21 Tips for Shifting Belly Fat
Matt Williams at JDP Fitness has been busy building a fool proof list to help you in your quest for Shifting Belly Fat!
First of all, let’s get one thing straight: there is no way to target specific areas of fat on your body. No matter how enthusiastically anyone promises you that this or that product will be able to “melt those love handles” or “firm up that butt”, they are lying. Or at least, bending the truth.
The trick is to work out and improve your diet. Our 21 top tips will help you with trimming away as much body fat as possible whilst simultaneously maintaining lean muscle mass, Even if you came to this story just to trim down your belly, you might be surprised to know that you already own a perfect six-pack – it’s what helps you twist, stabilise, breathe and absorb impact. But for you (and your admirers) to see it, you need to ditch the belly fat that’s obscuring it. The secret is to find the correct balance between exercise and nutrition to make those rectus abdominus and external obliques you’ve been patiently nurturing, take centre stage.
1)Eat more protein.
About 25%-30% of the calories in each gram of protein are burned in digestion, compared to only 6%-8% of the calories in carbs. Do the math: You save 41 calories every time you substitute 50 grams of protein for an equal amount of carbs.
2)Mix up your movements.
When you lift, perform supersets in which you alternate between sets lower body exercises and upper body exercises. That way, your lower body rests while your upper body is working. This allows you to work your muscles maximally with very little downtime between sets for a faster, more effective workout.
3) Lift first, then run.
By doing cardio after you’ve lifted, when you’re already tired, at the same speed or intensity will have a greater effect than if had you done it beforehand.
4) Fill up on high-fibre foods.
Consider them “good carbs.” Their bulk takes up space in your stomach, helping you feel full and eat less. The top fibre food: beans, which contain 8 grams per 1/2 cup. Research shows that subjects who added 12 grams of fibre a day to their diet lost a quarter of an inch from their love handles, without otherwise modifying their diet.
5) Don’t skip meals.
Not eating for long periods of time puts your body into a catabolic state, meaning it starts to break down muscle tissue for energy and conserves fat. It’s all about quality of food over quantity.
6) Don’t be a couch potato.
If you’re a TV junkie, add up the number of hours you watch right now, and cut out all reruns—even if there’s an episode of Friends on you’ve never seen. Spend the time you save on your feet: outdoors or in the gym.
7) Hit the weights.
If you’re lazy, it’s not as bad as you think—just 10 minutes a day of lifting, three days a week, will help. Harvard research shows that 30 minutes of weight training per week has a greater reduction on waist size than almost any other variable. That goes for you too ladies. Lifting weights will not make you bulky or look like Arnie!
8) Pass on the potatoes.
In any form, mashed and baked, as well as French fries and potato chips. They raise levels of insulin in the blood, triggering your body to stop burning and start storing fat. (Sweet potatoes are acceptable; they have more nutrients and fibre.)
9) Eat your biggest meal of the day after you lift.
It takes calories to digest food. And researchers at the University of Nevada found that it takes 73% more calories to process that food after a weight-training session than if you hadn’t worked out at all.
10) Drink H20 before a meal.
The water will take up room in your stomach, making you feel more full and reducing your appetite. Quite often the body confuses thirst for hunger.
11) Stick to no-calorie drinks.
That means black coffee, tea, and, of course, water. Cut out unwanted calories from sugary drinks, and especially alcohol. If your body is metabolising alcohol its not metabolising food!
12) Have breakfast every day.
Research from Harvard and Boston’s Children’s Hospital shows that obesity rates are 35%-50% lower in people who eat breakfast regularly, compared with folks who don’t. Nutritionists believe a.m. meals help regulate insulin levels and hunger, so you’re less likely to overeat throughout the reminder of the day.
13) Avoid foods that come in a bag or box.
Typically, these are highly processed carbs—foods that quickly raise blood-sugar levels and shut down your body’s ability to burn fat.
14) Track your calories.
You could do it in a diary the old fashioned wat, but we know that’s never going to happen. Instead, do it on the Web, at a site like fitday.com. Just create a free account, plug in the amounts of food you’re eating throughout the day, and let the software tell you exactly how good—or bad—you’re being. Alternatively use the app My Fitness Pal on your smartphone which allows you to scan supermarket bar codes.
15) Do sprint intervals.
Interspersing short, all-out sprints with brief periods of rest is the most effective form of cardio for fat loss. Try a 2-to-1 “work-to-rest” ratio. That is, sprint two times longer than you rest. So if you run all out for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds, then repeat 3-7 times. This can be done with any form of cardio.
16) Cheat once a week.
Use the meal as a reward for a week’s worth of hard work, or the completion of a project you’ve been dreading. It’s OK for people to blow one meal a week without feeling guilty. If you follow a healthy diet 95% of the time, you can relax and enjoy yourself the other 5% of the time without gaining weight.
17) Avoid white bread.
When Tufts University researchers studied the waistlines and diets of 459 people, they found that even in men of similar age and activity level, those who ate white bread frequently weighed more than those who didn’t. The calories from white bread and refined grains just seem to settle at the waistline more than calories from other foods.
18) Keep an eye on portion sizes.
Most people who have been lean their whole lives have a much better understanding of proper portion size than people who are overweight. If they go out to eat, they’re much more likely to ask for a doggie bag right away or to leave food on their plate rather than cleaning it up. Check the size of your plates at home. People who own smaller plates are also less likely to overeat.
19) Never forbid yourself a favourite food.
Here’s a shocker: When a group of U.K. researchers told 30 women to avoid chocolate, then packed them into a room filled with the stuff, the women were much more likely to sneak a bite than individuals who hadn’t been given the order. Blame the allure of the forbidden: The more you tell yourself you can’t eat something you love, the more you’re going to want it.
20) Sneak extra activity into your day.
Pace around your office while talking on the phone; run into the bank to cash your check instead of using the drive-thru. When researchers at the Mayo Clinic fed a group of volunteers an extra 1,000 calories a day over the course of eight weeks, they found sedentary individuals gained eight times more weight than those who fidgeted a lot during the day.
21) Eat more slowly.
It can take 12 minutes or longer for the signal that you’ve started to eat to make its way to your brain. Quick tips: Sip some water between every bite of food you eat, or at least eat more meals with friends or family members. You’ll be more likely to talk and therefore to eat more slowly.