Losing belly fat is an important goal for many people. After all — who doesn’t want to look sleek and toned? But there is a more important reason to worry about excess belly fat. It could be an indicator of potential health issues. Fat that collects around the abdomen may be a type of fat known as visceral fat; the type that surrounds and damages internal organs.
When it comes to losing the fat that accumulates around the abdomen, there are no quick fixes. No magical solutions. No pills. In short, there are no shortcuts to losing belly fat for good. But that doesn’t mean all is lost! Many people are able to lose abdominal fat by following three tried and true methods scientifically proven to work. These three steps along with some dedication to the goal can reduce a waistline as well as provide protection against developing health problems such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
ONE: Put crunches on the back burner and focus on whole-body and long muscle strength training. Building muscles affect such things as bone density, the cardiovascular system, the endocrine system and the resting metabolic rate. In short, the stronger you are, the better your body works.
Great exercises include squats, lunges, and dead lifts. These exercises are considered complex exercises simply because they target multiple muscle groups, including the abdomen and core. Do not fear! Strength training will not make you look like the Hulk!
TWO: Get rid of processed foods. This is a hard one. The Western diet has become so pervasive that many people do not know how to cook from scratch anymore. Unfortunately, along with the Western diet come increased levels of obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Avoid any food that has an ingredient list or contains artificial colors, artificial or natural flavors, processed white flours, processed white sugars or trans fats.
A great starting point for getting rid of processed foods is to transition to salads, soups, stews and roasts. Many people find that making big Crockpot meals that can be spread over several days helps reduce the time and effort required in making food from scratch.
THREE: Get a good night’s sleep. Studies show that those who don’t get enough sleep are often heavier than those who sleep eight hours or more per night. To operate at an optimal level, our bodies require the refueling that sleep provides. Without it, the body simply operates at a lower metabolic rate.
In addition, other studies suggest that when the body does not get enough sleep, it increases production of hormones that increase our cravings for sweets and fatty foods. This causes us to reach for the processed foods which is so damaging to our bodies.
Getting rid of belly fat may feel like an impossible task, especially for those who have tried the fad diets, the magic potions and the pills. In the end, reducing your waistline comes down to proper food, exercise and sleep choices. The benefits of reducing belly fat could mean a lower risk of heart attacks, cancer, diabetes and obesity.