning—often on high-fat sweets—or to eat extra servings or bigger portions at lunch or dinner.
Researchers have found that people who lose weight and keep it off are generally those who eat a healthy breakfast.
Eating a healthy protein-rich breakfast with whole grains will help you to feel full and comfortable throughout the day. Protein takes longer to digest which helps you to feel full for a longer period of time. And fiber helps boost satiety too. Foods with fiber help you to maintain steady blood sugar levels so you don’t get sugar cravings that derail your diet.
Eating breakfast every day may also reduce the risk for obesity and insulin resistance — an early sign of developing diabetes – by as much as 40 to 50 percent.
3. Reduce Alcohol Intake to Minimum.
One or two wine glasses are fine but if you are serious about losing weight than you have to drastically cut down on consuming empty calories from alcoholic beverages.
Alcohol can cause weight gain in four ways: it stops your body from burning fat, it’s high in energy, it can make you feel hungry , and it can lead to poor food choices.
Alcohol can cause weight gain simply because it has calories. Not only does the actual alcohol has calories, but additives and mixers that are included with many alcoholic beverages can be packed with calories as well as sugar. The calories that come from alcohol are considered empty, meaning they can pack on the pounds, but they have no nutritional value.
Cutting down on alcohol consumption is one of the best things that you can do for yourself in order to lose belly fat naturally. A 5-ounce glass of wine has around 150 calories, a 1.5-ounce shot of vodka or 12 ounces of light beer,100. It has been found that people eat about 30 percent more food when they consume alcohol, possibly because alcohol interferes with satiety or simply because it makes your judgment fuzzier about whether or not you should have a second helping of high calorie food.
4. Eat a High Protein Diet.
Protein is an essential nutrient for health. It is responsible for a number of important functions in the body, including hormones, enzymes, and cell repair and maintenance.
A high-protein diet encourages eating more protein and fewer carbohydrates or fat to boost weight loss and improve overall energy.
Proteins are essential for growth and development, promote fullness, helps in quick weight loss, tissue repair and building muscle mass. They are made up of amino acids and they exist throughout the body, in muscles, bones, skin and hair.
Protein contributes to satiety and satisfaction, and it does slow the rise in blood sugar. In time, that helps you maintain your energy levels and helps you control your appetite. As a result, a person may consume fewer calories after a protein rich breakfast or lunch, and this could help with weight loss and in turn will help you lose belly fat naturally.
Protein is also essential in building and maintaining muscles in your body. In order to lose belly fat naturally you will have to start some kind of exercise regimen. Exercise does two main things to your body – burns fat and causes micro-tears in your muscle fibres, which are then rebuilt stronger and larger with the help of protein. Also, to maintain lean muscle mass your body needs fuel that comes from the stored fat. So, it goes like this –
More Protein Intake = More Muscle Mass = More Fat Loss
5. Completely Avoid Sugary Beverages and Treats
Sugar is everywhere and can be found in the most unexpected places. Almost all the packaged processed foods including instant meals, cereals, sauces & ketchup, chips are loaded with refined sugar.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends no more than 25 grams or 6 teaspoons of sugar as a safe daily limit for an average adult. According to WHO, many people do not realise how much sugar they consume which is “hidden” in processed foods. A can of coke contains 10 teaspoons or 40 grams of sugar, a 300 ml juice carton has 42 grams of sugar and a tablespoon of ketchup has 1 teaspoon of sugar.
Sugary drinks provide empty calories. Simple sugars, such as table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup do not have any nutritional value. They provide calories but provide no nutrients. A tablespoon of sugar provides 45 empty calories. When you are drinking sugary drinks instead of water you are loading your body with extra sugars and calories.
Over time, you will lose weight by cutting your intake of sugary drinks in half. After a week or two, you may find you don’t need the sugary drink and will be able to avoid drinking it. Gradual changes make long lasting successful changes.
6. Start Exercising
Walk, jog, do cardio, weight training, climb up and down the stairs, just do something – MOVE. Sedentary lifestyle is the main reason for belly fat accumulation.
Your body needs fuel in order to function and perform work (such as exercise). Your body gets this fuel from the foods you eat. Foods can be divided into three macronutrients; carbohydrates, fat, and protein.
When you exercise your body will primarily burn carbohydrates and fat; much like a car uses gasoline. Exercise helps someone burn fat because exercise requires more fuel than being sedentary. As you exercise your body will convert fat to be used as fuel for working muscles. In addition, as someone becomes fit their body becomes more efficient at using fat as a fuel source.
If you are a beginner, I suggest you should start small with a few basic no-equipment exercises at home such as jumping jacks, push-ups and then gradually progress towards resistance/weight training.
When the end goal is weight loss, a weight-training program is a must. while strength training may not give you the heart-pounding satisfaction of, say, Zumba or HIIT class, in the long run, building lean muscle definitely works in favor of your weight-loss goals. And as we have already discussed – having more muscle means your body burns more calories at rest.
7. Maintain a Food Journal
Several studies have shown that people who keep food journals are more likely to be successful in losing weight and keeping it off. In fact, a researcher from one recent study says that people keeping a food diary six days a week lost about twice as much weight as those who kept food records one day a week or less.
Keeping a food diary is a great way to take a look at your eating habits including what you eat, when you eat, and how you feel when you eat. The simple act of writing down what you eat can help increase self-awareness, which may lead you to make healthier choices.
There are a few different ways to keep track of the food you eat each day. Some smart dieters use smartphone apps or websites to track their calories and daily exercise. The most popular apps include Lose It, My Fitness Pal, and Fitbit. Each food log works well and includes a large inventory of popular foods so it is easy to track your intake.
A food journal will not only help you track the number of calories that you consume but it will also make sure that you are getting your essential macro (proteins, carbs and fats) and micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals).
8. Get Enough Sleep.
When you are trying to lose weight, there are certain things you know you should do. You should give up on sugar and junk foods, you should exercise and YES! – you should get enough sleep.
Skimping on sleep sets your brain up to make bad decisions. It dulls activity in the brain’s frontal lobe, the locus of decision-making and impulse control.
The amount of sleep you get directly affects your diet. People who are sleep deprived tend to weigh more and have more trouble losing weight than those who get adequate rest, even when they follow the same diet. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body over produces the hunger causing hormones leptin and ghrelin. You could be more susceptible to overeating, while at the same time being less satisfied afterward.
Recent researches have shown that lack of sleep decreases protein synthesis, causes muscle wasting, and can lead to a higher incidence of injuries. It also slows production of growth hormone, which can make it more difficult for your body to build muscle, to recover from exercise and utilize fatty acids as a fuel.
9. Change your lifestyle gradually.
In order to lose belly fat naturally and keep it off you will have to push yourself out of your comfort zone and do things that you have not done before. This requires a complete overhaul and updation of your habits, thought process and your lifestyle.
The real key to safe and successful weight loss is to adopt a healthy lifestyle that suits your individual needs and that you can maintain for life.
When you focus on making small changes at a time, you begin to ingrain some healthy habits that last for a lifetime, rather than trying an all-or-nothing approach that more often than not fails because it’s too hard to follow.
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