Get it flat: Easy tips for losing belly fat

September 11, 2011 · 1 comment

This is a guest post by Amanda Kidd.

For a world driven by appearances, how we look often determines how others judge us. All of us want to appear attractive, not just to the opposite gender but to the world at large. Our body shape and posture send out strong messages about who we are. A slouched posture or a flabby middle says you are not bothered to look after yourself, that you are careless. Belly fat is one of the most difficult-to-address areas of body sculpting. The belly is where weight gain shows up before showing up anywhere else, and the last place that weight loss does.

Makers of weight loss and slimming products and methods count the dollars as people fall for the lure of ads promising miracle cures and six pack abs, with happy smiling people testifying to the product or the method. The bad news first – there are no shortcuts to losing belly fat. The good news, however, is that with focused diet and exercise and a prudent lifestyle; a flat belly can be yours before you know it.

If you are reading this, it is likely that you have already tried various methods of losing belly fat and have not found a great measure of success. You can ensure that your war on belly fat is one that is already won by adopting a simple three pronged strategy, closely monitoring your diet, exercising with a focus on weight loss as well as muscle training, and a prudent lifestyle that will ensure that you don’t get your spare tire back again. It is prudent to check with your physician before commencing any program of weight loss or exercise to ensure that it is safe for you to do so.

1. Monitor your diet: The arithmetic of losing weight, the secret behind losing belly fat, is pretty simple. Eat less number of calories than you burn. An average 35-year-old male working at a desk job and weighing around 150 lb needs approx 2000 calories. For women, it is a little less. As long as more calories are being burned than consumed, there will be weight loss. One lb weight gain takes place when we have a surplus of 3500 calories. The rest is simple – just ensure that what you are eating has a lower calorific value than the amount of calories you burn with your lifestyle and your exercise. You can use calorie calculators that will help you figure out both how many calories you are consuming from various types of food, as well as how many calories you are burning through your activities including exercise. A word of caution – it is dangerous to undertake rapid weight loss by dieting as it can lead to serious health complications. It is better to aim for no more than pound of weight loss per week.

2. Focused exercise: Most people make the mistake of focusing on exercises for the abdomen in order to lose belly fat. The real trick lies in developing an exercise regimen that will address overall fitness and metabolism, as well as having targeted exercise for core strengthening. Of course, you will want to include the core abdominal crunch into your regimen but remember the arithmetic, if you don’t lose overall weight, you will not lose your tires. One of the best ways to lose belly fat is to incorporate brisk walking into your daily schedule. A walking circuit that includes a series of inclines is better than a level track.

Exercises like aerobics, dynamic yoga, and Pilates help lose weight as well as contribute to cardiac conditioning and reducing stress producing cortisol levels. Remember too that your belly fat is not just the front and the middle of your stomach, but the stuff that goes all around your waist. Along with abdominal crunches, you will want to include lunges, twists, and side bends. For those with weak or compromised backs, crunches may aggravate your condition. Substitute them with leg lifts and air cycling while lying on your back.

3. Prudent lifestyle: It will take a few weeks before the results start showing up. You will be delighted and tempted to slacken in your efforts. Be careful once you have got the belly fat off to keep it off. Allow yourself to indulge once in a while, but within limits. Sugary food, fried food, and alcohol are the commonly recognized enemies. Do be on the lookout for things that draw you back towards a surplus calorie lifestyle – excessive television, oversleeping, depression, frequent eating out (restaurant foods often taste so good because of the extra salt and fat content), and frequent partying. Giving up on newly acquired habits of exercise is all too common once your initial weight loss goals have been met. Commit yourself to a base regimen of an hour of exercise three times a week and stick to it no matter what.

Nothing of lasting value can be created overnight. A tight and flab-free belly will give you the confidence to hold your head high and look the world in its eye, but it will also need to be earned through diligence and self discipline. Do not be disheartened if you find yourself not making a lot of progress in spite of following this simple three-pronged strategy. With time and consistent effort, the results will surely show. Your new body shape will change your attitude and the world around you will respond to you with a greater respect. Can you already feel yourself straightening out and tightening up? Use your new-found determination and optimism to make real changes in your life! May the force be with you.

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{ 1 comment }

Diane@ NYC Personal Trainer September 23, 2011 at 11:52 am

I just needed to chime in. For my clients who want to lose belly fat I always focus on a program that decreases bodyfat. One of the traits of having a lower bodyfat percentage is a smalle waist circumference so the program is usually a design of resistance exercises in a circuit program.

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