The summer is almost here and the weather is warming, the season that many feel most insecure is imminent. It is around this time of year people begin to get a little neurotic about parts of themselves that they feel are inadequate. The summer heat puts a demand on the options available for their choice of clothing, a choice for many that feels as if a meteor is hurtling towards earth, the feeling of impending doom. They flood to the gym, all guns blazing, like bed bugs in a warm bed - they're rampant with motivation. The summer is here and now we must try to lose that stubborn belly fat, that belly fat that we have hidden throughout the depths of winter. Besides your personal choice of fashion, there are of course real health related reasons to try to lose belly fat.
The fat thats ruining your choice of clothing, the belly fat this article highlights is known as visceral fat, it is not only the most annoying, but also the worst type of fat. Visceral fat takes shape deep within the abdominal cavity, between your organs and can be responsible for heart disease, diabetes and even cancer.
Before I go any further I must clear one thing up, in regard to training you cannot target particular areas of fat on your body. You may have been told otherwise by someone in your gym, or by the excessively keen tele salesmen who's selling some futuristic vibrating abdomen trainer, but I am afraid it doesn't work like that.
There are though some tips and tricks you can employ which will help elicit fat burning and get that stubborn belly fat to eventually disappear, some involve training and some involve diet. What you must understand is that even if you are working out twice a day, if you are consuming more calories than you expend, and they are high in sugar and other substances that encourage you to store fat - you wont have a chance.
DO NOT FEAR FAT
Fat will not only help maintain a healthy heart and keep inflammation under control, but monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) may prevent belly fat from even occurring in the first place. Olive oil as well as avocados and nuts are a great source of MUFAs. Pine nuts are a fantastic choice as they contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) which trigger hormones that signal your brain when you are full. Try snacking on pine nuts to keep your appetite at bay, particularly before you eat to make you less inclined to over eat. Do ensure to remove trans-unsaturated fatty acids from your diet, this is essential because they will make you fat. Examples of foods including trans-unsaturated fats are fast and process food and margarine.
Related Reading: The Fat Question
Green tea is rich in polyphenols, an antioxidant also known as catechin. Numerous studies have found catechin to be particularly effective in improving the health of the human body. Not only that but green tea if consumed regularly can speed up your metabolism (called thermogenesis). By increasing thermogenesis, your metabolism is raised and fat cells are utilised more as energy to support the increase in metabolic rate.
Super Strength Green Tea Capsules from BulkPowders are a fantastic way to get a potent source of polyphenols without necessarily drinking 10 cups of green tea and going to the bathroom every five minutes!
Complex carbohydrate fibre is found in fruits, vegetables (particularly leafy green ones), beans and whole grains. Fibre is so special because it is able to keep you feeling fuller for longer. In simple terms if you were to consume a meal low in fibre containing 200 calories, it won't keep you as full as one high in fibre.
Basically the more fibre you eat the less calories you are likely to consume, which will make things far easier when trying to lose belly fat. Studies have proven there is direct correlation between the amount of fibre people consume and their level of visceral fat.
Related Reading: The Carb Question
DRINK MORE WATER
Put down the pills, weight-loss shakes and fad diets, this step is both simple and cheap. Drinking two large glasses of water before breakfast, lunch and dinner while on a calorie restricted diet can help you in achieving your diet goals. Keeping your body hydrated will prevent any over eating as hunger is often mistaken for dehydration. If you are craving sugary snacks then first have a large glass of water and see if you are still hungry 20 minutes later.
Try consuming ice cold water, the body uses energy (calories) to raise the temperature of the water before it is able to use it properly, although this process does burn very few calories - every little helps right!
LIFT YOUR HEART RATE
High Intensity Interval training (HIIT) is the best time-efficient style of exercise that will encourage similar results to long duration exercise. A variety of studies have found that performing sets of short high-intensity sprints, followed by roughly 2 minutes of recovery is a time efficient method for improving aerobic exercise and reducing body fat.
HIIT training can dramatically increase your metabolism and the process responsible for this is known as EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). EPOC is a measurement of increased oxygen intake following strenuous activity. While performing HIIT our body is unable to take in enough oxygen to supplement the increased level of activity, and therefore must recuperate the oxygen post-workout. This results in an increased metabolic rate known as exercise after burn which usually takes several hours to settle, meaning you are burning more calories than usual even after exercise has ceased.
Related Reading: High Intensity Interval Training