Come to think of it, nobody likes hugging a spare tyre around their midriffs if they can avoid it. Abdominal fat is plainly inconveniencing. Period.
Its inconvenience is not only in limiting our mobility, it also distorts our appearance and throws up unflattering versions of us we do not want to take a look at.
For men, it is part of the aging process. As we age, our belly muscles begin to weaken. It is inevitable. Once the layer of fat in our abdomens becomes less than an inch thick, protrusion occurs.
When women reach their menopause, there is a decline in the estrogen produced and the fat migrates to their tummies resulting in belly fat.
In both sexes, the negative effect of abdominal fat goes beyond the physique to health risks like diabetes, heart disease and obesity
So what to do to flatten an already protruded belly? There is a three pronged strategy to lose belly fat. It is: Dieting, Exercising and De-stressing or living Stress-free
The first step is to watch what you eat. The game plan is to cut down on the sugars and carbohydrates in your diet.That’s the hard part. Most of us can not do without our morning bagel and coffee or an occasional donut. All that has to go. Because what sugars and carbohydrates do is make you crave for more food making you overeat.
Instead, we should focus on healthy carbs such as whole grains, fruits,.vegetables and lean sources of protein such as seafood.Healthy Leafy Meal
, poultry, lean red meat and beans. If we are able to pare down our diet to just meat and vegetables only, we would have satisfied all the fiber, vitamins and minerals we need to be healthy. That goes to demonstrate that we do not need much intake of food to meet the basic requirements of staying healthy if we eat the right food.
Eating more vegetables will help reduce our waist line and take care of other diseases like diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
It’s important you keep a tab on the amount of food we eat otherwise there is a tendency to overeat.
Do you know that you have to burn 3,500 calories of food to lose 1 pound of weight just because 3,500 calories= 1 pound. To lose 1 pound a week, you have to eliminate 500 calories from your diet every day 7 days a week. This tells me that it is so easy to gain weight but it is so difficult to lose it
.To make it effective, you have to complement the reduction in food calories with an exercise regimen. Anything that will make you break a sweat is welcome.
You can start small by just walking. If you prefer running, that is even better.Whatever you decide to do, be consistent. Doing it inconsistently will not cut it.
Running is a great way to lose weight. People burn more calories per minute when they run than when engaging in other forms of exercise..To tone your tummy, you need to reduce your overall BMI( or Body Mass Index ) which is a measure of your body fat based on your height and weight..
If you jog for 30 minutes a day you’ll burn at least 300 calories. That is more than half the calories you need to burn every day towards the 3,500 calories a week that is equivalent to 1 pound of weight loss a week. The 200 calories balance you can get by cutting down on the amount of food you eat per meal.
Besides Walking and Running consistently, you need to engage in a mix of Cardio and Resistance training for building muscles.
The Cardio exercises will help you burn calories and aid in weight loss while the Resistance training will help you build more muscle and help your body burn energy even at rest. Researchers have concluded that daily weight training is more effective than aerobic exercise at keeping abdominal fat away.
By combining the cardio exercises with 2 to 3 days of Resistance training, you will accelerate the rate at which you lose abdominal weight.
Depending on your level of discipline and follow through, you may decide to engage in your exercise regimen within the comfort of your home. Alternatively,You may wish to register at a gym to ensure you engage in your daily exercises regularly. Fortunately, the price of membership at local gyms has dropped drastically and one can get a gym membership for as low as $10 a month or even less. If you can afford it, you may wish to engage the services of a fitness trainer who will supervise your training and see that you have a perfect mix of Cardio and Resistance training.
It is advisable to partner with one of your buddies in your gym membership.He will be your accountability partner who will hold your foot to the fire and make sure you carry out your exercises.
DE-STRESSING- Living a Stress-free Life!
Some of you reading this post are wont to ask me, ‘ What has stress got to do with losing belly fat?.’ I would say it has a lot. Living a stress-free life is the third leg in this three step strategy to dropping belly fat.
Pamela Peeke M.D. Author of “Body for Life for Women” has this to say about Stress, “Even if you usually eat well and exercise, chronic high stress can prevent you from losing weight- or even add pounds.”
When one is exposed to chronic stress or when it is not well managed, it may drive up the cortisol levels which in turn stimulates the appetite and leads to overeating or bingeing on snacks and foods at odd times of the day.
Stress can lead to weight gain in the abdominal region as stress drives overeating. Instead of the excess calories being stored as fat all over the body, cortisol allows it to be stored in the belly.
If Stress is so toxic in the buildup to belly fat, how do you de-stress in a world filled with stress?
The greatest de-stressor is sleep. If you have a deep, long sleep after a hard day’s work, you will wake up relieved.The problem with this is that we hardly have enough sleep. We go to bed late and wake up early to get to work. When we go to sleep, we have our computers emitting that blue light that inhibits quality sleep. Sometimes, we turn on our TV while we are trying to go to sleep.. All these detract from the quality of sleep we have. Bottomline is over the years, the quality and quantity of our sleep has been compromised. To de-stress, we need deep, uninhibited sleep.
Another simple way of de-stressing is by deep breathing. When we breathe in and out, we are breathing out our daily frustrations and being de-stressed in the process.
We could also engage in any one of the Mindfulness exercises as a means of de-stressing.