You’ve tried to lose the belly fat that seemed to develop overnight, yet it just won’t go away. It can be discouraging, to say the least. What’s the secret? Why do others your age have flat, toned bellies while you have this ugly fat?
There are many reasons, including your lifestyle, what you eat, how often you exercise and, of course, genetics. It is possible to lose belly fat. In fact, you should, and here’s why. First off, you are not fit if you have a big belly, which can interfere with your ability to exercise effectively.
Why Belly Fat is Unhealthy
The medical profession will tell you that any excess fat is a health hazard, but belly fat comes with its own risks. It might be hard for the layperson to understand exactly how belly fat contributes to these illnesses, but the important thing to know is that it can lead to:
- Certain types of cancer
- Diabetes & insulin resistance
- Low levels of good cholesterol (HDL)
- Heart disease
It really isn’t too difficult to determine whether you have too much belly fat. Just ask yourself, “Do I have love handles?”
Everyone is prone to gaining belly fat after a certain age, especially those people who do not remain active and who ignore their diets. Eating fatty and sweet foods and drinking alcohol all contribute to what is often called the “beer belly”.
Fortunately, you can get rid of the belly by eliminating these items from your diet and getting back into some sort of regular sustained physical activity.
How to Lose Belly Fat by Exercising
While a walk around the block will help, you need more vigorous activity to lose belly fat. Whatever exercise you choose, it should equal the equivalent of 2 hours of moderate aerobic activity per week or an hour of vigorous aerobic activity one hour a week or more.
Aerobic and strength training together can produce amazing results. Spot exercises like sit-ups are not sufficient to reduce belly fat although they do offer the benefit of stronger abdominal muscles and back strengthening.
Three Tips for Losing Belly Fat
Set Realistic Weight Loss Goals
Don’t expect to lose 10 pounds in a week. Forget fad diets. Pay more attention to eating nutritious foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat and whole grains while avoiding sugar, white flour, pastries, processed foods and salty snack foods (junk food).
Implement Lifestyle Changes
Look at your daily routine and see where you can swap ease and convenience with exercise. For example, park at the rear of the lot and walk to the building. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Take a walk during lunch and coffee breaks instead of sitting eating and relaxing.
After a week of dieting and regular exercise based on your fitness plan, reward yourself with something that is special to you. Take a day to just relax – by the pool, at the park, or doing a hobby that doesn’t usually fit into your busy day.
Develop a good plan for you, stay committed to it and you will see that losing belly fat is possible and can even be fun.