Lose belly fat with these 5 steps
Losing belly fat is very important since fat around our middle section produces substances that can create serious health risks. Those health risks can include various cardiovascular diseases, asthma, dementia, breast cancer, etc. This blog post will give you five steps to lose belly fat for good and show you how to live a healthier life.
Many people go around neglecting their belly fat issues. Ignoring the belly fat problem will not make it go away, and long-term consequences may occur sooner than you realise. Before I go deeper into the five steps of getting rid of belly fat, let’s learn some basics about fat in our body.
What type of fat is belly fat?
In most people, 90% of body fat is subcutaneous, which means the fat that lies in the layer just beneath the skin. The remaining 10 % is called visceral fat, and it lies beneath the abdominal wall. Actually, this type of fat surrounds many organs like the liver, intestines, and others.
Although visceral fat makes only 10 % of body fat, it’s this type of fat that you need to reduce when your goal is to lose belly fat.
Let’s take a look at the picture below and see where visceral fat is located.
According to Harvard Medical School, researchers have identified many chemicals that link visceral fat to a wide variety of diseases.
It’s prudent to measure your waistline from time to time and keep track. The most convenient tool you can use is a simple tape measure. So how do you do it?
Here are official guidelines from Harvard Medical School,
Measure your waistline at the level of the navel — not at the narrowest part of the torso — and always measure in the same place. According to official guidelines, the bottom of the tape measure should be level with the top of the right hip bone, or ilium at the point where the ilium intersects a line dropped vertically from the center of the armpit.
Here is a picture below showing the process of measuring the waistline.
Now, let’s get into the five steps to lose belly fat.
Five steps to lose belly fat
The following five steps work and have been tested over and over again with our various clients. It’s important to mention that none of these steps can stand alone. They are closely interconnected, meaning, to get results, you need to pay attention to them all.
Your goal with losing belly fat ( visceral fat) should be to reduce your waist circumference as well. Let me show you how to do it.
Step 1: Follow your personalised exercise programme
Exercise is good but personalised exercise is much better and efficient when combating belly fat. Ask yourself, is my exercise personalised to me? Does it consider my fitness level, my injuries, my environment, my current active and nutritional habits, etc.? To be effective, your exercise programme for belly fat needs to consider all of these points.
When the goal is to reduce belly fat, a balanced approach that involves cardio and resistance training is recommended. Any imbalance in your workout will be likely creating some unwanted long-term consequences.
Step 2: Follow your personalised nutritional programme
Nutrition is everything when it comes to losing belly fat. Just as with the exercise programme, your daily nutrition needs to be personalised to you. In fact, it needs to be in sync with your exercise programme. This means that your nutritional programme needs to consider your allergies, current active and nutritional habits, medical history, goals, etc.
Here are a few general principles to stick with:
- Avoid consuming food that encourages belly fat deposition, including trans fats (hydrogenated vegetable oils) and sugary foods and beverages.
- Balanced nutrition consisting of nutrient-dense foods is advisable.
Adopting more healthier nutritional habits is crucial and a supplement to following your personalised nutritional programme. Here is a blog post to check it out on adopting healthier nutritional habits: How to adopt healthier nutritional habits for optimal weight-loss.
Step 3: Avoid negative habits like smoking and drinking
Negative habits like smoking and drinking must be entirely eliminated from your life if you are serious about losing belly fat.
Did you know that the more you smoke, the more likely you are to store fat in your abdominal area than elsewhere? That’s right. There is no way around it. Moreover, accumulating more fat in your abdominal area brings other diseases like diabetes, cholesterol, etc.
In terms of drinking, it’s especially important to pay attention to high-calorie alcohol drinks like beer, containing on average 200 calories per pint (475 ml). Beer in bottle size of 12 oz ( 355ml) has about 150 calories on average. On the same front, cocktails or any sweet alchocolic drink usually contain high empty calories, which will be counterproductive on your losing-belly-fat journey.
Step 4: Get on top of your sleep
Getting enough sleep is so important when trying to lose belly fat. Many research studies confirmed that when participants slept too little ( five hours or less), they gained more visceral fat in their abdominal area.
Ask yourself, how much sleep do I need to feel restful and energised throughout the day? Only you know the answer, and please be honest with yourself.
We are all workaholics, but we end up being less productive when we sacrifice our sleep for work. It’s a failing non-sustainable strategy. The sooner you realise this, the faster you will lose belly fat.
In the blog post, How sleep affects your weight loss, we describe how sleep affects your daily routine and how to improve it.
Step 5: Adopt more active lifestyle habits
While Step 1 instructs you to follow a strict personalised exercise programme with a single goal of losing belly fat. Step 2 suggests adopting more active habits that support your exercise plan. Let’s take a look at specific active lifestyle habits below.
Some specific active lifestyle habits you can adopt to lose belly fat:
- Intentionally walking for at least 30 min/day.
- Take the stairs instead of an elevator.
- Complement your personalised exercise programme with sport activity you like (tennis, football, basketball, martial arts, etc.).
- If your work is primarily sedentary, get up every 30 min, stretch your legs, walk for a bit.
- If you have a car, when going somewhere, park further and walk the rest of the way.
Bonus tip: Adopt a habit of going for a walk after your meal, especially lunch. Do not lay down after your meal.
To lose belly fat, you need to sacrifice and make some better choices. You will need to change. It will not be easy. Every change requires hard work, but you can do it.
If you follow these five steps, you will lose your belly fat and live a healthier life.
Until next time,
Damir Pervan, Founder and CEO, TrainChampion | Online weight-loss platform