For many who are trying to lose weight, there is an array of things you can do that will help tone and help you lose weight around your body including diet and exercise. However, for some either through a genetic disposition or lack of proper foods and activities, the weight tends to stay on their midsection, specifically their belly.
Losing fat around this area can sometimes be a bit of a battle but when the right measures are taken it can help towards achieving your goal. Excessive abdominal fat can make you feel lethargic and often bloated and if you’ve been dreaming about losing some pounds around the mid-sections, keep reading because this article discusses this topic to help you along your way and get you to that ideal flat stomach that you’ve always wanted, or perhaps always had but lost it recently.
Cutting Back on Calories
Eating less will indeed help you lose any excess weight, however, the trick is to do it the right way. Completely stopping eating can not only harm your mind and body but it may have the reverse effect and end up causing more damage to your body.
A popular method that’s been tried and tested by many is to reduce your daily intake of calories by as much as 500-1000 calories, and it should help you lose approximately 1 to 2 pounds or up to 1 kg per week.
Restricting your calorie intake by less than that can be detrimental to your health. It can cause a decrease in metabolic rate. Many online sources help you find the right amount of calories for your BMI (Body Mass Index) such as the article published here, and you can calculate how much you should take via a calorie calculator, which is also found online.
Active women, who are in their late 20’s till around 50 years of age should eat at least 2000 calories per day, this is if you’re moderately active. This helps to maintain your weight. However, if you are looking to lose it, then eating approximately 1500 calories per day should get you losing about 1 pound of weight per week i.e. 0.45kg.
The younger you are the more calories you need. So if you are in your 20s the ideal requirement is 2200 calories per day to maintain that weight. Although if you are pregnant or having a baby then this does not apply to you and you would have a much higher caloric need.
Probiotics have been around for decades but not many people know the benefits to their health. These are live bacteria that can help in many ways, some of which include:
- They can help to balance the good bacteria in your digestive system
- They are used by general practitioners to help certain digestive problems such as inflammatory bowel disease
- They are good for the heart
- They can help ease symptoms of skin conditions such as eczema and allergies
- They may help boost immunity
- They have been used to improve some mental health conditions such as depression
- They can help treat and prevent diarrhea
- And they may also help lose belly fat and overall weight
There are three main probiotics, that if taken may help shift the gut flora and have been effective in losing belly fat in some studies done on obese people, such as this one: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1756464612001399. The three include:
- Lactobacillus fermentum
- Lactobacillus gasseri
- Lactobacillus amylovorus
If you are not a fan of taking supplements, then certain foods can help with this too, examples include Kefir tempeh, kimchi, certain types of yogurt, sauerkraut, and pickles. If however, you don’t mind supplements, make sure the one you choose has at least one or all three of the ones mentioned above.
Cardio and Exercise
When you are looking to burn calories, there’s no better way than to do some cardio workouts a few times a week. The trend of the HIIT (High-Intensity Training) activities have taken off and continue to be in high demand over the recent years because they work to burn fat on your entire body and they get the heart racing which pumps oxygen to the blood, which in turn makes you feel good too.
If you’ve got a gym near you, you should try and frequent it at least twice a week and build up to 3 times or more, but at short intervals of 20 minutes a day or more if you can. Studies have proven that on average 300 minutes of moderate to high-intensity training of aerobic or cardio workouts which is about 45 minutes a day, can help you lose that weight.
Lifting dumbbells has also been proven to be effective, so if you don’t want muscles but would rather go for a lean body, start with the lighter weights of 5kg then work your way up to 10kg, but the heavier you go, the more muscle you will build, so if that’s what you are after, just be careful to do them properly so you don’t hurt your back or arms.
Drinking Smoothies and Protein Shakes
Protein is something the body needs to stay healthy. Over 10,000 different types are found throughout our bodies including our muscles and tissues. So keeping up with it is key to better health and weight loss.
The important thing to note is that, in this case, more is not less. If you take more than you need to, your body will not use the surplus and store it as fat. The recommended amount for females aged over 14 is 46 grams and for men aged over 19 years is 56 grams. The average is between 10 to 30% of your daily caloric intake.
One way to get the required amount is through protein shakes. It can boost your metabolism and reduce and cravings for other foods as well as help with fat loss, especially around your belly area. This is especially helpful, according to several studies done on it.
Eat Your Fats
A big misconception amongst those who are on the path to losing weight is that fat is bad and so you need to stay away from it, however, not all fats are bad. Monosaturated fats such as nuts, seeds, avocados, and olive oil are known as ‘good fats’. According to research, adding these to your diet can help significantly prevent the build-up of fats around the midsection.
A great example of eating foods that are high in monosaturated fats is the ‘Mediterranean diet’. These have been seen to help with various health issues as well as reduce the risk of obesity.
The basics of a diet such as this are:
Foods To Eat Fish, nuts, seeds, legumes, certain types of bread, herbs, vegetables, potatoes, whole grains, spices, seafood, and extra virgin olive oil.
Foods to Eat in Moderation: Eggs, cheese yogurt, and poultry.
Foods to Eat Once in a While: Red meat.
Foods To Avoid Completely: Added sugars, refined grains, sugar, highly processed foods, and refined oils.
If you aren’t sure about the foods that fall under any of these categories, do some research and create a weekly meal plan for yourself – you will be much happier, plus you will lose a significant amount of not only belly fat but overall fat as well.