Losing belly fat is not easy and it can be very challenging for most of us. Many people want to lose belly fat and get into better shape. When you press them on what they really mean, you’ll often find that their main concern isn’t with losing belly fat. What they really want is a flat, toned stomach with a six pack that will help them to look better both in and out of their clothes.
Only problem is, too many of these same people have little idea of how to go about weight loss or losing belly fat and they end up barking up the wrong tree as a result. Read on and in this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at everything you need to know to get a honed, toned stomach.
Losing Belly Fat Through Diet
The first thing to recognize is that getting a ripped mid-section involves losing fat. In order to have highly defined looking abs, it is usually agreed that you need to drop your body fat to below ten percent. It is certainly true that getting your body fat that low will be sure to make your abs visible but actually, you don’t need to go that far.
Abs become visible when the amount of ‘padding’ (fat) on top of them is low enough that they can be seen pressing through the skin above. Get your body fat percentage under 10% and even the most undefined set of abs becomes visible.
However, if you want to get visible abs without going to this extreme, then the other option is to make your abs visible by making them stronger. Stronger abs protrude further and so can be seen through 12 or even 15% body fat. We’ll look at how to get stronger abs in a little bit but for now, know that 12-15% is a much better target and far more achievable than aiming for 10%.
So how exactly do you go about losing belly fat though? There are actually a number of answers. The best one is going to depend on your lifestyle and your preferred eating habits. More importantly: it will depend on your biology and your hormonal balance.
How to Diet Effectively
A lot of healthy experts and online ‘gurus’ will recommend that the best way to lose belly fat is to stick to a diet that is low in calories and then to combine this with extra activity. Extra activity will make you burn fat faster and if you aren’t consuming extra calories then this will create a deficit resulting in you quickly losing belly fat.
To manage this then, all you need to do is track the total number of calories you are consuming. Then measure the total number of calories you burn off (your ‘Active Metabolic Rate’). As long as the latter is higher than the former, then you should maintain a ‘calorie deficit’ . Your body will have no choice but to burn away the unwanted fat stores to keep you moving around.
You can track calories consumed by using an app like MyFitnessPal. This will allow you to simply scan foods through your phone by using the bar code. That way you can tally up the number of calories you are eating. Again, as long as the total burned is higher than the total eaten. Your body should have no choice but to turn to your stored fat to burn for fuel. Maintain this deficit every single day and you’ll be able to encourage gradual and regular belly fat loss.
Losing Fat Over Forty
How to Make Losing Belly Fat Manageable
I always say that unless you can stick to a diet plan or training program indefinitely, then it is pointless. Why lose fat for a month or two only to give up and go back to normal?
It’s also true that no fitness tracker is completely accurate (the way they measure the heart rate isn’t perfect to begin with and that’s just one issue) and that it’s impossible to be completely aware of your caloric intake. You really think that any two apples have the precise same number of calories?
What about the fact that losing belly fat is also reliant on hormones? As we’ll see in a minute…
In other words, calorie counting is a whole lot of effort for something that isn’t guaranteed to work perfectly anyway! You would actually do much better to find an easier and quicker alternative to counting every single calorie. That alternative? Guestimating.
Counting Calories and Losing Belly Fat
The best strategy I can recommend is to spend a little time with a fitness tracker. Measure your expenditure over several normal days. At the same time, measure your caloric intake. See what you regularly eat and where the most calories are coming from.
After a week or two weeks, you can stop. Take a look at this information and see where the problems are.
What are the biggest contributors to calories in your diet? What are the worst culprits? You’ll surprise yourself to learn there are just a few big contributors that add a large amount of calories. If you cut these out, then you can quickly get your calories down so losing belly fat is possible.
Now try to reduce the number of calories that ‘sneak in’ without any real benefit for losing belly fat. These are the calories that you can do away with and not really notice they are missing.
One of my favorite examples is with sodas. Many of us drink Coca-Cola on a regular basis as well as others like 7Up. These will add a huge number of calories to your diet over time. While not really providing any sustenance.
Other common culprits that hinder losing belly fat include:
With all this done, you should have a new average intake that is more closer to your daily burn. But we’re going to go further by redesigning breakfast and lunch.
Take a look at your current breakfast and lunch. Look at what the worst culprits are again in terms of calories. What is it about your breakfast that makes it fattening? Likewise for your lunch?
Then ask yourself, what meals you can make very easily at both times of the day. Something that will be low in calories while also being satisfactory and giving you enough energy for the day ahead. ‘Easily’ is the operative word here because your diet needs to be easy to stick with.
A good example might be this:
Breakfast: 2 pieces of toast with avocado
Lunch: Tuna fish salad with a smoothie and two boiled eggs
These meals should be simple. Ideally, they should come to no more than around 800 calories combined.
The Best Strategy for Losing Belly Fat
When you manage this, you now have less need to calculate calories on a daily basis. Why? Because your breakfast and lunch is going to be consistently the same. It will be guaranteed to provide you with only a small number of calories.
Seeing as the average calorie burn is around 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men. You now have a big amount of budget to spend in the evening without worrying about ruining your calorie deficit. That means you can now relax and enjoy yourself without needing to worry about counting calories.
Is having the same breakfast and lunch every day boring? Maybe, but it is much easier to be boring during these rushed meals than it is in the evening. When you might be enjoying date night or going out with friends for dinner.
Making little tweaks and changes easy
Eating like this makes it much easier to make little tweaks and changes. You can also see how this affects your energy levels and your weight loss. Not losing weight as fast as you like? Then try swapping the smoothie for a vitamin tablet. Too hungry? Then try adding something small in like crackers for a mid-morning snack.
With consistency, you gain the ability to run small self-experiments. Thereby honing your routine to be perfect for your lifestyle and your diet.The best diet plan is one that you design for yourself.You’ll be more likely to stay with it.
And of course ,if you still don’t want to eat the same thing every day. You can always come up with a few replacements for breakfast and lunch. Something with the same number of calories and same ease of preparation later on!