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6 Surefire Ways to Lose Abdominal Fat
Written by: Karen Duncan
Stomach Fat is Difficult to Lose
Abdominal or belly fat is perhaps the most difficult to lose, but it can still be done nonetheless. The three most important factors for losing abdominal fat are diet, exercise, and weight training. However, there are still other ways of speeding up the process as explained below.
1. Diet: In order to eliminate any type of fat from the body, one must expend less calories than what is consumed. When calculating your caloric intake, consider that one pound of fat contains more than 3,000 calories.
Avoid refined sugars, foods that are high in saturated fats, and instead focus on lean cuts of meat, vegetables, whole grains, and fruit. It's also important to pay attention to the way we eat, not merely what we're eating. Instead of three larger meals each day, try four to five smaller meals spaced at even intervals, but never near bedtime. This will cause the metabolism to work more efficiently, also speeding up the weight loss process.
Eat fats and carbohydrates early on when your body still has a chance to burn calories, and then have the last few meals of the day comprised of mostly proteins, which promotes muscle growth. Many experts agree on consuming a ratio of either 50% protein, 30% carbohydrates, and 20% fats, or 40% protein with 30% of both carbs and fats.
2. Exercise: Cardiovascular exercise is imperative for burning stubborn belly fat. Rather than merely targeting the abdominal muscles, overall exercise is necessary to raise metabolism and increase the rate of losing fat.
Some exercises commonly used to lose abdominal fat include:
- Obliques: Side bends, or raising the leg while lying on each side strengthen the sides of the abdominal muscles, and helps to reduce the appearance of "love handles."
- Sit-ups: Starting from a seated position, fall back nearly to the floor, then move up to a nearly seated position again for three to four sets of 12 sit-ups each.
- Crunches: Similar to sit-ups, crunches are also helpful for toning stomach muscles, as well as doing bicycle movements with the legs while raising the upper body off the floor.
3. Weight Training: Women in particular are leery of adding weight training to their exercise regimen for fear of getting bulky. However, nothing could be further from the truth as it's essential to have lean muscle mass in order to burn fat. Lighter weights with more repetitions ensure evenly toned muscles rather than building bulk, and all muscles of the body should be exercised to ensure symmetry.
4. Walking: Walking stimulates metabolism and promotes weight loss. Strive for at least 30 minutes per day of brisk walking when trying to lose abdominal fat.
5. Eliminate Stress: Studies have proven that high levels of stress contribute to excess weight, in addition to increasing the risk of heart disease.
6. Drink Water: Aim for 8 to 10 glasses of water per day to keep every function of the body running smoothly. Water also aids weight loss, keeps our skin elastic, and helps reduce bloating and water retention. Drinking water before each meals instantly causes us to feel fuller and therefore consume less calories.